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Natural history informing research: a review of The Freshwater Mussels of Ohio


Freshwater mussels are one of the most imperiled groups of organisms in North America; nearly half of the known native taxa are either extinct or on the verge (Master et al., 2000). Their habitats have undergone numerous changes over the last two centuries: impoundment construction, pollution, land use change, overharvesting, channeling and dredging and the introduction of invasive species. Researchers and conservationists generally accept that these changes contribute to mussel declines but have had difficulty translating this general knowledge into appropriate conservation action for a particular species or site. There is an urgent need to enhance our understanding of freshwater mussel ecology in order to make informed conservation decisions.