Role of ecological factors and reproductive strategies in structuring freshwater mussel communities

  • Authors: Haag, Wendell R.; Warren, Melvin L.
  • Publication Year: 1998
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 55: 297-306.

Abstract

Freshwater mussel community composition within two drainage basins in Alabama, U.S.A., was better explained by patterns of variability in the fish community and the type of strategy used by mussels for infecting host-fishes than by patterns of variability in microhabitat. Mussel species richness increased in a downstream direction, and large-stream sites were characterized by a distinctive faunal assemblage that was similar between drainages. In contrast, faunal composition of headwater sites varied widely between drainages. Patterns of mussel community variation were correlated with patterns of fish community variation but not with habitat. Densities of host-specialist mussels with elaborate host-attracting mechanisms and host-generalist mussels were independent of host-fish densities, and these mussels were present throughout the drainages. Densities of host-specialist mussels without elaborate host-attracting mechanisms were correlated positively with host-fish densities and were absent or rare in headwater and midreach streams. Haag and Warren propose that mussel species dependent on host-fish density are restricted to sites with stable numbers of hosts, but mussels not dependent on host-fish density are able to persist in areas with more unstable fish assemblages, such as headwaters.

  • Citation: Haag, Wendell R.; Warren, Melvin L., Jr. 1998. Role of ecological factors and reproductive strategies in structuring freshwater mussel communities. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 55: 297-306.
  • Posted Date: April 1, 1980
  • Modified Date: August 22, 2006
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.