Skip to content

January 23, 2013

Originally posted on Research & Collections:

by Meg Lowman

It’s the biggest conservation crisis that no one talks about.
—Paul Johnson, director, Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center

What group of species is more common in North America than anywhere else?

Freshwater mussels. But this unique group of organisms rarely reaches the headlines or even reaches the center of discussion in school biology classes. Even more amazing is the fact that, of the 297 species found on our continent, two-thirds are concentrated in the Southeastern United States because of the region’s unique geology and relatively stable environment over the past 60 million years. Mussels provided an important food source for Native Americans, fostered the button industry in the 1800s, and constitute an essential part of freshwater food chains.

Mussels operate as filter feeders, removing bacteria and algae from water, which ultimately contributes to water quality. Of the 10 to 700 animals found in one square meter of stream…

View original 312 more words

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 74 other followers

%d bloggers like this: