North American freshwater mussels: natural history, ecology, and conservation
Interest in freshwater mussels is growing for two important reasons. First, freshwater mussels are among the most endangered organisms on Earth, and many species are already extinct or face imminent extinction. Their desperate conservation plight has gained intense interest from natural resource agencies, nongovernmental conservation organizations, academia, and industry, and mussels are now the centerpiece of conservation initiatives ranging from local watershed groups to global programs. Second, recent research on mussel ecology, spurred in large part by the needs of the conservation community, has revealed much about the remarkable life history of these animals.