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Gains and gaps in knowledge surrounding freshwater mollusk ecosystem services

March 23, 2023

Ecosystems provide essential services to people including food, water, climate regulation, and aesthetic experiences. Biodiversity can enhance and stabilize ecosystem function and the resulting services natural systems provide. Freshwater mollusks are a diverse group that provide a variety of ecosystem services through their feeding habits (e.g., filter feeding, grazing), top-down and bottom-up effects on food webs, provisioning of habitat, use as a food resource by people, and cultural importance. Research focused on quantifying the direct and indirect ways mollusks influence ecosystem services may help inform policy makers and the public about the value of mollusk communities to society. The Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society highlighted the need to evaluate mollusk ecosystem services in their 2016 National Strategy for the Conservation of Native Freshwater Mollusks, and, while significant progress has been made, considerable work remains across the research, management, and outreach communities. We briefly review the global status of native freshwater mollusks, assess the current state of knowledge regarding their ecosystem services, and highlight recent advances and knowledge gaps to guide further research and conservation actions. Our intention is to provide ecologists, conservationists, economists, and social scientists with information to improve science-based consideration of the social, ecological, and economic value of mollusk communities to healthy aquatic systems.

Publication Year 2023
Title Gains and gaps in knowledge surrounding freshwater mollusk ecosystem services
DOI 10.31931/fmbc-d-22-00002
Authors Carla L. Atkinson, Garrett W Hopper, Danielle A. Kreeger, Jonathan Lopez, Alexa N Maine, Brandon James Sansom, Astrid Schwalb, Caryn C. Vaughn
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation
Index ID 70250973
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center