Ecology of Marine Bivalves: An Ecosystem Approach, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ecology of Marine Bivalves

An Ecosystem Approach, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Richard F. Dame

CRC Press

283 pages | 56 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-11-03
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Bivalve mollusks are roughly hand-sized animals that can aggregate into large groups of millions of individuals as reefs—pumping and filtering enough water in short periods of time to control the processes on the reef and adjacent tidal waters—and serve as valuable indicators and monitors of ecosystem health. Ecology of Marine Bivalves: An Ecosystems Approach, Second Edition examines the ecology of bivalves from an ecosystem or holistic view, taking into consideration their history, thermodynamics, components, and interactions with other species—namely humans.

With the advent of the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) in the year 2000, its emphasis for utilizing the ecosystem approach as a standard guideline, and the growing interest in global climate change, this edition has been expanded to include:

  • A new chapter on shell rings, which emphasizes the importance of interaction between disciplines so that we might learn from the past in order to plan for the future
  • Scientific work done on several continents, including case studies from the Chesapeake Bay, the Wadden Sea, and other case studies from Europe and New Zealand
  • Additional material on non-equilibrium thermodynamics, complexity theory, and other cross-disciplinary interactions

This book discusses the roles of marine bivalves as a keystone species and as ecosystem engineers, and explains how bivalves are used as monitors and indicators of ecosystem stress and as a fisheries resource. Utilizing case studies and targeted published research to develop narratives suitable for a complex systems approach, the second edition of Ecology of Marine Bivalves is invaluable to scientists and marine workers interested in an up-to-date treatment of mollusks in our seas.


Praise for the First Edition

"This is a well-produced book and Richard Dame has adequately reviewed marine bivalve ecology research…. I recommend the book as essential reading to anyone with a keen research interest in the ecology of marine bivalves.

—D. J. Wildish, Limnology and Oceanography

"The uniqueness of this volume bears on the systems ecology approach to marine bivalves…. In short, the Ecology of Marine Bivalves is a relatively brief overview of a very broad topic…. It will be a useful addition to marine ecologists and especially to ecosystem and system ecologists."

—Josef Daniel Ackerman, Ecology

Table of Contents


Historical/Geological Setting


Historical Ecology of Bivalves

Physical Environmental Interactions



Temperature–Salinity and Other Factor Combinations


Water Flow



Organismic Scale Processes




Deposit Feeding


Symbiotic Nutrition

Chemoautotrophic Symbioses

Population Processes

Life Cycle

Statistical Measures of Populations



Population Growth

Bivalves As Open Or Metapopulations

Life and Fecundity Tables


Abiotic Mortality


Competition-Induced Mortality

Aggregated Distributions


Diseases and Parasites

Population Energy Budgets

Ecosystem Grazing


Grazing Theory as Applied to Bivalves

Conceptualizing Grazing

Methods Used to Estimate System Grazing

Upstream–Downstream Observations

Laboratory Flumes

Ecosystem Comparisons

Ecosystem Metabolism and Nutrient Cycling

Nutrient Cycling

Theoretical Background


The Case of the Missing Nitrogen

Ecosystem Experiments


Model Formulation

Model Analysis

Ecosystem Field Experiments

Case Study

Ecosystem Health, Restoration, and Services

Bivalve Responses

Systems Measures

Ecosystem Services


A Case Study: The Wadden Sea and the Invasion of Crassostrea gigas


About the Author/Editor

Richard F. Dame, Ph.D., is Distinguished Palmetto Professor Emeritus of Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. Dr. Dame received his B.S. degree from the College of Charleston, South Carolina in 1964. He obtained his M.A. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1967 and his Ph.D. degree from the University of South Carolina in 1971. He was a founding member of the Marine Science Program (1971-2006) at CCU. During the same time frame he was a very active research associate of the Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine Biology and Coastal Research, University of South Carolina. He has served as the external member on numerous Ph.D. candidate committees in the United States and Europe.

In addition to these academic activities, he served a two-year tour as the Ecosystems Program Director at the National Science Foundation. In recognition of his achievements he is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.

Dr. Dame is an active scholar in the area of coastal and estuarine ecosystems. He is currently a review editor for the leading marine ecological journal, Marine Ecology Progress Series. The majority of his work has been funded by the National Science Foundation.

About the Series

CRC Marine Science

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Animals / General
NATURE / Ecology
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biology / Marine Biology
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / General