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Molluscan fauna of the lower reaches of the Syoyakha River (Yamal Peninsula). P. 76–81

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Section: Biology






YuV Bespalaya1, OV Aksenova1, NA Zubriy1
1 N. Laverov Federal Center for Integrated Arctic Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, Severnaya Dvina Emb. 23, 163000 (Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation)
Corresponding author: Yulia Vladimirovna Bespalaya (


The molluscan fauna of the Syoyakha (Zelenaya) River remain poorly explored even though the Syoyakha is one of the biggest rivers on the Yamal Peninsula. The Syoyakha River is remarkable for its high fish stocking capacity and it plays an important role in the seasonal distribution and migration of commercial fish species. Freshwater mollusks are known to be a major component of freshwater ecosystems and they make up a part of the diet of many commercially important fish species. The species composition of the mollusks inhabiting the lower reaches of the Syoyakha River has been studied. Five bivalve species of the family Sphaeriidae were found, namely Sphaerium corneum (Linnaeus, 1758), Pisidium casertanum (Poli, 1791), P. globulare (Clessin in Westerlund, 1873), P. lilljeborgi (Clessin in Esmark et Hoyer, 1886) and P. dilatatum (Westerlund, 1897). In general, the molluscan fauna of the lower reaches of the Syoyakha River are taxonomically poor, which can be considered typical of freshwater invertebrate communities living at high latitudes. Another reason for the decline in species diversity may lie in the absence of any large transit watercourse in the basin in question allowing northward dispersion of the mollusks. The average density of mollusks in the watercourse stretch under study varied from 98.9 ind./m2 to 620.5 ind./m2. P. globulare settlements had the highest recorded density of 1,442.9 ind./m2. The mollusks are confined to clayey, silty and sandy substrates with remnants of vegetation. The fauna is basically formed by widespread Palearctic and Holarctic mollusk species that have adapted to the extreme conditions of the Arctic. The findings may be used for hydrobiological and fishery characterization of the watercourse given that the recorded species of S. corneum, P. globulare, P. lilljeborgi, and P. dilatatum are a major food item for important fish species, such as cisco, vendace, char, muksun, etc.


Yamal Peninsula, freshwater mollusks, Sphaeriidae, species diversity, Syoyakha River, Arctic
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