Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Report in BioScience details global decline of nonmarine mollusks

05.04.2004


Experts find multiple threats and many extinctions



In the April, 2004, issue of BioScience, a team of 16 experts from around the world report on the diversity and plight of what may be the world’s most endangered group of animals – nonmarine mollusks (that is, terrestrial and freshwater mollusks). The World Conservation Union lists in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species a total of 1,930 threatened nonmarine mollusks, which is nearly half the number of all known amphibian species, more than twice the number of shark and ray species, and nearly seven times the number of turtle species.

Furthermore, nonmarine mollusks have the dubious honor of having the highest number of documented extinctions of any major taxonomic group. A staggering 42% of the 693 recorded extinctions of all animal species since the year 1500 are mollusks (260 gastropods and 31 bivalves).


Regrettably, nonmarine molluscan extinctions go largely unnoticed by the general public, most biologists, and many conservation agencies, which focus their resources and energy on more charismatic vertebrate species. The extraordinary decline of nonmarine mollusks is due directly to habitat destruction and disruption of natural ecosystem processes. As an integral component of healthy ecosystems, molluscan diversity is valuable both for its own sake and as an indicator of conditions that may affect other species, including our own.

Nonmarine mollusks are members of the second most diverse group of animals, the phylum Mollusca, which includes snails, slugs, clams, mussels and others. There are approximately 24,000 terrestrial and 7,000 freshwater mollusk species for which valid descriptions exist. There are probably 11,000 to 40,000 undescribed terrestrial species and 3,000 to 10,000 undescribed freshwater species. Even the lower estimates exceed the number of all known species of birds, and the higher figures exceed the number of all known species of vertebrates.

Journalists may obtain copies of the article by contacting Donna Royston, AIBS communications representative, or Charles Lydeard of the University of Alabama, lead author of the article.


BioScience publishes commentary and peer-reviewed articles covering a wide range of biological fields. The journal has been published since 1964. AIBS is an umbrella organization for professional scientific societies and organizations that are involved with biology. It represents 86 member societies and organizations with a combined membership of about 240,000.

Donna Royston | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aibs.org/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>