Plethobasus cooperianus - (I. Lea, 1834)
Orangefoot Pimpleback
Other English Common Names: Orange-footed Pimpleback Mussel
Synonym(s): Plethobasus striatus (Rafinesque, 1820)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Plethobasus cooperianus (I. Lea, 1834) (TSN 80228)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.120557
Element Code: IMBIV34020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae Plethobasus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Turgeon, D.D., J.F. Quinn, Jr., A.E. Bogan, E.V. Coan, F.G. Hochberg, W.G. Lyons, P.M. Mikkelsen, R.J. Neves, C.F.E. Roper, G. Rosenberg, B. Roth, A. Scheltema, F.G. Thompson, M. Vecchione, and J.D. Williams. 1998. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks. 2nd Edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 26, Bethesda, Maryland: 526 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B98TUR01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Plethobasus cooperianus
Taxonomic Comments: This species was originally described with the specific epithet cooperianus by Lea in 1834. Bogan and Parmalee (1983) considered Obovaria striata Rafinesque, 1820, to be the same species and gave priority to Rafinesque's name. Most authors and Turgeon et al. (1998) use the epithet cooperianus.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07May2009
Global Status Last Changed: 17Mar1998
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Range of this species has been reduced to over 70% with even greater declines (likely > 80%) in occupied habitat. Long-term viability is doubtful as this species exists in small numbers in widely disjunct, localized beds. Continued human modification of the large rivers of the eastern United States and the impacts caused by zebra mussels will likely eliminate this species.
Nation: United States
National Status: N1 (17Mar1998)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SX), Illinois (S1), Indiana (SX), Iowa (SNR), Kentucky (S1), Ohio (SX), Pennsylvania (SH), Tennessee (S1), West Virginia (SX)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE, XN: Listed endangered, nonessential experimental population (14Jun1976)
Comments on USESA: Listed Endangered throughout its range. TThe USFWS, in cooperation with the State of Tennessee and Conservation Fisheries, Inc., announced a final rule to reintroduce this species into its historical habitat in the free-flowing reach of the French Broad River below Douglas Dam to its confluence with the Holston River, Knox County Tennessee, and in the free-flowing reach of the Holston River below Cherokee Dam to its confluence with the French Broad River (Federal Register, 12 September 2007). The proposed rule for this action was published on June 13, 2006.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast
IUCN Red List Category: CR - Critically endangered
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix I
American Fisheries Society Status: Endangered (01Jan1993)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 250-1000 square km (about 100-400 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: The historical range included the Ohio River from western Pennsylvania to southern Indiana, the Wabash River below Mt. Carmel, Illinois, the Cumberland River from Cumberland County, Kentucky to the vicinity of Nashville, Tennessee, the lower Clinch River in Anderson County, Tennessee, and the Tennessee River from near Knoxville to Kentucky Lake, Benton County, Tennessee. It has also been reported from the Caney Fork, Holston, and French Broad rivers in Tennessee and the Green and Rough rivers in Kentucky (USFWS, 1984; Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Historical occurrences that are believed to be no longer extant (some subfossil) include the Kanawha River, West Virginia; Wabash River, Indiana; Rough River, Kentucky; Duck River, Tennessee; and questionably the "Ohio River", Pennsylvania (USFWS, 1984). Reports from the Mississippi River by Simpson (1914) and others are incorrect (see Bogan and Parmalee, 1983). At present it is thought to be restricted to the lower Ohio River, middle reaches of the Cumberland River, and the lower Tennessee River in northern Alabama and western Tennessee (USFWS, 1984; Miller et al., 1986). The largest population probably exists in a short reach of the Tennessee River mainstem below Pickwick Dam, near river mile 207 (USFWS, 1984). Though considered rare, live individuals have been regularly documented in the Ohio River in the vicinity of Metropolis, Illinois (Cummings and Mayer, 1995).

Area of Occupancy: 126-2,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Extant occurrences are isolated and scattered in the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Lower Ohio Rivers.

Number of Occurrences: 6 - 20
Number of Occurrences Comments: Presently, this species is restricted to the Tennessee, Cumberland, and lower Ohio rivers where it is rare. Between 1979 and 1982 a large number of fresh-dead shells were collected from a shell buyers cookout camp below Pickwick Dam. Juveniles were also found in muskrat middens along the Tennessee River in Hardin County, Tennessee (USFWS, 1984). Individuals are rare but regularly reported from the lower Ohio River near Metropolis, Illinois (Cummings and Mayer, 1995) where it is still sporadic possibly in Massac and Pulaski Cos. (Cummings and Mayer, 1997), but with little or no recruitement (Miller et al., 1986). Ahlstead (1984) reported it as rare in the lower Clinch River. Parmalee et al. (1980) reported finding live individuals near Bartlett's Bar on the Cumberland River in 1979 and represent the only live records in the river since Neel and Allen (1964). Miller et al. (1986) reported three individuals collected in 1983 in the Ohio River near Olmsted, Illinois, and one specimen in the same locality in 1982; while themselves collecting three specimens in the Ohio River at river mile 967.2. In the 1980s, the largest population known was probably in the Tennessee River for an undetermined number of miles below Pickwick dam (TRM 306.2) starting in Hardin Co., Tennessee (USFWS, 1984). In Kentucky, it is sporadic in the Ohio River and Tennessee River where it is rare (Cicerello and Schuster, 2003). Although not reported from Alabama since 1979, it may still occur in Wilson or Guntersville Dam tailwaters in very low numbers (Mirarchi et al., 2004). The species has been reported (mostly dead shells or fossil material) from the Ohio and Wabash Rivers in Indiana but recent occurrences have not been documented there (Fisher, 2006; Cummings and Mayer, 1997) and it is believed extirpated from the state (IN NHP, pers. comm., 2009). Occurrences in the Duck River are questionable, at best, but recent surveys indicate if it ever occurred there, it no longer does (Ahlstead et al., 2004).

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: No estimates of population size or abundance have been made.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very few (1-3)
Viability/Integrity Comments: The Ohio River population in Illinois shows good habitat quality but no recruitment has been shown (Miller et al., 1986). The species is sporadic in the Tennessee River and a few viable populations may occur there.

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Smith (1971) ranked the causes of extirpation or declines in fish species as follows: siltation, drainage of bottomland lakes, swamps, and prairie marshes, desiccation during drought, species introductions, pollution, impoundments, and increased water temperatures. All of these factors render habitats unsuitable, cause extirpations, and lead to the isolation of populations thereby increasing their vulnerability to extirpation for many aquatic species (including mussels) throughout North America. Zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, have destroyed mussel populations in the Great Lakes and significantly reduced mussels in many of the large rivers of eastern North America. Zebra mussels have the potential to severely threaten other populations especially if they make their way into smaller streams. Remaining populations of Plethobasus cooperianus in the lower Ohio, Cumberland, and Tennessee rivers are threatened by zebra mussels. Pollution through point (industrial and residential discharge) and non-point (siltation, herbicide and fertilizer run-off) sources is perhaps the greatest on-going threat to this species and most freshwater mussels. Lowered dissolved oxygen content and elevated ammonia levels (frequently associated with agricultural runoff and sewage discharge) have been shown to be lethal to some species of freshwater naiads (Horne and McIntosh, 1979). Residential, mineral and industrial development also pose a significant threat. Rotenone, a toxin used to kill fish in bodies of water for increased sport fishery quality, has been shown to be lethal to mussels as well (Heard, 1970). Destruction of habitat through stream channelization and maintenance and the construction of dams is still a threat in some areas. Impoundments reduce currents that are necessary for basic physiological activities such as feeding, waste removal and reproduction. In addition, reduced water flow typically results in a reduction in water oxygen levels and a settling out of suspended solids (silt, etc.), both of which are detrimental. Dredging of streams has an immediate effect on existing populations by physically removing and destroying individuals. Dredging also affects the long-term recolonization abilities by destroying much of the potential habitat, making the substrates and flow rates uniform throughout the system. Natural predators include raccoons, otter, mink, muskrats, turtles and some birds (Simpson, 1899; Boepple and Coker, 1912; Evermann and Clark, 1918; Coker et al., 1921; Parmalee, 1967; Snyder and Snyder, 1969). Domestic animals such as hogs can root mussel beds to pieces (Meek and Clark, 1912). Fishes, particularly catfish, Ictalurus spp. and Amierus spp., and freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens, also consume large numbers of unionids. The federal recovery plan (USFWS, 1984) lists the following threats: impoundment (for flood control, navigation, hydroelectric power, and recreation), siltation (due to strip mining, coal washing, dredging, farming, logging, and road construction), pollution (municipal, agricultural, and industrial waste discharges).

Short-term Trend: Decline of >70%
Short-term Trend Comments: In Tennessee, this species formerly inhabited the lower Holston River, Knox Co.; the Clinch River, Roand and Anderson Cos.; and the French Broad, Sevier Co.; and was recorded from the Tennessee River at Knoxville, Knox Co. downstream to Marion Co. It formerly occurred throughout the lower Tennessee River from Hardin Co. downstream to Stewart Co. and was common in the Cumberland River from Clay Co. to Stewart Co. Nearly all of these occurrences have been extirpated in Tennessee (Parmalee and Bogan, 1998).

Long-term Trend: Decline of 70-90%
Long-term Trend Comments: Historically, this species was quite common in the Ohio River between St. Mary's and Marietta as well as in the Wabash River and from commercial mussel harvests in the Cumberland River but later surveys found it rare in the Cumberland River and rare in the Tennessee River and tributaries above Knoxville (USFWS, 1984). The species has been reported (mostly dead shells or fossil material) from the Ohio and Wabash Rivers in Indiana but recent occurrences have not been documented there (Fisher, 2006; Cummings and Mayer, 1997) and it is believed extirpated from the state (IN NHP, pers. comm., 2009). In Ohio, it is extirpated, but formerly (turn of 20th Century) it was common in the Ohio River at Marietta, Clarington, and Portland with additional records for Cincinnati and a single historical record for the lower Scioto River (Watters et al., 2009). It is extirpated in Pennsylvania (Bogan, 1993; Spoo, 2008) where it formerly occurred in the Upper Ohio drainage (Ortmann, 1919). In Alabama it may be extirpated but is possibly extant in tailwaters of Wilson and/or Guntersville Dams (Williams et al., 2008).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Extant occurrences are isolated and scattered in the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Lower Ohio Rivers.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.
Environmental Specificity Comments: This species is found in medium to large rivers in sand, gravel, and cobble substrates in riffles and shoals in deep water and steady currents as well as some shallower shoals and riffles (Gordon and Layzer, 1989; Bogan and Parmalee, 1983; Cummings and Mayer, 1992; USFWS, 1984).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: The historical distribution is reasonably well known. A concentrated search for this species should be conducted to assess its current status. If live animals are found an effort to artificially propagate the mussel should be undertaken.

Distribution
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Global Range: (250-1000 square km (about 100-400 square miles)) The historical range included the Ohio River from western Pennsylvania to southern Indiana, the Wabash River below Mt. Carmel, Illinois, the Cumberland River from Cumberland County, Kentucky to the vicinity of Nashville, Tennessee, the lower Clinch River in Anderson County, Tennessee, and the Tennessee River from near Knoxville to Kentucky Lake, Benton County, Tennessee. It has also been reported from the Caney Fork, Holston, and French Broad rivers in Tennessee and the Green and Rough rivers in Kentucky (USFWS, 1984; Parmalee and Bogan, 1998). Historical occurrences that are believed to be no longer extant (some subfossil) include the Kanawha River, West Virginia; Wabash River, Indiana; Rough River, Kentucky; Duck River, Tennessee; and questionably the "Ohio River", Pennsylvania (USFWS, 1984). Reports from the Mississippi River by Simpson (1914) and others are incorrect (see Bogan and Parmalee, 1983). At present it is thought to be restricted to the lower Ohio River, middle reaches of the Cumberland River, and the lower Tennessee River in northern Alabama and western Tennessee (USFWS, 1984; Miller et al., 1986). The largest population probably exists in a short reach of the Tennessee River mainstem below Pickwick Dam, near river mile 207 (USFWS, 1984). Though considered rare, live individuals have been regularly documented in the Ohio River in the vicinity of Metropolis, Illinois (Cummings and Mayer, 1995).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALextirpated, IA, IL, INextirpated, KY, OHextirpated, PA, TN, WVextirpated

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Colbert (01033)*, Jackson (01071)*, Lauderdale (01077)*, Limestone (01083)*, Marshall (01095)*, Morgan (01103)*
IL Massac (17127), Pulaski (17153)*
IN Gibson (18051)*, Harrison (18061)*, Marion (18097)*, Posey (18129)*
KY Ballard (21007), Boone (21015)*, Bullitt (21029)*, Butler (21031)*, Campbell (21037)*, Carroll (21041)*, Clinton (21053)*, Crittenden (21055)*, Cumberland (21057)*, Grayson (21085)*, Hancock (21091)*, Jefferson (21111)*, Kenton (21117)*, Lewis (21135)*, Livingston (21139), Lyon (21143)*, Marshall (21157), McCracken (21145), Monroe (21171)*, Ohio (21183)*, Russell (21207)*, Trigg (21221)*, Trimble (21223)*, Warren (21227)*, Wayne (21231)*
OH Meigs (39105)*
PA Allegheny (42003)*, Beaver (42007)*
TN Anderson (47001)*, Benton (47005)*, Claiborne (47025), Davidson (47037)*, Decatur (47039), Hamilton (47065)*, Hardin (47071), Humphreys (47085)*, Knox (47093)*, Loudon (47105), Marshall (47117)*, Maury (47119)*, Perry (47135), Rhea (47143), Roane (47145)*, Sevier (47155)*, Smith (47159), Wayne (47181)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
05 Upper Ohio (05030101)+*, Little Muskingum-Middle Island (05030201)*, Upper Ohio-Shade (05030202)+*, Muskingum (05040004)*, Lower Scioto (05060002)*, Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201)+*, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+*, Licking (05100101)+*, Upper Green (05110001)+*, Rough (05110004)+*, Lower Wabash (05120113)+, Upper White (05120201)+*, Patoka (05120209)+*, Upper Cumberland (05130101)*, Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103)+*, Upper Cumberland-Cordell Hull (05130106)*, Lower Cumberland-Old Hickory Lake (05130201)+, Lower Cumberland-Sycamore (05130202)+*, Lower Cumberland (05130205)+*, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)+, Salt (05140102)+*, Lower Ohio-Little Pigeon (05140201)+*, Highland-Pigeon (05140202)+*, Lower Ohio-Bay (05140203), Lower Ohio (05140206)+
06 Holston (06010104)*, Lower French Broad (06010107)+*, Watts Bar Lake (06010201)+, Powell (06010206)+, Lower Clinch (06010207)+, Emory (06010208)+*, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Guntersville Lake (06030001)+*, Wheeler Lake (06030002)+, Lower Elk (06030004)*, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+, Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001)+, Upper Duck (06040002)+*, Lower Duck (06040003)+*, Kentucky Lake (06040005)+, Lower Tennessee (06040006)+
07 Cache (07140108)
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A round freshwater mussel with pustules only on the posterior three-fourths of the shell; no green ray on the umbo; the live mussel has an orange foot.
General Description: SHELL EXTERIOR: Shell thick, solid, round or slightly elongate, and moderately inflated to compressed. Anterior end rounded, posterior end rounded to bluntly pointed. Dorsal margin straight or slightly curved, ventral margin curved. Umbos low, directed forward and only slightly elevated above the hinge line. Anterior fourth of the shell smooth, numerous pustules present on the posterior three-fourths. Periostracum rayless, light brown in small shells, becoming chestnut or dark brown color in larger individuals. Length to four inches.

SHELL INTERIOR: Pseudocardinal teeth well developed; two in the right valve, one in the right, with a smaller tooth on either side. Lateral teeth rather short, straight or slightly curved; two in the left valve, one in the right Beak cavity very deep. Nacre white, usually with pink or salmon near the beak cavity, iridescent posteriorly (Cummings and Mayer, 1992).

Reproduction Comments: The glochidial host is not known.
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This species is found in medium to large rivers in sand, gravel, and cobble substrates in riffles and shoals in deep water and steady currents as well as some shallower shoals and riffles (Gordon and Layzer, 1989; Bogan and Parmalee, 1983; Cummings and Mayer, 1992; USFWS, 1984).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: On June 14, 1976, the orangefoot pimpleback (pearlymussel) was designated as endangered throughout its entire range in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee (USFWS, 1976). A recovery plan addressing the orangefoot pimpleback was approved September 30, 1984 (USFWS, 1984).

The recovery plan outlined the following: (1) preserve populations and presently used habitats with emphasis on the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Ohio Rivers, (2) determine feasibility of introducing the species back into rivers within its historic range and introduce where feasible, (3) conduct life history studies (i.e. fish hosts, age and growth, reproductive biology, longevity, natural mortality factors, and population dynamics), (4) determine the number of individuals required to maintain a viable population, (5) investigate the necessity for habitat improviement, and if feasible and desirable, identify techniques and sites for improvement to include implementation, (6) develop and implement a program to monitor population levels and habitat conditions of presently established populations as well as introduced and expanding populations, (7) assess overall success of recovery program and recommend action.

The USFWS, in cooperation with the State of Tennessee and Conservation Fisheries, Inc., proposes to reintroduce this species into its historical habitat in the free-flowing reach of the French Broad River below Douglas Dam to its confluence with the Holston River, Knox County Tennessee, and in the free-flowing reach of the Holston River below Cherokee Dam to its confluence with the French Broad River (USFWS, 2006).

Biological Research Needs: In order to effectively manage mussel species it is necessary to work out certain life history characteristics first. Because of their unusual life-cycle and dependence on fish for completion of that cycle, it is imperative that the host species for the orangefoot pimpleback be ascertained. Life history studies need to be done to identify age and size at sexual maturity, recruitment success, age class structure, and other important life history parameters.

Research is needed to assess the success of watershed protection on mussel populations. Abundance and distribution of selected species needs to be monitored in order to ascertain how species abundance's change over time. From that we can assess what land-use changes, conservation practices, and physical/chemical parameters are correlated with, and possibly responsible for, the biological changes.

Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Freshwater Mussels

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on some evidence of historical or current presence of single or multiple specimens, including live specimens or recently dead shells (i.e., soft tissue still attached and/or nacre still glossy and iridescent without signs of external weathering or staining), at a given location with potentially recurring existence. Weathered shells constitute a historic occurrence. Evidence is derived from reliable published observation or collection data; unpublished, though documented (i.e. government or agency reports, web sites, etc.) observation or collection data; or museum specimen information.
Mapping Guidance: Based on the separation distances outlined herein, for freshwater mussels in STANDING WATER (or backwater areas of flowing water such as oxbows and sloughs), all standing water bodies with either (1) greater than 2 km linear distance of unsuitable habitat between (i.e. lotic connections), or (2) more than 10 km of apparently unoccupied though suitable habitat (including lentic shoreline, linear distance across water bodies, and lentic water bodies with proper lotic connections), are considered separate element occurrences. Only the largest standing water bodies (with 20 km linear shoreline or greater) may have greater than one element occurrence within each. Multiple collection or observation locations in one lake, for example, would only constitute multiple occurrences in the largest lakes, and only then if there was some likelihood that unsurveyed areas between collections did not contain the element.

For freshwater mussels in FLOWING WATER conditions, occurrences are separated by a distance of more than 2 stream km of unsuitable habitat, or a distance of more than 10 stream km of apparently unoccupied though suitable habitat. Standing water between occurrences is considered suitable habitat when calculating separation distance for flowing water mussel species unless dispersal barriers (see Separation Barriers) are in place.

Several mussel species in North America occur in both standing and flowing water (see Specs Notes). Calculation of separation distance and determination of separation barriers for these taxa should take into account the environment in which the element was collected. Juvenile mussels do not follow this pattern and juveniles are typically missed by most standard sampling methods (Hastie and Cosgrove, 2002; Neves and Widlak, 1987), therefore juvenile movement is not considered when calculating separation distance.

Separation Barriers: Separation barriers within standing water bodies are based solely on separation distance (see Separation Distance-suitable, below). Separation barriers between standing water bodies and within flowing water systems include lack of lotic connections, natural barriers such as upland habitat, absence of appropriate species specific fish hosts, water depth greater than 10 meters (Cvancara, 1972; Moyle and Bacon, 1969) or anthropogenic barriers to water flow such as dams or other impoundments and high waterfalls.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: None
Separation Justification: Adult freshwater mussels are largely sedentary spending their entire lives very near to the place where they first successfully settled (Coker et al., 1921; Watters, 1992). Strayer (1999) demonstrated in field trials that mussels in streams occur chiefly in flow refuges, or relatively stable areas that displayed little movement of particles during flood events. Flow refuges conceivably allow relatively immobile mussels to remain in the same general location throughout their entire lives. Movement occurs with the impetus of some stimulus (nearby water disturbance, physical removal from the water such as during collection, exposure conditions during low water, seasonal temperature change or associated diurnal cycles) and during spawning. Movement is confined to either vertical movement burrowing deeper into sediments though rarely completely beneath the surface, or horizontal movement in a distinct path often away from the area of stimulus. Vertical movement is generally seasonal with rapid descent into the sediment in autumn and gradual reappearance at the surface during spring (Amyot and Downing, 1991; 1997). Horizontal movement is generally on the order of a few meters at most and is associated with day length and during times of spawning (Amyot and Downing, 1997). Such locomotion plays little, if any, part in the distribution of freshwater mussels as these limited movements are not dispersal mechanisms. Dispersal patterns are largely speculative but have been attributed to stream size and surface geology (Strayer, 1983; Strayer and Ralley, 1993; van der Schalie, 1938), utilization of flow refuges during flood stages (Strayer, 1999), and patterns of host fish distribution during spawning periods (Haag and Warren, 1998; Watters, 1992). Lee and DeAngelis (1997) modeled the dispersal of freshwater into unoccupied habitats as a traveling wave front with a velocity ranging from 0.87 to 2.47 km/year (depending on mussel life span) with increase in glochidial attachment rate to fish having no effect on wave velocity.

Nearly all mussels require a host or hosts during the parasitic larval portion of their life cycle. Hosts are usually fish, but a few exceptional species utilize amphibians as hosts (Van Snik Gray et al., 2002; Howard, 1915) or may metamorphose without a host (Allen, 1924; Barfield et al., 1998; Lefevre and Curtis, 1911; 1912). Haag and Warren (1998) found that densities of host generalist mussels (using a variety of hosts from many different families) and displaying host specialists (using a small number of hosts usually in the same family but mussel females have behavioral modifications to attract hosts to the gravid female) were independent of the densities of their hosts. Densities of non-displaying host specialist mussels (using a small number of hosts usually in the same family but without host-attracting behavior) were correlated positively with densities of their hosts. Upstream dispersal of host fish for non-displaying host specialist mussels could, theoretically, transport mussel larvae (glochidia) over long distances through unsuitable habitat, but it is unlikely that this occurs very often. D. Strayer (personal communication) suggested a distance of at least 10 km, but a greater distance between occurrences may be necessary to constitute genetic separation of populations. As such, separation distance is based on a set, though arbitrary, distance between two known points of occurrence.

Date: 18Oct2004
Author: Cordeiro, J.
Notes: Contact Jay Cordeiro (jay_cordeiro@natureserve.org) for a complete list of freshwater mussel taxa sorted by flow regime.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 07May2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J. (2009); Cummings, K. S. (1998)
Management Information Edition Date: 15Jun2007
Management Information Edition Author: Cordeiro, J.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 15Feb2007
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Cordeiro, J.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Ahlstedt, S.A. 1984. Twentieth century changes in the freshwater mussel fauna of the Clinch River (Tennessee and Virginia). M.S. Thesis, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee. 102 pp.

  • Boepple, J.F. and R.E. Coker. 1912. Mussel resources of the Holston and Clinch rivers of eastern Tennessee. Bureau of Fisheries Document 765. 13 pp.

  • Bogan, A.E. 1993a. Workshop on freshwater bivalves of Pennsylvania. Workshop hosted by Aquatic Systems Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, held at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 6-7 May 1993. 80 pp.

  • Bogan, A.E. and P.W. Parmalee. 1983. Tennessee's Rare Wildlife: Volume II: The Mollusks. Report to the Tennessee Natural Heritage Program and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency: Nashville, Tennessee. 123 pp.

  • Bogan, A.E. and P.W. Parmalee. 1983. Tennessee's rare wildlife. Vol. 2: The mollusks. Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Tennessee Conservation Department: Nashville, Tennessee. 123 pp.

  • Cicerello, R.R. and G.A. Schuster. 2003. A guide to the freshwater mussels of Kentucky. Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission Scientific and Technical Series 7:1-62.

  • Coker, R.E., A.F. Shira, H.W. Clark, and A.D. Howard. 1921. Natural history and propagation of fresh-water mussels. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries [Issued separately as U.S. Bureau of Fisheries Document 839] 37(1919-20):77-181 + 17 pls.

  • Cummings, K.S. and C.A. Mayer. 1992. Field Guide to Freshwater Mussels of the Midwest. Illinois Natural History Survey Manual 5, Illinois. 194 pp.

  • Cummings, K.S., and C.A. Mayer. 1995. The distribution and status of six federally endangered freshwater mussels (Unionidae) in Illinois. Final report prepared for the Illinois Department of Conservation, Division of Natural Heritage. Illinois Natural History Survey, Center for Biodiversity Technical Report, 1995(7): 1-32.

  • Evermann, B.W. and H.W. Clark. 1918. The Unionidae of Lake Maxinkukee. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science 1917:251-285.

  • Gordon, M.E. and J.B. Layzer. 1989. Mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoidea) of the Cumberland River review of life histories and ecological relationships. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Report, 89(15): 1-99.

  • Heard, W.H. 1970. Eastern freshwater mollusks. 1. The south Atlantic and Gulf drainages. In: A.H. Clarke (ed.) Rare and endangered molluscs of North America. Malacologia 10:1-56.

  • Herkert, Jim. 1998. Proposed additions, deletions, and changes to the Illinois List of Threatened and Endangered Animals. 101st ESPB Meeting, August 21, 1998. 16pp.

  • Horne, F.R. and S. McIntosh. 1979. Factors influencing distribution of mussels in the Blanco River of central Texas. The Nautilus 94(4):119-133.

  • Howard, A.D. 1915. Some exceptional cases of breeding among the Unionidae. The Nautilus 29:4-11.

  • Lefevre, G. and W.T. Curtis. 1912. Studies on the reproduction and artificial propogation of fresh-water mussels. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries 30:102-201.

  • Meek, S. E., and H.W. Clark. 1912. The mussels of the Big Buffalo Fork of White River, Arkansas. Report and Special Papers of the U.S. Fish Commission [Issued separately as U.S. Bureau of Fisheries Document 759] 1911:1-20.

  • Miller, A.C., B.S. Payne, and T. Siemsen. 1986. Description of the habitat of the endangered mussel Plethobasus cooperianus. The Nautilus, 100(1): 14-17.

  • Moyle, P. and J. Bacon. 1969. Distribution and abundance of molluscs in a fresh water environment. Journal of the Minnesota Academy of Science 35(2/3):82-85.

  • Natural Resources Commission. 2014. Roster of Indiana Animals, Insects, and Plants That Are Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened or Rare. Information Bulletin #2 (Sixth Amendment. 20pp.

  • Neel, J. K. and W.R. Allen. 1964. The mussel fauna of the Upper Cumberland Basin before its impoundment. Malacologia, 1(3): 427-459.

  • Ortmann, A.E. 1919. Monograph of the naiades of Pennsylvania. Part III. Systematic account of the genera and species. Memoirs of the Carnegie Museum 8(1):1-385.

  • Parmalee, P.W. 1967. The freshwater mussels of Illinois. Illinois State Museum, Popular Science Series 8:1-108.

  • Parmalee, P.W. and A.E. Bogan. 1998. The freshwater mussels of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennesee. 328 pp.

  • Parmalee, P.W., W.E. Kippel, and A.E. Bogan. 1980. Notes on the prehistoric and present status of the naiad fauna of the middle Cumberland River, Smith County, Tennessee. The Nautilus, 94(3): 93-105.

  • Simpson, C.T. 1899. The pearly fresh-water mussels of the United States; their habits, enemies, and diseases, with suggestions for their protection. Bulletin of the U.S. Fish Commission [Issued separately as U.S. Bureau of Fisheries Document 413] 18(1898):279-288.

  • Simpson, C.T. 1914. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Naiades or Pearly Fresh-water Mussels. Bryant Walker: Detroit, Michigan. 1540 pp.

  • Smith, P.W. 1971. Illinois streams: A classification based on their fishes and an analysis of factors responsible for disappearance of native species. Illinois Natural History Survey Biological Notes 76:1-14.

  • Snyder, N. and H. Snyder. 1969. A comparative study of mollusk predation by Limpkins, Everglade Kites, and Boat-tailed Grackles. Eighth Annual Report of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology 8:177-223.

  • Spoo, A. 2008. The Pearly Mussels of Pennsylvania. Coachwhip Publications: Landisville, Pennsylvania. 210 pp.

  • Strayer, D. 1983. The effects of surface geology and stream size on freshwater mussel (Bivalvia, Unionidae) distribution in southeastern Michigan, U.S.A. Freshwater Biology 13:253-264.

  • Strayer, D.L. 1999a. Use of flow refuges by unionid mussels in rivers. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 18(4):468-476.

  • Strayer, D.L. and J. Ralley. 1993. Microhabitat use by an assemblage of stream-dwelling unionaceans (Bivalvia) including two rare species of Alasmidonta. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 12(3):247-258.

  • Turgeon, D.D., A.E. Bogan, E.V. Coan, W.K. Emerson, W.G. Lyons, W.L. Pratt, C.F.E. Roper, A. Scheltema, F.G. Thompson, and J.D. Williams. 1988. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: mollusks. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 16: viii + 277 pp., 12 pls.

  • Turgeon, D.D., J.F. Quinn, Jr., A.E. Bogan, E.V. Coan, F.G. Hochberg, W.G. Lyons, P.M. Mikkelsen, R.J. Neves, C.F.E. Roper, G. Rosenberg, B. Roth, A. Scheltema, F.G. Thompson, M. Vecchione, and J.D. Williams. 1998. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks. 2nd Edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 26, Bethesda, Maryland: 526 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) (Ahlstedt, S.A.) 1984. Recovery plan for the orange-footed pearly mussel (Plethobasus cooperianus) (Lea 1834). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 4, Atlanta, Georgia. 44 pp.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2006. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; establishment of nonessential experimental population status for 15 freshwater mussels, 1 freshwater snail, and 5 fishes in the lower French Broad River and in the lower Holston River, Tennessee; Proposed Rule. Federal Register, 71(113): 34195-34230.

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service. 1984. Orange-footed pearly mussel (PLETHOBASUS COOPERIANUS) recovery plan. Atlanta, GA. 44pp.

  • Van der Schalie, H. 1938a. The naiad fauna of the Huron River in southeastern Michigan. Miscellaneous Publication of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 40:7-78.

  • Watters, G.T. 1992a. Unionids, fishes, and the species-area curve. Journal of Biogeography 19:481-490.

  • Williams, J. D., A. E. Bogan, and J. T Garner. 2008. Freshwater mussels of Alabama & the Mobile Basin in Georgia, Mississippi, & Tennessee. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 908 pages.

  • Williams, J.D., M.L. Warren, Jr., K.S. Cummings, J.L. Harris, and R.J. Neves. 1993b. Conservation status of freshwater mussels of the United States and Canada. Fisheries 18(9): 6-22.

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References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Ahlstedt, S.A., J.R. Powell, R.S. Butler, M.T. Fagg, D.W. Hubbs, S.F. Novak, S.R. Palmer, and P.D. Johnson. 2004. Historical and current examination of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Margaritiferidae, Unionidae) in the Duck River basin of Tennessee. Final report submitted to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, contract FA-02-14725-00, Tennessee. 212 pp.

  • Cummings, K.S. and C.A. Mayer. 1997. Distributional checklist and status of Illinois freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Unionacea). Pages 129-145 in: K.S. Cummings, A.C. Buchanan, C.A. Mayer, and T.J. Naimo (eds.) Conservation and management of freshwater mussels II: initiatives for the future. Proceedings of a UMRCC Symposium, October 1995, St. Louis, Missouri. Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois.

  • Fisher, B.E. 2006. Current status of freshwater mussels (Order Unionoida) in the Wabash River drainage of Indiana. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science, 115(2): 103-109.

  • Mirarchi, R.E., J.T. Garner, M.F. Mettee, and P.E. O'Neil. 2004b. Alabama wildlife. Volume 2. Imperiled aquatic mollusks and fishes. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. xii + 255 pp.

  • Parmalee, P.W. and A.E. Bogan. 1998. The Freshwater Mussels of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press: Knoxville, Tennessee. 328 pp.

  • Watters, G.T., M.A. Hoggarth, and D.H. Stansbery. 2009b. The Freshwater Mussels of Ohio. Ohio State University Press: Columbus, Ohio. 421 pp.

  • Williams, J.D., A.E. Bogan, and J.T. Garner. 2008. Freshwater Mussels of Alabama & the Mobile Basin in Georgia, Mississippi & Tennessee. University of Alabama Press: Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 908 pp.

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