Results of testing the comparatory method: The curvature of the shell valve frontal section is inappropriate as a systematic character for the freshwater pearl mussel of the genus Margaritifera

Abstract

This paper continues a discussion on the number of pearl mussel species of the genus Margaritifera in northern Europe. A biometric study of 1711 pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera shells from 15 rivers in Russia and Latvia (basins of the White and Baltic seas) has been conducted. All the examined samples fall into two groups: the northern group (with the shells more flattened on average, f. margaritifera) and the southern one (with more convex shells, f. elongata); the boundary between these groups is at 63° N. Analysis of intrapopulation variation has shown that the samples contain individuals that correspond to f. margaritifera, f. elongata, and f. borealis. However, any hiatus between these forms is absent in all the samples, and individuals belonging to two intermediate forms are rather frequent. The hypothesis on the species specificity of the shell valve frontal section has not been confirmed based on examination of large shell samples. The pearl mussels inhabiting rivers of Northern Europe belong to a single species, M. margaritifera.

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Correspondence to I. N. Bolotov.

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Original Russian Text © I.N. Bolotov, A.A. Makhrov, Yu.V. Bespalaya, I.V. Vikhrev, O.V. Aksenova, P.E. Aspholm, M.Yu. Gofarov, A.N. Ostrovskii, I.Yu. Popov, I.S. Pal’tser, M. Rudzite, M. Rudzitis, I.S. Voroshilova, S.E. Sokolova, 2013, published in Izvestiya Akademii Nauk, Seriya Biologicheskaya, 2013, No. 2, pp. 245–256.

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Bolotov, I.N., Makhrov, A.A., Bespalaya, Y.V. et al. Results of testing the comparatory method: The curvature of the shell valve frontal section is inappropriate as a systematic character for the freshwater pearl mussel of the genus Margaritifera . Biol Bull Russ Acad Sci 40, 221–231 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1062359013020027

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Keywords

  • Comparatory Method
  • Biology Bulletin
  • Brown Trout
  • Pearl Mussel
  • Logarithmic Spiral