Integrative taxonomy, biogeography and conservation of freshwater mussels (Unionidae) in Russia

Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 20;10(1):3072. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-59867-7.


Freshwater mussels are ecosystem engineers and keystone species in aquatic environments. Unfortunately, due to dramatic declines this fauna is among the most threatened globally. Here, we clarify the taxonomy and biogeography of Russian Unionidae species based on the most comprehensive multi-locus dataset sampled to date. We revise the distribution and assess the conservation status for each species. This fauna comprises 16 native species from 11 genera and 4 tribes: Anodonta, Pseudanodonta (Anodontini); Amuranodonta, Beringiana, Buldowskia, Cristaria, Sinanodonta (Cristariini); Middendorffinaia, Nodularia, Unio (Unionini); and Lanceolaria (Lanceolariini). No country-level endemic species are known in Russia, except for Buldowskia suifunica that may also occur in China. Sinanodonta woodiana, a non-native species, was introduced from China. Russia comprises the northern parts of Western and Eastern Palearctic subregions. The first subregion with six species encompasses a huge area from the western boundary of Russia to the Lena Basin in Siberia. The second subregion with 10 species covers the Amur Basin, rivers east of the Lena Basin, coastal basins of the Japan Sea, and the North Pacific Islands. The fauna of Russia primarily includes widespread generalist species that are here considered Least Concern (LC). However, Buldowskia suifunica and Sinanodonta lauta have restricted distributions and are assessed here as Vulnerable (VU) and Endangered (EN), respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Shells / anatomy & histology
  • Animals
  • Biodiversity
  • Bivalvia / classification*
  • Bivalvia / genetics
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Fresh Water
  • Genetic Loci
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Phylogeography*
  • Russia
  • Species Specificity