Alabama Pearlshell

North America


Margaritifera marrianae


Why are they endangered?

Habitat modification
Water pollution

The Alabama Pearlshell is a freshwater mussel species endemic to the United States. It is known to be a suspension feeder, with its diet consisting of phytoplankton, protozoans, and bacteria.

The shallow water habitats where this bivalve mollusc species can be found are continuously subjected to various types of disturbances and pollution which directly lead to population decline. Modernization efforts and other types of developmental activities cause heavy sedimentation and siltation to the water. First, it increases the presence of algae which depletes oxygen levels. Second, it decreases the presence of glochidial hosts (because mussel larvae are obligate parasites to host fishes).