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North American Freshwater Mussels
Natural History, Ecology, and Conservation

$199.00 (C)

  • Date Published: August 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521199384

$ 199.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This well-illustrated book highlights freshwater mussels' fabulous diversity, amazing array of often bizarre ecological adaptations, and their dire conservation plight. Summarizing and synthesizing historical and contemporary information as well as original research and analysis, the book describes the diverse array of mussel life history strategies and builds a cohesive narrative culminating in the development of explicit frameworks to explain pervasive patterns in mussel ecology. The fascinating and colorful role of mussels in human society is also described in detail, including the little-known pearl button industry of the early 1900s and the wild and often violent shell harvest of the 1990s. The final chapter details humans' efforts to save these fascinating animals and gives a prognosis for the future of the North American fauna. The book provides the first comprehensive review of mussel ecology and conservation for scientists, natural resource professionals, students, and natural history enthusiasts.

    • Comprehensive review of a wide variety of topics in mussel ecology and conservation
    • Beyond simple review of available literature and provides original analysis and synthesis of information
    • Provides in-depth and engaging narratives pertaining to human uses of mussels and other items of broad natural history interest
    • Book is well-illustrated including many never or rarely seen images
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This well-illustrated book … provides the first comprehensive review of mussel ecology and conservation for scientists, natural resource professionals, students and natural history enthusiasts. A must have for those with a technical interest in North American freshwater mussels."
    The Birdbooker Report

    "Scholarly, clearly written, timely, and synthetic, this book emphasizes its subtitle's first two topics."

    "North American Freshwater Mussels is the first comprehensive modern review of [the] natural history, biology, ecology and conservation of these highly endangered animals. This [is] the book I would have loved to have had as a graduate student first becoming interested in freshwater mussels. I highly recommend this volume to all biologists working with freshwater mussels in any capacity including conservation, captive propagation, and biology and community ecology. It should be on the bookshelf of all freshwater biologists. I also recommend this volume to any person with questions or an interest in learning more about this highly endangered group of animals."
    Arthur E. Bogan, North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, Freshwater Science

    "This book provides a thorough literature review of the available information, and a detailed analysis and synthesis of this information. Haag does a magnificent job at compiling this information, summarizing it, and attempts to make some important inferences based on the available data. Overall, the book is a fantastic contribution to the ecological literature and … very nicely produced … Given the wealth of information within this book and the thought-provoking synthesis, [it] should be a part of every aquatic ecologist's bookshelf."
    Carla Atkinson, Ecology

    "… the author provides an excellent and highly readable account of the diversity of this group in terms of biogeography, life history, and ecology, all in the context of conserving the group. This is a highly enjoyable read that finally gives a detailed answer to the frequently asked question heard in the field by most freshwater mussel biologists: "can you eat ‘em?" I am certain that it will serve as an outstanding reference and resource for anyone with an interest in aquatic ecology and conservation biology. With a thorough description of the history of freshwater mussel ecology to reviews of the latest modern literature, Haag highlights numerous important areas in need of additional research. This book is a "must read" for biology students seeking novel ideas and untested hypotheses for research on freshwater mussels."
    David T. Zanatta, The Quarterly Review of Biology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521199384
    • length: 538 pages
    • dimensions: 249 x 183 x 36 mm
    • weight: 1.13kg
    • contains: 123 b/w illus. 21 colour illus. 3 maps 30 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction to mussels and mussel ecology
    2. Catching the mussel bug: a history of the study of mussel ecology in North America
    3. Diversity and biogeography
    4. Aquatic habitats and mussel assemblages
    5. Host use and host infection strategies
    6. These are very different animals: life history variation in mussels
    7. Mussel population biology
    8. Putting it all together: explaining patterns of mussel assemblage structure
    9. Human exploitation of mussels
    10. The decline of the North American mussel fauna: chronology and causes
    11. Mussel conservation: the challenge of protecting a fragmented resource.

  • Author

    Wendell R. Haag
    Wendell R. Haag is a Research Fishery Biologist with the US Forest Service in Oxford, Mississippi. His research on freshwater mussels has spanned twenty-five years and has explored an array of topics including life histories, fish host relationships, age and growth, biogeography, sampling methods, population dynamics and conservation issues. In 2008, he was recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers presented at The White House. He has published more than fifty peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and technical reports, as well as a number of popular articles.

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