Hydrobiologia

, Volume 678, Issue 1, pp 17–36

Freshwater mussel (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionoida) richness and endemism in the ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar based on comprehensive museum sampling

Primary Research Paper

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess freshwater mussel (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionoida) species distributions among the freshwater ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar to discover areas of high richness and endemism. These are among the top criteria for identifying biodiversity hotspots and establishing conservation priorities. Distributions were determined from museum specimens in 17 collections. In total, 5,612 records for 87 unionoid species could each be assigned to one of 90 freshwater ecoregions. The majority of species (55%) are known from only one (34 spp.) or two (14) ecoregions. Only three are known from more than 20 ecoregions: Etheria elliptica (38 ecoregions), Chambardia wahlbergi (25), and Mutela rostrata (21). The most species-rich ecoregions are Lake Victoria Basin (17 spp.), Upper Nile (16), Upper Congo (14), Senegal–Gambia (13), and Sudanic Congo–Oubangi (13). Those with the most endemic species are Lake Tanganyika (8 spp.), Lake Victoria Basin (6), Bangweulu–Mweru (4), and Lake Malawi (3). Twenty-five ecoregions have no known freshwater mussels. These patterns are significantly correlated with fish and general freshwater mollusk richness. Unionoid richness also varies significantly among major habitat types. These patterns are relevant to biogeography and conservation and indicate areas in need of further research. We argue that freshwater mussels are valuable as focal species for conservation assessments, and they themselves merit management consideration for their ecosystem functions and distributions in imperiled habitats. It is recommended that field surveys be conducted to determine the current status of species in all areas of Africa and Madagascar.

Keywords

Unionidae Iridinidae Etheriidae Margaritiferidae Africa Madagascar Ecoregions 

Supplementary material

10750_2011_810_MOESM1_ESM.doc (168 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 152 kb)

References

  1. Abell, R., M. Thieme, E. Dinerstein & D. Olson, 2002. A Sourcebook for Conducting Biological Assessments and Developing Biodiversity Visions for Ecoregion Conservation. Volume II: Freshwater Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  2. Abell, R. A., M. L. Thieme, C. Revenga, M. Bryer, M. Kottelat, N. Bogutskaya, B. Coad, N. Mandrak, S. C. Balderas, W. Bussing, M. L. J. Stiassny, P. Skelton, G. R. Allen, P. Unmack, A. Naseka, R. Ng, N. Sindorf, J. Robertson, E. Armijo, J. V. Higgins, T. J. Heibel, E. Wikramanayake, D. Olson, H. L. López, R. E. Reis, J. G. Lundberg, M. H. Sabaj Pérez & P. Petry, 2008. Freshwater ecoregions of the world: a new map of biogeographic units for freshwater biodiversity conservation. BioScience 58: 403–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agapow, P.-M., O. R. P. Bininda-Emonds, K. A. Crandall, J. L. Gittleman, G. M. Mace, J. C. Marshall & A. Purvis, 2004. The impact of species concept on biodiversity studies. Quarterly Review of Biology 79: 161–179.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alonso, L. E. & L.-A. Nordin, 2003. A Rapid Biological Assessment of the Aquatic Ecosystems of the Okavango Delta, Botswana: High Water Survey. Conservation International, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  5. Appleton, C. C., 1979. The Unionacea (Mollusca, Lamellibranchiata) of south-central Africa. Annals of the South African Museum 77: 151–174.Google Scholar
  6. Appleton, C. C., 1996. Freshwater Molluscs of Southern Africa, with a Chapter on Bilharzia and its Snail Hosts. University of Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg.Google Scholar
  7. Araujo, R., J. Reis, A. Machordom, C. Toledo, M. J. Madeira, I. Gómez, J. C. Velasco, J. Morales, J. M. Barea, P. Ondina & I. Ayala, 2009a. The naiades of the Iberian Peninsula. Iberus 27: 7–72.Google Scholar
  8. Araujo, R., C. Toledo & A. Machordom, 2009b. Redescription of Unio gibbus Spengler, 1793, a West Palearctic freshwater mussel with hookless glochidia. Malacologia 51: 131–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Araujo, R., C. Toledo, D. Van Damme, M. Ghamizi & A. Machordom, 2009c. Margaritifera marocana (Pallary, 1918): a valid species inhabiting Moroccan rivers. Journal of Molluscan Studies 75: 95–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Barnhart, M. C., W. R. Haag & W. R. Roston, 2008. Adaptations to host infection and larval parasitism in Unionoida. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 27: 370–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Beadle, L. C., 1981. The Inland Waters of Tropical Africa: An Introduction to Tropical Limnology, 2nd ed. Longman, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Bortolus, A., 2008. Error cascades in the biological sciences: the unwanted consequences of using bad taxonomy in ecology. Ambio 37: 114–118.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Boss, K. J., 1974. Oblomovism in the Mollusca. Transactions of the American Microscopical Society 93: 460–481.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brown, D. S., 1994. Freshwater Snails of Africa and their Medical Importance, 2nd ed. Taylor & Francis Ltd., London.Google Scholar
  15. Connolly, M., 1939. A monographic study of South African non-marine Mollusca. Annals of the South African Museum 33: 1–660.Google Scholar
  16. Cummings, K. S. & D. L. Graf, 2009. Mollusca: Bivalvia. In Thorp, J. H. & A. P. Covich (eds), Ecology and Classification of North American Freshwater Invertebrates, 3rd ed. Academic Press, Elsevier, New York: 309–384.Google Scholar
  17. Daget, J., 1998. Catalogue raisonné des Mollusques bivalves d’eau douce africains. Backhuys Publishers/Orstom, Leiden/Paris.Google Scholar
  18. Darwall, W. R. T. & J.-C. Vié, 2005. Identifying important sites for conservation of freshwater biodiversity: extending the species-based approach. Fisheries Management and Ecology 12: 287–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dudgeon, D., A. H. Arthington, M. O. Gessner, Z.-I. Kawabata, D. J. Knowler, C. Lévêque, R. J. Naiman, A.-H. Prieur-Richard, D. Soto, M. L. J. Stiassny & C. A. Sullivan, 2006. Freshwater biodiversity: importance, threats, status and conservation challenges. Biological Reviews 81: 163–182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Falkner, G., 1994. Systematik vorderorientalischer najaden als vorstudie zur bearbeitung archäologischer funde. Forschungen und Berichte zur Vor- und Frühgeschlichte in Baden-Württemberg 53: 135–162.Google Scholar
  21. Genner, M. J. & G. F. Turner, 2005. The Mbuna cichlids of Lake Malawi: a model for rapid speciation and adaptive radiation. Fish and Fisheries 6: 1–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Germain, L., 1907. Note sur la présence du genre Ætheria dans les rivières de madagascar. Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle 13: 225–227.Google Scholar
  23. Germain, L., 1925. Mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles. Mission Rohan-Chabot, Angola et Rhodesia (1912–1914) 4: 199–238.Google Scholar
  24. Gotelli, N. J. & R. K. Colwell, 2001. Quantifying biodiversity: procedures and pitfalls in the measurement and comparison of species richness. Ecology Letters 4: 379–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Graf, D. L., 1997. Sympatric speciation of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoidea): a model. American Malacological Bulletin 14: 35–40.Google Scholar
  26. Graf, D. L., 2007. Palearctic freshwater mussel (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionoida) diversity and the Comparatory Method as a species concept. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 156: 71–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Graf, D. L. & K. S. Cummings, 2006a. Palaeoheterodont diversity (Mollusca: Trigonioida + Unionoida): what we know and what we wish we knew about freshwater mussel evolution. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 148: 343–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Graf, D. L. & K. S. Cummings, 2006b. Freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionoida) of Angola, with description of a new species, Mutela wistarmorrisi. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 155: 163–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Graf, D. L. & K. S. Cummings, 2007a. Review of the systematics and global diversity of freshwater mussel species (Bivalvia: Unionoida). Journal of Molluscan Studies 73: 291–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Graf, D. L. & K. S. Cummings, 2007b. Preliminary review of the freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionoida) of northern Africa, with an emphasis on the Nile. Journal of the Egyptian German Society of Zoology 53D: 89–118.Google Scholar
  31. Graf, D. L. & K. S. Cummings, 2009. Actual and alleged freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionoida) from Madagascar and the Mascarenes, with description of a new genus, Germainaia. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 158: 221–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Graf, D. L., A. Jørgensen, D. Van Damme & T. K. Kristensen, 2011. The status and distribution of freshwater molluscs (Mollusca). In Brooks, E., D. Allen & W. R. T. Darwall (eds), The Status and Distribution of Freshwater Biodiversity in Central Africa. IUCN, Gland, Switzeralnd and Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar
  33. Haas, F., 1969. Superfamilia Unionacea. Das Tierreich, lief. 88. Walter de Gruyter and Co., Berlin.Google Scholar
  34. Hammer, Ø., D. A. T. Harper & P. D. Ryan, 2001. Paletontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontologica Electronica 4: 1–9.Google Scholar
  35. Heck, S., C. Béné & R. Reyes-Gaskin, 2007. Investing in African fisheries: building links to the millennium developmental goals. Fish and Fisheries 8: 211–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Heck, K. L., Jr., G. Van Belle & D. Simberloff, 1975. Explicit calculation of the rarefaction diversity measurement and the determination of sufficient sample size. Ecology 56: 1459–1461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hughs, R. H. & J. S. Hughs, 1992. A Directory of African Wetlands. IUCN/UNEP/WCMC, Gland, Switzerland/Nairobi, Kenya/Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar
  38. Jackson, R. B., S. R. Carpenter, C. N. Dahm, D. M. Mcknight, R. J. Naiman, S. L. Postel & S. W. Running, 2001. Water in a changing world. Ecological Applications 11: 1027–1045.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Johnson, N., C. Revenga & J. Echeverria, 2001. Managing water for people and nature. Science 292: 1071–1072.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Kat, P. W., 1984. Parasitism and the Unionacea (Bivalvia). Biological Reviews 59: 189–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kondo, T., 1990. Reproductive biology of a small bivalve Grandidieria burtoni in Lake Tanganyika. Venus 49: 120–125.Google Scholar
  42. Kristensen, T. K., C. C. Appleton, B. Curtis & A.-S. Stensgaard, 2009. The status and distribution of freshwater molluscs. In Darwall, W. R. T., K. G. Smith, D. Tweddle & P. Skelton (eds), The Status and Distribution of Freshwater Biodiversity in Southern Africa. IUCN and SAIAB, Gland, Switzerland and Grahmstown, South Africa: 38–47.Google Scholar
  43. Kristensen, T. K., A.-S. Stensgaard, M. B. Seddon & A. McIvor, 2010. The status and distribution of freshwater molluscs (Mollusca). In Smith, K. G., M. D. Diop, M. Niane & W. R. T. Darwall (eds), The Status and Distribution of Freshwater Biodiversity in Western Africa. IUCN, Gland, Switzeralnd and Cambridge, UK: 33–40.Google Scholar
  44. Lehner, B., 2005. Climate change, human water use, and freshwater ecosystems in Africa: looking toward the future. In Thieme, M. L., R. A. Abell, M. L. J. Stiassny, P. Skelton, B. Lehner, G. G. Teugels, E. Dinerstein, A. K. Toham, N. Burgess & D. Olson (eds), Freshwater Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar: A Conservation Assessment. Island Press, Washington, DC: 86–89.Google Scholar
  45. Lévêque, C., 1997. Biodiversity Dynamics and Conservation: The Freshwater Fish of Tropical Africa. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar
  46. Lundberg, J. G., M. Kottelat, G. R. Smith, M. L. J. Stiassny & A. C. Gill, 2000. So many fishes, so little time: an overview of recent ichthyological discovery in continental waters. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 87: 26–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lydeard, C., R. H. Cowie, W. Ponder, A. E. Bogan, P. Bouchet, S. A. Clark, K. S. Cummings, T. J. Frest, O. Gargominy, D. G. Herbert, R. Hershler, K. E. Perez, B. Roth, M. Seddon, E. E. Strong & F. G. Thompson, 2004. The global decline of nonmarine mollusks. BioScience 54: 321–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mace, G. M., 2004. The role of taxonomy in species conservation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 359: 711–719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mamonekene, V., 2005. Lower Congo rapids. In Thieme, M. L., R. A. Abell, M. L. J. Stiassny, P. Skelton, B. Lehner, G. G. Teugels, E. Dinerstein, A. K. Toham, N. Burgess & D. Olson (eds), Freshwater Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar: A Conservation Assessment. Island Press, Washington, DC: 296–297.Google Scholar
  50. Mandahl-Barth, G., 1954. The freshwater mollusks of Uganda and adjacent territories. Annales de Musée Royal du Congo Belge, Sciences Zoologiques 32: 1–206.Google Scholar
  51. Mandahl-Barth, G., 1988. Studies on African Freshwater Bivalves. Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory, Charlottenlund.Google Scholar
  52. Omernik, J. M. & R. G. Baily, 1997. Distinguishing between watersheds and ecoregions. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 33: 935–949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pain, T. & F. R. Woodward, 1968. A monograph of the African bivalves of the genera Brazzaea Bourguignat, Mweruella Haas, Prisodontopsis Tomlin and Pseudospatha Simpson. Revue de Zoologie et de Botanique Africaines 77: 190–220.Google Scholar
  54. Pilsbry, H. A., 1919. A review of the land mollusks of the Belgian Congo chiefly based on the collections of the American Museum Congo Expedition, 1909–1915. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 40: 1–370.Google Scholar
  55. Pilsbry, H. A. & J. Bequaert, 1927. The aquatic mollusks of the Belgian Congo, with a geographical and ecological account of Congo malacology. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 53: 69–602.Google Scholar
  56. Ponder, W. F., G. A. Carter, P. Flemons & R. R. Chapman, 2001. Evaluation of museum collection data for use in biodiversity assessment. Conservation Biology 15: 648–657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Pyke, G. H. & P. R. Ehrlich, 2010. Biological collections and ecological/environmental research: a review, some observations and a look to the future. Biological Reviews 85: 247–266.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rees, W. J., 1965. The aerial dispersal of Mollusca. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London 36: 269–282.Google Scholar
  59. Reid, W. V., 1998. Biodiversity hotspots. TREE 13: 275–280.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Richardson, J. M. L. & M. H. Richards, 2008. A randomisation program to compare species-richness values. Insect Conservation and Diversity 1: 135–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Roberts, T. R., 1975. Geographical distribution of African freshwater fishes. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 57: 249–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Schütt, H., 1983. Die molluskenfauna der süßwässer im einzugsgebiet des orontes unter berücksichtigung benachbarter flußsysteme. Archiv für Molluskenkunde 113: 17–91.Google Scholar
  63. Sitoki, L., J. Gichuki, C. Ezekiel, F. Wanda, O. C. Mkumbo & B. E. Marshall, 2010. The environment of Lake Victoria (East Africa): current status and historical changes. International Review of Hydrobiology 95: 209–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Seddon, M., C. Appleton, D. Van Damme & D. L. Graf, 2011. Freshwater molluscs of Africa: diversity, distribution, and conservation. In Darwall, W. R. T., K. G. Smith, D. J. Allen, R. A. Holland, I. J. Harrison & E. G. E. Brooks (eds), The Diversity of Life in African Freshwaters: Under Water, Under Threat. An Analysis of the Status and Distribution of Freshwater Species Throughout Mainland Africa. IUCN, Cambridge, UK and Gland, Switzerland: 92–125.Google Scholar
  65. Seehausen, O., 2000. Explosive speciation rates and unusual species richness in haplochromine cichlid fishes: effects of sexual selection. Advances in Ecological Research 31: 237–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Spooner, D. E. & C. C. Vaughn, 2006. Context-dependent effects of freshwater mussels on stream benthic communities. Freshwater Biology 51: 1016–1024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Strayer, D. L., 2006. Challenges for freshwater invertebrate conservation. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 25: 271–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Strayer, D. L. & D. Dudgeon, 2010. Freshwater biodiversity conservation: recent progress and future challenges. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29: 344–358.Google Scholar
  69. Suarez, A. V. & N. D. Tsutsui, 2004. The value of museum collections to research and society. BioScience 54: 66–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Thieme, M. L., R. A. Abell, M. L. J. Stiassny, P. Skelton, B. Lehner, G. G. Teugels, E. Dinerstein, A. K. Toham, N. Burgess & D. Olson (eds), 2005. Freshwater Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar: A Conservation Assessment. Island Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  71. Tipper, J. C., 1979. Rarefaction and rarefiction—the use and abuse of a method in paleoecology. Paleobiology 5: 423–434.Google Scholar
  72. Van Damme, D., M. Ghamizi, G. Soliman, A. McIvor & M. B. Seddon, 2010. The status and distribution of freshwater molluscs. In García, N., A. Cuttelod & D. Abdul Malak (eds), The Status and Distribution of Freshwater Biodiversity in Northern Africa. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, Cambridge, UK and Malaga, Spain: 29–50.Google Scholar
  73. Van Damme, D. & B. Van Bocxlaer, 2009. Freshwater molluscs of the Nile Basin, past and present. In Dumont, H. J. (ed.), The Nile: Origin, Environments, Limnology and Human Use. Monographiae Biologicae 89: 585–629.Google Scholar
  74. Vaughn, C. C. & C. C. Hakenkamp, 2001. The functional role of burrowing bivalves in freshwater ecosystems. Freshwater Biology 46: 1431–1446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Vaughn, C. C. & C. M. Taylor, 2000. Macoecology of a host-parasite relationship. Ecography 23: 11–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Vaughn, C. C., K. B. Gido & D. E. Spooner, 2004. Ecosystem processes performed by unionid mussels in stream mesocosms: species roles and effects of abundance. Hydrobiologia 527: 35–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Vaughn, C. C., D. E. Spooner & H. S. Galbraith, 2007. Context-dependent species identity effects within a functional group of filter-feeding bivalves. Ecology 88: 1654–1662.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Wächtler, K., M. C. D. Mansur & T. Richter, 2001. Larval types and early postlarval biology in naiads (Unionoida). In Bauer, G. & K. Wächtler (eds), Ecology and Evolution of the Freshwater Mussels Unionoida. Springer-Verlag, Berlin: 93–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Watters, G. T., 1992. Unionids, fishes, and the species-area curve. Journal of Biogeography 19: 481–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Watters, G. T., 1994. An Annotated Bibliography of the Reproduction and Propagation of the Unionoidea (Primarily of North America). Ohio Biological Survey Miscellaneous Contribution 1. Ohio Biological Survey, The Ohio State University, Columbus.Google Scholar
  81. Wheeler, Q. D. & R. Meier (eds), 2000. Species Concepts and Phylogenetic Theory: A Debate. Columbia University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  82. Witte, F., J. H. Wanink & M. Kishe-Machumu, 2007. Species distinction and the biodiversity crisis in Lake Victoria. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 136: 1146–1159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Woodward, G., D. M. Perkins & L. E. Brown, 2010. Climate change and freshwater ecosystems: impacts across multiple levels of organization. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 365: 2093–2106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Zogaris, S., A. N. Economou & P. Dimopoulos, 2009. Ecoregions in the southern Balkans: should their boundaries be revised? Environmental Management 43: 682–697.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  2. 2.Illinois Natural History SurveyUniversity of IllinoisChampaignUSA

Personalised recommendations