Long-Lived Lake Molluscs as Island Faunas: A Bivalve Perspective

  • Frank P. Wesselingh
Part of the Topics In Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 29)

The evolutionary biology of long-lived lake bivalves, a group that has received comparatively little attention compared to, for example, gastropods and ostracods, is reviewed. Bivalve faunas of different (fossil and extant) long-lived lakes are characterised, and evolutionary aspects, such as the paucity of radiations of common cosmopolitan freshwater groups like sphaeriid and corbiculid clams are addressed. Special attention is given to the corbulid radiations in Miocene Lake Pebas of Western Amazonia. The ability to evolve morphological and ecological characteristics in long-lived lake biota that exceed the range of variation of their relatives in “ordinary” (non-long-lived lake) environments is discussed and termed “supralimital evolution”. Several examples are discussed that show that such evolution is facilitated by the availability of empty biotopes after ecological crises in ecosystems at the onset of long-lived lake stages that are stable on ecological time scales. Implications for uniformitarian applications of long-lived lake biota are discussed.


Late Miocene Left Valve Hinge Plate Adductor Scar Pallial Line 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank P. Wesselingh
    • 1
  1. 1.Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum NaturalisThe Netherlands

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