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Freshwater Mollusk Inventory of the Duck River Basin, Tennessee--A Preliminary Report

U.S. Geological Survey
by Steven A. Ahlstedt1, Paul D. Johnson2, Jeffrey R. Powell3, Robert S. Butler4, Mark Fagg5, Don Hubbs6, Katherine Klyce2, Sabrina F. Novak2, and Sally R. Palmer7

This poster is available as a pdf.


The Duck River Basin located in south-central Tennessee is recognized as one of the most biologically diverse basins in North America. This treasured resource boasts over 140 species of fish, 50 mussels, and 25 snails, many of which are endemic. Originating on the Eastern Highland Rim, the Duck River traverses some 260 miles across three different physiographic regions before joining the Tennessee River. The greatest potential threats to the Duck River Basin's rich diversity are changing land-use patterns, industrial and wastewater discharges, increasing water demands, and streamflow alteration from Normandy Reservoir.

Between 2001 and 2002, mollusks were inventoried at 112 sites throughout the basin to document changes in species richness, distribution, and densities that have occurred since the early 1900s. To examine changes in historical species richness and distributions, a database of over 2,500 museum records was assembled. While 74 species historically occurred in the basin, 55 taxa remain, including 3 federally listed species (Epioblama capsaeformis, Lemiox rimosus, and Quadrula intermedia).

1 U.S. Geological Survey, 1820 Midpark Drive, Suite A, Knoxville, TN 37921
2 Tennessee Aquarium Research Institute, 5385 Red Clay Road, Cohutta, GA 30710
3 U.S. Geological Survey, 640 Grassmere Park, Suite 100, Nashville, TN 37211
4 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 160 Zillicoa Street, Asheville, NC 28801
5 Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, 3030 Wildlife Way, Morristown, TN 37814
6 Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, PO Box 70, Camden, TN 32801
7 The Nature Conservancy, Duck River Alliance, 715 N. Main Street, Columbia, TN 38401

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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