Pleurobema marshalli - Frierson, 1927
Flat Pigtoe
Other English Common Names: Marshall's Mussel, Marshall's Pigtoe
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Pleurobema marshalli Frierson, 1927 (TSN 80103)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.114612
Element Code: IMBIV35180
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Freshwater Mussels
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Bivalvia Unionoida Unionidae Pleurobema
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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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: Pleurobema marshalli
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GX
Global Status Last Reviewed: 25Jun2010
Global Status Last Changed: 25Jun2010
Rounded Global Status: GX - Presumed Extinct
Reasons: This species has not been collected alive since the completion of the Tennessee-Tombigbee River Waterway (completed in 1984 directly over the last remaining site for the species). The last collection was in 1980. Suitable habitat still exists below the Gainesville Dam in Alabama but no specimens have been found historically or recently. Despite its listing as Endangered by the USFWS, it is likely extinct.
Nation: United States
National Status: NX (25Jun2010)

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), Mississippi (SX)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (07Apr1987)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R4 - Southeast
IUCN Red List Category: CR - Critically endangered
American Fisheries Society Status: Endangered (01Jan1993)

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: Zero (no occurrences believed extant)
Range Extent Comments: Historically, this species was known from the mainstem of the Tombigbee River in Mississippi and Alabama (USFWS, 2000; Burch, 1975; Frierson, 1927; Jones et al., 2005; Williams et al., 2008). Historical sites include from just above Tibbee Creek near Columbus, Mississippi, downstream to Epes, Alabama (USFWS, 1989). It was last seen in 1980 in the Tombigbee River near Columbus, Mississippi (Paul Hartfield, pers. comm., September 2003). It is likely extinct (Mirarchi et al., 2004; Jones et al., 2005).

Area of Occupancy: 0 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 0 (zero)
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species was last seen in 1980 in the Tombigbee River near Columbus, Mississippi, in a very small single free-flowing reach which was destroyed by the completion of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in 1984; and a targeted survey in 1988 did not find the species in this locality (USFWS, 1989; Paul Hartfield, pers. comm., September 2003). This species was historically collected from the upper Tombigbee River in Sumter and Greene Cos., Alabama (Williams et al., 1992) with sites between Epes, Sumter Co., Alabama, to the vicinity of Columbus, Lowndes Co., Mississippi (Williams et al., 2008). Subfossil museum (OSUM) specimens exist for the Cahaba River.

Population Size: Zero, no individuals known extant

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: None (zero)

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The principal cause of population decline is habitat modification for navigation. Waterway construction adversely affected this species by physical destruction during dredging, increasing sedimentation, reducing water flow, and suffocating juveniles with sediment. Deposition continues in remaining portions of the Tombigbee River that have not already been impacted severely. Water diversion is a continuing threat along with associated accumulation of sediment. Runoff of fertilizers and pesticides adversely affects mussels and leads to eutrophication (USFWS, 1989).

From USFWS (2000):
In the Mobile River basin, the greatest threats are dams (for navigation, water supply, electricity, recreation, and flood control), channelization (causing accelerated erosion, altered depth; and loss of habitat diversity, substrate stability, and riparian canopy), dredging (for navigation or gravel mining), mining (for coal, sand, gravel, or gold) in locally concentrated areas, pollution- point source (industrial waste effluent, sewage treatment plants, carpet and fabric mills, paper mills and refineries in mainstem rivers), pollution- nonpoint source (construction, agriculture, silviculture, urbanization).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)

Long-term Trend: Decline of >90%
Long-term Trend Comments: No live individuals have been collected in Alabama since the late 1970s (Williams et al., 2008).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly to moderately vulnerable.
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Isolated imperiled populations in the Mobile River basin are likely vulnerable to random accidents, such as toxic spills, and to naturally catastrophic events, such as droughts and floods, even if land use and human populations were to remain constant within isolated watersheds (USFWS, 2000).

Environmental Specificity: Unknown

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Likely extinct.

Protection Needs: Mobile River Basin recovery plan (USFWS, 2000) calls for: (1) use to fullest extent existing laws, regulations, and policies to portect listed populations and their habitats, and to develop and encourage a stream management strategy that places high priority on conservation; (2) encourage voluntary stewardship through joint initiatives and individual actions as the only practical and economical means of minimizing adverse effects of private land use and activities within watersheds; (3) continue to promote research efforts on life histories, sensitivities, and requirements of imperiled aquatic species, and develop technological capabilities to maintain and propagate them.

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (Zero (no occurrences believed extant)) Historically, this species was known from the mainstem of the Tombigbee River in Mississippi and Alabama (USFWS, 2000; Burch, 1975; Frierson, 1927; Jones et al., 2005; Williams et al., 2008). Historical sites include from just above Tibbee Creek near Columbus, Mississippi, downstream to Epes, Alabama (USFWS, 1989). It was last seen in 1980 in the Tombigbee River near Columbus, Mississippi (Paul Hartfield, pers. comm., September 2003). It is likely extinct (Mirarchi et al., 2004; Jones et al., 2005).

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, MSextirpated

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
MS Clay (28025)*, Lowndes (28087)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Upper Tombigbee (03160101)+*, Middle Tombigbee-Lubbub (03160106)+*, Noxubee (03160108)*, Lower Tambigbee (03160203)*
+ 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 freshwater mussel with a reddish-brown shell.
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, Riffle
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This species was found in riffles and shoals on sandy gravel to gravel-cobble substrates and with moderate to fast currents in medium to large rivers (Tombigbee River); and requires clean water.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: This species was listed as federally endangered in the U.S. in 1987 (USFWS, 1987).

A recovery plan has been created for the species (and four others in the Tombigbee River) (USFWS, 1989) which contains the following objectives: (1) protect the habitat where the species occurs, (2) determine habitat requirements and management needs and correct as necessary and feasible, (3) monitor existing populations at not more than 3-year intervals and recommend additional actions as needed, (4) solicit the assistance of the states, other Federal agencies, municipalities and conservation organizations in protecting the remaining habitat.

A specific recovery plan has been created for the Mobile River basin (USFWS, 2000) which contains the following objectives: (1) protect habitat integrity and quality of river and stream segments that currently support or could support imperiled aquatic species, (2) consider options for free-flowing river and stream mitigation strategies that give high priority to avoidance and restoration, (3) promote voluntary stewardship as a practical and economical means of reducing nonpoint pollution from private land use, (4) encourage and support community based watershed stewardship planning and action, (5) develop and implement programs and materials to educate the public on the need and benefits of ecosystem management, and to involve them in watershed stewardship, (6) conduct basic research on endemic aquatic species and apply the results toward management and protection of aquatic communities, (7) develop and implement technology for maintaining and propagating endemic species in captivity, (8) reintroduce aquatic species into restored habitats, as appropriate, (9) monitor listed species population levels and distribution and periodically review ecosystem management strategy, (10) coordinate ecosystem management actions (more detail in USFWS, 2000).

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
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 25Jun2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Cordeiro, J.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 21Feb2007
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
Help
  • Frierson, L.S. 1927. A Classified and Annotated Checklist of the North American Naiades. Baylor University Press: Waco, Texas. 111 pp.

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

  • Jones, R.L., W.T. Slack, and P.D. Hartfield. 2005. The freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae) of Mississippi. Southeastern Naturalist, 4(1): 77-92.

  • 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.

  • Matthews, J.R. and C.J. Moseley (eds.). 1990. The Official World Wildlife Fund Guide to Endangered Species of North America. Volume 1. Plants, Mammals. xxiii + pp 1-560 + 33 pp. appendix + 6 pp. glossary + 16 pp. index. Volume 2. Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes, Mussels, Crustaceans, Snails, Insects, and Arachnids. xiii + pp. 561-1180. Beacham Publications, Inc., Washington, D.C.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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., 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). 1987. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; endangered status for Marshall's mussel (Pleurobema marshalli), Curtus' mussel (Pleurobema curtum), Judge Tait's mussel (Pleurobema taitianum), the stirrup shell (Quadrula stapes), and the penitent mussel (Epioblasma penita). Federal Register, 52(66): 11162-11168.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1997. Draft Recovery Plan for the Mobile River basin aquatic ecosystem. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region, Atlanta, Georgia.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2000. Recovery plan for the Mobile River basin aquatic ecosystem. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region, Atlanta, Georgia. 128 pp.

  • 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.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1989. Recovery plan for five Tombigbee River mussels. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Jackson, Mississippi. 18 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.

  • Williams, J.D., S.L.H. Fuller, and R. Gracea. 1992a. Effects of impoundment on freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionidae) in the main channel of the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers in western Alabama. Bulletin of the Alabama Museum of Natural History 13:1-10.

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