Skip to Main Content
Diversity, abundance, and size structure of bivalve assemblages in the Sipsey River, AlabamaAuthor(s): Wendell R. Haag; Melvin L. Jr. Warren
Source: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20:655–667
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
PDF: View PDF (620.52 KB)
Description1. 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.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationHaag, Wendell R.; Warren, Melvin L. Jr. 2010. Diversity, abundance, and size structure of bivalve assemblages in the Sipsey River, Alabama. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 20:655–667.
Keywordsfreshwater mussels, Unionidae, Corbicula, community, demography, recruitment, viability, conservation, Mobile Basin
- Ecogeography of the herpetofauna of a nothern California watershed: linking species patterns to landscape processes
- Role of ecological factors and reproductive strategies in structuring freshwater mussel communities
- Age and growth in the Australian freshwater mussel, Westralunio carteri , with an evaluation of the fluorochrome calcein for validating the assumption of annulus formation
XML: View XML