This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Diversity, abundance, and size structure of bivalve assemblages in the Sipsey River, Alabama†
Version of Record online: 8 SEP 2010
This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Published in 2010 by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
Volume 20, Issue 6, pages 655–667, September/October 2010
How to Cite
Haag, W. R. and Warren, M. L. (2010), Diversity, abundance, and size structure of bivalve assemblages in the Sipsey River, Alabama. Aquatic Conserv: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst., 20: 655–667. doi: 10.1002/aqc.1138
- Issue online: 8 SEP 2010
- Version of Record online: 8 SEP 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 9 JUN 2010
- Manuscript Received: 11 MAR 2010
- freshwater mussels;
- Mobile Basin
- 1.Patterns of mussel diversity and assemblage structure in the Sipsey River, Alabama, are described. Qualitative data were used to describe river-wide patterns of diversity. Quantitative data were used to describe the structure of mussel assemblages at several sites based on whole-substrate sampling that ensured all size classes were detected.
- 2.Major human impacts to the stream are limited to apparent effects of coal mining in the headwaters and the impoundment of the lower 9 km of the river by a dam on the Tombigbee River. These impacts resulted in a sharp decline in mussel diversity in the headwaters, and extirpation or decline of populations of several large-river species in the lower river that were probably dependent on colonization from the Tombigbee River.
- 3.Despite localized impacts, mussel assemblages throughout much of the river appear to be mostly intact and self-sustaining. These assemblages have several attributes that differ substantially from those in more degraded streams: (1) high retention of historical species richness; (2) gradual, longitudinal increase in species richness from upstream to downstream, resulting in distinctive headwater and downstream assemblages; (3) ubiquity of most species within particular river segments; (4) low dominance and high evenness with large populations of many species; and (5) frequent recruitment for most species resulting in occurrence of individuals in many size classes.
- 4.Few detailed and demographically unbiased descriptions of relatively intact mussel assemblages exist. We propose that characteristics described in the Sipsey River can be used as a baseline comparison for assessing relative degree of assemblage alteration in other streams and can serve as goals for restoration efforts. Published in 2010 by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.