Freshwater Mollusca of the Circumpolar Arctic: a review on their taxonomy, diversity and biogeography

Abstract

Since the end of the 19th century, the circumpolar fauna of freshwater Mollusca has not been reviewed despite the substantial increase of knowledge on this subject. A review of the freshwater mollusks of the Arctic based on an analysis of published data, own results and examination of museum collections is presented. 104 species of Mollusca have been registered, which constitutes less than 2% of the global diversity. The actual diversity of the Circumpolar freshwater molluscs may lie between 100 and 120 species. No endemic taxa are found in the Arctic. The most species-rich Arctic subregion is Siberia, whereas the North America maintains the poorest fauna. The aquatic malacofauna of Beringia is similar to that of North America, and Beringia as a biogeographic region constitutes a part of the Nearctic. The ways of formation of the Circumpolar malacofauna are discussed, with evaluation of dispersal, adaptation, and environmental filtering as the faunogenesis factors. The number of non-alien species in the Circumpolar freshwater malacofauna remains very low, and only one reliable occurrence of an alien species is known. Among the Arctic molluscs only three have a conservation status other than ‘least concern’ or ‘data deficient’, whereas most resident species are widespread and abundant.

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Acknowledgements

We thank numerous colleagues from Russia and other countries who helped during the fieldwork and donated us specimens for our malacological research. Also we are deeply indebted to curators and staff of zoological museums visited by us, for their friendly and invaluable help. We are grateful to Marco Neiber (Hamburg) and an anonymous referee for their numerous and very valuable comments on the first version of this text. This review was prepared under framework of the project 19-14-00066 “The influence of the landscape-zonal conditions and anthropogenic impact on the Arctic freshwater ecosystems and their biological diversity (in geological and historical timescales)” funded by the Russian Scientific Fund. Some preliminary works generated by the authors’ team, including some field samplings, examination of museum collections, and genetic analyses of the freshwater Arctic molluscs, were possible due to financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (projects Nos. 17-44-290016_r_a, 17-44-290436_r_a, 19-04-00270_a, 20-04-00361_a) and grant from the President of Russia (project No. МК-1720.2019.4). The Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation supported the study of biodiversity of freshwater molluscs (project Nos. АААА-А17-117033010132-2 and FSRU-2020-005).

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Appendix 1.

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 46 kb) A list of species of freshwater Mollusca of the Circumpolar zone of the World

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Vinarski, M.V., Bolotov, I.N., Aksenova, O.V. et al. Freshwater Mollusca of the Circumpolar Arctic: a review on their taxonomy, diversity and biogeography. Hydrobiologia 848, 2891–2918 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-020-04270-6

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Keywords

  • Freshwater mollusks
  • Arctic
  • Circumpolar zone
  • Species diversity
  • Biogeography
  • Taxonomy
  • Faunogenesis