Conservation Partners connecting working lands conservation from the Gulf of Mexico to the High Plains with the vision of a sustainable landscape of natural resources resilient to the threats and stressors associated with our changing world.

(903) 570-9626
Conservation Coordinator 

    Quadrula sp on sand

    Quadrula species
    Wes Daniel

Consolidating ecological knowledge about native freshwater mussels of the Southeast

Formal Title: Strategic Coordination of Quadrula Species Research and Conservation

Research Focus:

Conservation & Management Challenges:

The southeast United States’ rivers and streams support the most diverse unionid (freshwater mussel) fauna on earth.  These species are a focus of the GCP LCC because their sensitivity to habitat degradation, fish community changes, and changes in water quality and quantity make them akin to the proverbial ‘canary in the coal mine.’  They are essential components of riverine ecosystems, influencing nutrient cycling and macro-invertebrate diversity.  Their decline during the past century stems from overharvest, water pollution, habitat fragmentation, and introduction of nonindigenous predators and exotic mollusks; however, habitat degradation has been the most influential.

Research Overview:

A lack of knowledge of these species’ life history, current distribution, and ecology as well as limited understanding of how threats specifically affect mussels in different regions and over different spatial scales limits the ability to set population objectives and define strategic conservation needs.  The goal of this project is to compile information on current distributions, life history traits, ecology and conservation needs of Quadrula species and other sympatric unionid species, as well as management actions occurring and proposed for these species.  Principal investigators propose to do this work by conducting a systematic literature review as well as consulting with regional experts.  When possible, this information will be integrated with species distributions and management action locations into a spatially-explicit database.


This project was initiated in May 2015 and completed in June 2016.  

The Quadrula project final report, as well as two datasets/maps showing (a) imperiled species presence in LA, TX, OK as well as (b) point, HUC 12 and stream line presence of mussel species are available on ScienceBase.

Datasets and GIS functions will eventually be provided through the GCP Conservation Planning Atlas

View a recorded webinar presenting the results of this Quadrula project




This project was initiated in June 2015 and completed in summer 2016.


Principal Investigators: Dr. Dana M. Infante, Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife at Michigan State University, Manly Miles Bldg. 1405 S. Harrison Rd. STE 318b. East Lansing, MI 48823;

Dr. Wesley M. Daniel, Research Associate in the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife at Michigan State University, Manly Miles Bldg. 1405 S. Harrison Rd. STE 318b. East Lansing, MI 48823;

Landscape Conservation Cooperative Point-of-Contact: Bill Bartush, Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative, National Wetlands Research Center, 700 Cajundome Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70506  

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