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.

Related Articles


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 March 4, 2015 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 March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Rescued Butterflies Get New Home at San Diego Zoo

Rare Rescued Butterflies Get New Home at San Diego Zoo

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 3, 2015) Workers at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park help to save rare butterfly pupae. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Volcano Villarrica Erupts in Southern Chile, Villages Evacuated

Volcano Villarrica Erupts in Southern Chile, Villages Evacuated

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 3, 2015) Chile&apos;s Villarrica volcano gives a spectacular display of lava as it erupts in the early morning hours, prompting several thousand to evacuate. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Fire Burns Iconic SAfrica Mountain

Raw: Fire Burns Iconic SAfrica Mountain

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) Cape Town&apos;s iconic Table Mountain was engulfed by an orange blaze on Monday and Tuesday, blowing thick smoke to the city below, as a wildfire burned across the city&apos;s southern peninsula. (March 3) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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