Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why Are Freshwater Mussels In Decline?

Date:
September 21, 2007
Source:
Allen Press
Summary:
North America's diverse community of freshwater mussels has been on the decline for decades and is presently considered one of the continent's most endangered groups of animals. Mussels are a critical component of the food chain because they are a food source for aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates, and they provide nutrient and energy cycling in streams and lakes by filtering algae, bacteria, and organic matter from the water column.

North America’s diverse community of freshwater mussels has been on the decline for decades and is presently considered one of the continent’s most endangered groups of animals. The reasons for this continued decline are examined in a special section of the latest issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Mussels are a critical component of the food chain because they are a food source for aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates, and they provide nutrient and energy cycling in streams and lakes by filtering algae, bacteria, and organic matter from the water column.

While 35 species of mussels are already extinct, 70 are listed as threatened or endangered, and nearly 180 species are critically imperiled or vulnerable. Species declines are likely due to a number of problems, including construction of dams, sedimentation, population, channelization, dredging, and introduction of exotic species.

The most important factors that can be controlled by man are water pollution and changes in physical habitat. For example, mussels were found to be highly sensitive to copper, ammonia, and several pesticides. In fact, available data suggest that current water quality standards for copper may not protect mussels in Oklahoma and possibly other states. Finally, ammonia has been identified as an issue in North Carolina.

Until recently, no standardized methods were available to help direct research, leading to lack of repeatability, and data variability which led to difficulties in comparing data among laboratories. This adversely affected scientists’ abilities to understand the relative sensitivity of mussels to chemicals.

The studies in this report discuss the validation of a new standard toxicity test in mussels and will likely result in increased testing of these organism and inclusion of these species in water quality decision-making.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Allen Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Allen Press. "Why Are Freshwater Mussels In Decline?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070914163735.htm>.
Allen Press. (2007, September 21). Why Are Freshwater Mussels In Decline?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070914163735.htm
Allen Press. "Why Are Freshwater Mussels In Decline?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070914163735.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins