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Freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionoida) are a major constituent of benthic communities in lowland rivers but populations have been adversely affected by water resource development in many parts of the world. Hyriid mussels were surveyed in the New South Wales section of the Barwon-Darling River and Intersecting Streams to assess habitats, recruitment status and their suitability as indicators of altered flow regimes. Three species were detected: Alathyria jacksoni, Velesunio ambiguus and V. wilsonii. A record for V. wilsonii from the Warrego River system is the first for this species for New South Wales, although it has recently been collected in the Warrego, Paroo and Bulloo river systems in south-western Queensland. Velesunio ambiguus was widely, but patchily, distributed throughout the region and was rare in the Barwon-Darling River, where it was detected mainly in the sloughy margins of weir pools. In contrast, A. jacksoni was typically found in permanently flowing water, with large populations in the Barwon-Darling River and a patchy distribution in waterholes of the Culgoa and Birrie rivers. It was absent from sections of channel that dry during droughts and elsewhere had a strong depth zonation, being most numerous in pools on outer bends and in the thalweg. In downstream weir pools it was found only in a narrow band along the banks of the original river channel. Reduced frequency and duration of flow due to water resource development may threaten the continued existence of this species in the Culgoa River. Very few A. jacksoni had a total length below 100 mm, which may indicate a lack of recruitment, that recruitment is episodic, or that juveniles occupy different habitats from adults. Alathyria jacksoni has the potential to indicate hydrological alteration for the Barwon-Darling and Culgoa rivers. It is responsive to changes in low and zero flows caused by water resource development, but its usefulness as an indicator is hampered by a lack of understanding of the influence of hydrology on recruitment processes.

ANZECC 2000 Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality. National water quality management strategy No.4. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand.
Araujo, R. and Ramos, M. A. 2001. Life-history data on the virtually unknown Margaritifera auricularia. Pp. 143-152 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Freshwater Mussels (Unionoidea), edited by G. Bauer and K. Wächtler. Springer, Berlin.
AWRC 1987 1985 Review of Australia's Water Resources and Water Use, Vol. 1, Water Resource Data Set. Department of Primary Industries and Energy & AGPS, Canberra.
Bauer, G. 1991. Plasticity in life history traits of the freshwater pearl mussel - consequences for the danger of extinction and for conservation measures. Pp. 103-120 in Species Conservation: A Population-Biological Approach, edited by A. Seitz and V. Loeschcke. Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel.
Bogan, A. E. 1998. Freshwater molluscan conservation in North America: problems and practices. Journal of Conchology Special Publ. ( 2), 223-230.
Byrne, M. 1998. Reproduction of river and lake populations of Hyridella depressa (Unionacea: Hyriidae) in New South Wales: implications for their conservation. Hydrobiologia 389: 29-43.
Cairns, J. Jr., McCormick, P. V. and Niederlehner, B. R. 1993. A proposed framework for developing indicators of ecosystem health. Hydrobiologia 263: 1-44.
Cerrato, R. M. 1980. Demographic analysis of bivalve populations. Pp. 417-465 in Skeletal Growth in Aquatic Organisms, edited by D. C. Rhoads and R. A. Lutz. Plenum Press, New York.
Chamberlain, T. K. 1931. Annual growth in freshwater mussels. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries, Washington 46: 713-739.
Christian, A. D. and Harris, J. L. 2005. Development and assessment of a sampling design for mussel assemblages in large streams. American Midland Naturalist 153: 284-292.
DLWC 2003 Western Catchment Blueprint. NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation, Sydney. 77 p.
Gehrke, P. C., Brown, P., Schiller, C. B., Moffatt, D. B. and Bruce, A. M. 1995. River regulation and fish communities in the Murray-Darling River system, Australia. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 11: 363-375.
Hastie, L. C., Boon, P. J., Young, M. R. and Way, S. 2001. The effects of a major flood on an endangered freshwater mussel population. Biological Conservation 98: 107-115.
Humphrey, C. L. 1984. Biology and ecology of the freshwater mussel Velesunio angasi (Bivalvia: Hyriidae) in the Magela Creek, Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of New England, Armidale.
Independent Audit Group 2004 Audit Report on Draft Condamine-Balonne Water Resource Plan. Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra.
Kendrick, G. W. 1976. The Avon: faunal and other notes on a dying river in southwestern Australia. West Australian Naturalist 13: 97-114.
Lydeard, C., Cowie, R. H., Ponder, W. F., Bogan, A. E., Bouchet, P., Clark, S. A., Cummings, K. S., Frest, T. J., Gargominy, O., Herbert, D. G., Hershler, R., Perez, K. E., Roth, B., Seddon, M., Strong, E. E. and Thompson, F. G. 2004. The global decline of nonmarine mollusks. BioScience 54: 321-330.
McMichael, D. F. and Hiscock, I. D. 1958. A monograph of the freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Pelecypoda) of the Australian region. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 9: 372-527.
Meyer, J. L. 1997. Stream health: incorporating the human dimension to advance stream ecology. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 16: 439-447.
Negus, C. L. 1966. A quantitative study of growth and production of unionid mussels in the River Thames at Reading. Journal of Animal Ecology 35: 513-532.
O'Brien, M., Brennan, S., Thoms, M. and Maher, S. 2002 Physical Habitat Assessment of Rivers within the Lower Balonne Floodplain, NSW. CRC for Freshwater Ecology Technical Report. University of Canberra, Canberra.
Olgilvie, S. C. and Mitchell, S. F. 1995. A model of mussel filtration in a shallow New Zealand lake, with reference to eutrophication control. Archiv für Hydrobiologie 133: 471-482.
Pickard, J. 1997. Oral history of the floods on the lower Paroo River. P. 8 in Summary of Proceedings of the Paroo River Scientific Workshop, Hungerford, Queensland, July 7-9, 1997, edited by R. L. Kingsford and J. L. Porter. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville.
Ponder, W. F. and Walker, K. F. 2003. From mound springs to mighty rivers: the conservation status of freshwater molluscs in Australia. Aquatic Ecosystem health & Management 6: 19-28.
Pusch, M., Siefert, J. and Walz, N. 2001. Filtration and respiration rates of two unionid species and their impact on the water quality of a lowland river. Pp. 317-326 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Freshwater Mussels (Unionoidea), edited by G. Bauer and K. Wächtler. Springer, Berlin.
Ricciardi, A. and Rasmussen, J. B. 1999. Extinction rates of North American freshwater fauna. Conservation Biology 13: 1220-1222.
Richardson, T. D. and Yokley, P. Jr 1996. A note on sampling technique and evidence of recruitment in freshwater mussels (Unionidae). Archiv Für Hydrobiologie 137: 135-140.
Seddon, M. 2000. Molluscan Biodiversity and the Impact of Large Dams. Contributing paper to Dams, Ecosystem Functions and Environmental Restoration, edited by G. Berkamp, M. McCartney, P. Dugan, J. McNeely and M. Acreman. Thematic Review II. 1 prepared as an input to the World Commission on Dams, Cape Town. www.dams.org.
Sheldon, F. and Walker, K. F. 1989. Effects of hypoxia on oxygen consumption by two species of freshwater mussel (Unionacea: Hyriidae) from the River Murray. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 40: 491-499.
Strayer, R. L., Hunter, D. C., Smith, L. C. and Borg, C. K. 1994. Distribution, abundance, and roles of freshwater clams (Bivalvia, Unionidae) in the freshwater tidal Hudson River. Freshwater Biology 31: 239-248.
Strayer, D. L., Claypool, S. and Sprague, S. J. 1997. Assessing Unionid Populations With Quadrats and Timed Searches. Pp. 163-169 in Conservation and Management of Freshwater Mussels. II. Initiatives for the Future. Proceedings of a Symposium, 16-18 October, 1995, St Louis, Missouri, edited by K. S. Cummings, A. C. Buchanan, C. A. Mayer and T. J. Naimo. Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois.
Strayer, D. L. and Smith, D. R. 2003 A Guide to Sampling Freshwater Mussel Populations. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.110 p.
Thompson, S. K. 1992 Sampling. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Thoms, M., Quinn, G., Butcher, R., Phillips, B., Wilson, G., Brock, M. and Gawne, B. 2002. Scoping study for the Narran Lakes and lower Balonne floodplain management study. CRCFE technical report 3/2002, CRC for Freshwater Ecology, Canberra.
Thoms, M. C. and Sheldon, F. 2000. Water resource development and hydrological change in a large dryland river: the Barwon-Darling River, Australia. Journal of Hydrology 228: 10-21.
Thoms, M., Sheldon, F. and Crabb, P. 2004. A hydrological perspective on the Darling River. Pp. 332-347 in The Darling, edited by R. Breckwoldt, R. Boden, and J. Andrew. Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra.
Thoms, M. C., Sheldon, F., Roberts, J., Harris, J. and Hillman, T. J. 1996 Scientific Panel Assessment of Environmental Flows for the Barwon-Darling River. A report to the Technical Services Division of the New South Wales Department of Land and Water Conservation. DLWC, Sydney.
Vaughn, C. C., Gido, K. B. and Spooner, D. E. 2004. Ecosystem functions performed by unionid mussels in stream mesocosms: species roles and effects of abundance. Hydrobiologia 527: 35-47.
Vaughn, C. C. and Hakenkamp, C. C. 2001. The functional role of burrowing bivalves in freshwater ecosystems. Freshwater Biology 46: 1431-1446.
Vaughn, C. C. and Taylor, C. M. 2000. Macroecology of a host-parasite relationship. Ecography 23: 11-20.
Vaughn, C. C., Taylor, C. M. and Eberhard, K. J. 1997. A comparison of the effectiveness of timed searches vs. quadrat sampling in mussel surveys. Pp. 157-162 in Conservation and Management of Freshwater Mussels. II. Initiatives for the Future. Proceedings of a Symposium, 16-18 October, 1995, St Louis, Missouri, edited by K. S. Cummings, A. C. Buchanan, C. A. Mayer and T. J. Naimo. Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois.
Villella, R. F. and Smith, D. R. 2005. Two-phase sampling to estimate river-wide populations of freshwater mussels. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 24: 357-368.
Wächtler, K., Dreher-Mansur, M. C. and Richter, T. 2001. Larval types and early postlarval biology in naiads (Unionoida). Pp. 93-125 in Ecology and Evolution of the Freshwater Mussels Unionoida, edited by G. Bauer and K. Wächtler. Springer, Berlin.
Walker, K. F. 1981 Ecology of freshwater mussels in the River Murray. Australian Water Resources Council Technical Paper 61. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra. 119 p.
Walker, K. F. 1985. A review of the ecological effects of river regulation in Australia. Hydrobiologia 125: 111-129.
Walker, K. F., Byrne, M., Hickey, C. W. and Roper, D. S. 2001. Freshwater mussels (Hyriidae) of Australasia. Pp. 5-31 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Freshwater Mussels (Unionoidea), edited by G. Bauer and K. Wächtler. Springer, Berlin.
Walker, K. F., Thoms, M. C. and Sheldon, F. 1992. Effects of weirs on the littoral environment of the River Murray, South Australia. Pp. 270-293 in River Conservation and Management, edited by P. J. Boon, P. A. Calow and G. E. Petts. Wiley, Chichester.
Watters, G. T. 2000. Freshwater mussels and water quality: A review of the effects of hydrologic and instream habitat alterations. Pp. 261-274 in Proceedings of the First Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society Symposium, 1999, edited by R. A. Tankersley, D. I. Warmolts, G. T. Watters, B. J. Armitage, P. D. Johnson and R. S. Butler. Ohio Biological Survey, Columbus, Ohio.
Williams, J. D., Warren Jr, M. L., Cummings, K.S, Harris, J. L. and Neves, R. J. 1993. Conservation status of freshwater mussels of the United States and Canada. Fisheries 18(9): 16-22.
Young, M. R., Cosgrove, P. J. and Hastie, L. C. 2001. The extent of, and causes for, the decline of a highly threatened naiad: Margaritifera margaritifera. Pp. 337-357 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Freshwater Mussels (Unionoidea), edited by G. Bauer and K. Wächtler. Springer, Berlin.
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References

ANZECC 2000 Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality. National water quality management strategy No.4. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council and Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand.
Araujo, R. and Ramos, M. A. 2001. Life-history data on the virtually unknown Margaritifera auricularia. Pp. 143-152 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Freshwater Mussels (Unionoidea), edited by G. Bauer and K. Wächtler. Springer, Berlin.
AWRC 1987 1985 Review of Australia's Water Resources and Water Use, Vol. 1, Water Resource Data Set. Department of Primary Industries and Energy & AGPS, Canberra.
Bauer, G. 1991. Plasticity in life history traits of the freshwater pearl mussel - consequences for the danger of extinction and for conservation measures. Pp. 103-120 in Species Conservation: A Population-Biological Approach, edited by A. Seitz and V. Loeschcke. Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel.
Bogan, A. E. 1998. Freshwater molluscan conservation in North America: problems and practices. Journal of Conchology Special Publ. ( 2), 223-230.
Byrne, M. 1998. Reproduction of river and lake populations of Hyridella depressa (Unionacea: Hyriidae) in New South Wales: implications for their conservation. Hydrobiologia 389: 29-43.
Cairns, J. Jr., McCormick, P. V. and Niederlehner, B. R. 1993. A proposed framework for developing indicators of ecosystem health. Hydrobiologia 263: 1-44.
Cerrato, R. M. 1980. Demographic analysis of bivalve populations. Pp. 417-465 in Skeletal Growth in Aquatic Organisms, edited by D. C. Rhoads and R. A. Lutz. Plenum Press, New York.
Chamberlain, T. K. 1931. Annual growth in freshwater mussels. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries, Washington 46: 713-739.
Christian, A. D. and Harris, J. L. 2005. Development and assessment of a sampling design for mussel assemblages in large streams. American Midland Naturalist 153: 284-292.
DLWC 2003 Western Catchment Blueprint. NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation, Sydney. 77 p.
Gehrke, P. C., Brown, P., Schiller, C. B., Moffatt, D. B. and Bruce, A. M. 1995. River regulation and fish communities in the Murray-Darling River system, Australia. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 11: 363-375.
Hastie, L. C., Boon, P. J., Young, M. R. and Way, S. 2001. The effects of a major flood on an endangered freshwater mussel population. Biological Conservation 98: 107-115.
Humphrey, C. L. 1984. Biology and ecology of the freshwater mussel Velesunio angasi (Bivalvia: Hyriidae) in the Magela Creek, Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of New England, Armidale.
Independent Audit Group 2004 Audit Report on Draft Condamine-Balonne Water Resource Plan. Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra.
Kendrick, G. W. 1976. The Avon: faunal and other notes on a dying river in southwestern Australia. West Australian Naturalist 13: 97-114.
Lydeard, C., Cowie, R. H., Ponder, W. F., Bogan, A. E., Bouchet, P., Clark, S. A., Cummings, K. S., Frest, T. J., Gargominy, O., Herbert, D. G., Hershler, R., Perez, K. E., Roth, B., Seddon, M., Strong, E. E. and Thompson, F. G. 2004. The global decline of nonmarine mollusks. BioScience 54: 321-330.
McMichael, D. F. and Hiscock, I. D. 1958. A monograph of the freshwater mussels (Mollusca: Pelecypoda) of the Australian region. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 9: 372-527.
Meyer, J. L. 1997. Stream health: incorporating the human dimension to advance stream ecology. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 16: 439-447.
Negus, C. L. 1966. A quantitative study of growth and production of unionid mussels in the River Thames at Reading. Journal of Animal Ecology 35: 513-532.
O'Brien, M., Brennan, S., Thoms, M. and Maher, S. 2002 Physical Habitat Assessment of Rivers within the Lower Balonne Floodplain, NSW. CRC for Freshwater Ecology Technical Report. University of Canberra, Canberra.
Olgilvie, S. C. and Mitchell, S. F. 1995. A model of mussel filtration in a shallow New Zealand lake, with reference to eutrophication control. Archiv für Hydrobiologie 133: 471-482.
Pickard, J. 1997. Oral history of the floods on the lower Paroo River. P. 8 in Summary of Proceedings of the Paroo River Scientific Workshop, Hungerford, Queensland, July 7-9, 1997, edited by R. L. Kingsford and J. L. Porter. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville.
Ponder, W. F. and Walker, K. F. 2003. From mound springs to mighty rivers: the conservation status of freshwater molluscs in Australia. Aquatic Ecosystem health & Management 6: 19-28.
Pusch, M., Siefert, J. and Walz, N. 2001. Filtration and respiration rates of two unionid species and their impact on the water quality of a lowland river. Pp. 317-326 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Freshwater Mussels (Unionoidea), edited by G. Bauer and K. Wächtler. Springer, Berlin.
Ricciardi, A. and Rasmussen, J. B. 1999. Extinction rates of North American freshwater fauna. Conservation Biology 13: 1220-1222.
Richardson, T. D. and Yokley, P. Jr 1996. A note on sampling technique and evidence of recruitment in freshwater mussels (Unionidae). Archiv Für Hydrobiologie 137: 135-140.
Seddon, M. 2000. Molluscan Biodiversity and the Impact of Large Dams. Contributing paper to Dams, Ecosystem Functions and Environmental Restoration, edited by G. Berkamp, M. McCartney, P. Dugan, J. McNeely and M. Acreman. Thematic Review II. 1 prepared as an input to the World Commission on Dams, Cape Town. www.dams.org.
Sheldon, F. and Walker, K. F. 1989. Effects of hypoxia on oxygen consumption by two species of freshwater mussel (Unionacea: Hyriidae) from the River Murray. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 40: 491-499.
Strayer, R. L., Hunter, D. C., Smith, L. C. and Borg, C. K. 1994. Distribution, abundance, and roles of freshwater clams (Bivalvia, Unionidae) in the freshwater tidal Hudson River. Freshwater Biology 31: 239-248.
Strayer, D. L., Claypool, S. and Sprague, S. J. 1997. Assessing Unionid Populations With Quadrats and Timed Searches. Pp. 163-169 in Conservation and Management of Freshwater Mussels. II. Initiatives for the Future. Proceedings of a Symposium, 16-18 October, 1995, St Louis, Missouri, edited by K. S. Cummings, A. C. Buchanan, C. A. Mayer and T. J. Naimo. Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois.
Strayer, D. L. and Smith, D. R. 2003 A Guide to Sampling Freshwater Mussel Populations. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.110 p.
Thompson, S. K. 1992 Sampling. John Wiley & Sons, New York.
Thoms, M., Quinn, G., Butcher, R., Phillips, B., Wilson, G., Brock, M. and Gawne, B. 2002. Scoping study for the Narran Lakes and lower Balonne floodplain management study. CRCFE technical report 3/2002, CRC for Freshwater Ecology, Canberra.
Thoms, M. C. and Sheldon, F. 2000. Water resource development and hydrological change in a large dryland river: the Barwon-Darling River, Australia. Journal of Hydrology 228: 10-21.
Thoms, M., Sheldon, F. and Crabb, P. 2004. A hydrological perspective on the Darling River. Pp. 332-347 in The Darling, edited by R. Breckwoldt, R. Boden, and J. Andrew. Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Canberra.
Thoms, M. C., Sheldon, F., Roberts, J., Harris, J. and Hillman, T. J. 1996 Scientific Panel Assessment of Environmental Flows for the Barwon-Darling River. A report to the Technical Services Division of the New South Wales Department of Land and Water Conservation. DLWC, Sydney.
Vaughn, C. C., Gido, K. B. and Spooner, D. E. 2004. Ecosystem functions performed by unionid mussels in stream mesocosms: species roles and effects of abundance. Hydrobiologia 527: 35-47.
Vaughn, C. C. and Hakenkamp, C. C. 2001. The functional role of burrowing bivalves in freshwater ecosystems. Freshwater Biology 46: 1431-1446.
Vaughn, C. C. and Taylor, C. M. 2000. Macroecology of a host-parasite relationship. Ecography 23: 11-20.
Vaughn, C. C., Taylor, C. M. and Eberhard, K. J. 1997. A comparison of the effectiveness of timed searches vs. quadrat sampling in mussel surveys. Pp. 157-162 in Conservation and Management of Freshwater Mussels. II. Initiatives for the Future. Proceedings of a Symposium, 16-18 October, 1995, St Louis, Missouri, edited by K. S. Cummings, A. C. Buchanan, C. A. Mayer and T. J. Naimo. Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Rock Island, Illinois.
Villella, R. F. and Smith, D. R. 2005. Two-phase sampling to estimate river-wide populations of freshwater mussels. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 24: 357-368.
Wächtler, K., Dreher-Mansur, M. C. and Richter, T. 2001. Larval types and early postlarval biology in naiads (Unionoida). Pp. 93-125 in Ecology and Evolution of the Freshwater Mussels Unionoida, edited by G. Bauer and K. Wächtler. Springer, Berlin.
Walker, K. F. 1981 Ecology of freshwater mussels in the River Murray. Australian Water Resources Council Technical Paper 61. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra. 119 p.
Walker, K. F. 1985. A review of the ecological effects of river regulation in Australia. Hydrobiologia 125: 111-129.
Walker, K. F., Byrne, M., Hickey, C. W. and Roper, D. S. 2001. Freshwater mussels (Hyriidae) of Australasia. Pp. 5-31 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Freshwater Mussels (Unionoidea), edited by G. Bauer and K. Wächtler. Springer, Berlin.
Walker, K. F., Thoms, M. C. and Sheldon, F. 1992. Effects of weirs on the littoral environment of the River Murray, South Australia. Pp. 270-293 in River Conservation and Management, edited by P. J. Boon, P. A. Calow and G. E. Petts. Wiley, Chichester.
Watters, G. T. 2000. Freshwater mussels and water quality: A review of the effects of hydrologic and instream habitat alterations. Pp. 261-274 in Proceedings of the First Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society Symposium, 1999, edited by R. A. Tankersley, D. I. Warmolts, G. T. Watters, B. J. Armitage, P. D. Johnson and R. S. Butler. Ohio Biological Survey, Columbus, Ohio.
Williams, J. D., Warren Jr, M. L., Cummings, K.S, Harris, J. L. and Neves, R. J. 1993. Conservation status of freshwater mussels of the United States and Canada. Fisheries 18(9): 16-22.
Young, M. R., Cosgrove, P. J. and Hastie, L. C. 2001. The extent of, and causes for, the decline of a highly threatened naiad: Margaritifera margaritifera. Pp. 337-357 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Freshwater Mussels (Unionoidea), edited by G. Bauer and K. Wächtler. Springer, Berlin.
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