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 Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

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: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>