Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: West Virginia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Mynsberge, A.R., M.P. Strager, J.M. Strager and P.M. Mazik. 2009. Developing predictive models for freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Unionidae) in the Appalachians: Limitations and directions for future research. Ecoscience 16:387-398


Eastern North American contains the greatest diversity of freshwater mussels in the world. Additional information on threats and on habitat requirements and distributions of freshwater mussels is neccessary to preserve diverse freshwater mussel communities, as many species are in decline. Models of freshwater mussels can predict species distribution by determining natural and anthropogenic environmental factors within the watershed, riparian area, or upstream that my influence occurrences. Subwatershed-based models developed using existing data preformed well on training datasets, but did not accurately predict independent species occurrences. Additional studies are necessary to evaluate the quality of existing data, the utility of subwatershed-based models, and the feasibility of modelling freshwater mussel distributions across large extents.