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Project team

Project Manager:

DR. Dumitru MURARIU

dmurariu@antipa.ro

Team Members:

DR. Luis Ovidiu POPA

popaluis@antipa.ro

DR. Oana Paula POPA

oppopa@antipa.ro

DR. Beatrice KELEMEN

bea_kelemen@yahoo.com

DR. Elena Iulia IORGU

elenap@antipa.ro

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LIMNOCARDIIDAE (MOLLUSCA:BIVALVIA) PONTO-CASPIAN RELICTS IN ROMANIAN FAUNA - TAXONOMICAL STATUS, FAUNISTICS, BIOLOGY AND POPULATION GENETIC STRUCTURE

Proiect IDEI nr. 265/01.10.2007

The goal of this project is to contribute to the knowledge of the family Limnocardiidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in the Romanian Fauna.


Project abstract


The Limnocardiids are bivalve molluscs (mussels) with a general habitus resembling marine mussels from Cardiidae Family but they have a thiner shell with radial ribs more or less regular. The cardinal area is very narrow with rudimentary teeth. Fossil species as well as present species have a high variability (Borcea, 1926), the species identification being made with great difficulty.

The high variability found in this family, is considered by some authors, to be an adaptation to brackish water with different salinity gradients. The modifications hat took place as a consequence, were made in several directions such as: shell width, teeth structure or siphon and pallial line elongation (Grossu, 1962). The present project will contribute to the clarification of the Limnocardiidae species taxonomical statute as well as to understand the biology and genetic resources of these mussels using both traditional-morphological methods and modern methods of molecular taxonomy.

The Limnocardiidae Family has relict species from a fauna which was widespread in the Ponto-Aralo-Caspian Basin in the geological past. Today, the Limnocardiidae Family has a limited distribution formed by Caspian Sea, Aral Sea and the Black Sea Lagoons.

Limnocardiids are species of national interest and are strictly protected under 57/2007 law. Only three genera belonging to this family are known in Romanian Fauna, but in the last 50 years, no systematic and faunistical studies were performed to confirm these statements.

    1. Didacna Eichwald 1838
    2. Adacna Eichwald 1838
    3. Monodacna Eichwald 1838

Present Limnocardiidae need waters rich in organic matter and planctonic elements which can be found in abundance near river flows into the sea or lagoons. These places are rich in oxygen vital to species burried in fine sand or mud and which have a reduced mobility. These conditions are important for mussels because they have siphons which create a water current in the pallial chamber in order to feed. The discrimination between fosile or present genera is made using the shape of the ribs (higher or flattened), frequency of the ribs, teeth from the cardinal area and the thikness of the valves.

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