By Liviu Gabriel Cretu; Florin Dumitriu
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Additional resources for Molluscan Communities of the Florida Keys and Adjacent Areas: Their Ecology and Biodiversity
In some cases, the shallow muddy pools actually dry out completely, creating thick crusts of evaporite salts and forming sabkha-like conditions. Because of these extreme environmental parameters, with wildly shifting salinities and temperatures, only a few mollusks have evolved the physiological mechanisms to flourish in such a dystrophic system. Two of the dominant vegetation types found near the hypersaline pools are the Saltworts (Salicornia), which comprise a species complex of at least three taxa (Salicornia bigelovii, Salicornia maritima, and Salicornia herbacea), and the Sea Purslane (Sesuvium portulacastrum).
9 View of a large hypersaline pool on Ohio Key, Middle Florida Keys. Salt ponds such as this often house immense aggregations of small bivalves such as the corbiculid Polymesoda maritima and the corbulid Caryocorbula contracta. These provide a major food resource for seabirds and migrating water fowl. Supratidal salt ponds and saltwort thickets are components of the Vegetated Sediment Shore Macrohabitat and support the Cerithideopsis costatus Assemblage. 10B, C). The cryptic truncatellid species live buried in moist leaf litter, where they feed on dead plant matter.
J = Pyrazisinus ultimus Petuch, 2004, length 52 mm (genus now extinct, and this is the last-living species; Pyrazisinus ranges from the late Oligocene to the latest Pleistocene). K = Lindaconus atlanticus (Clench, 1942), length 55 mm (extant in the Recent Florida Keys). L = Vokesinotus perrugatus (Conrad, 1836), length 22 mm (extinct in southeastern Florida but extant along western Florida; this is the last-living member of the eastern American Neogene muricid genus Vokesinotus, which reached its evolutionary peak during the Pliocene.
Molluscan Communities of the Florida Keys and Adjacent Areas: Their Ecology and Biodiversity by Liviu Gabriel Cretu; Florin Dumitriu