Australian Bivalve Workshop

Location: Morton Bay Research Station on North Stradbroke Island

Dates: 27th November (late afternoon) to 29th November 2009 immediately following the Molluscs 2009 meeting.

Workshop organizer: Dr John Healy

Also participating in running the workshop was Mr Darryl Potter (Queensland Museum).

Bivalves  are one of the most ecologically and economically important groups of aquatic invertebrates. They form the second largest class of the Mollusca and are dominant infaunal and epifaunal components of many habitats, ranging from mangroves to coral reefs to the deep sea. The Australasian region has an especially rich bivalve fauna, both in terms of its diversity and sheer numbers of species. Commercially bivalves form the basis of many fisheries both for food (scallops, rock oysters, mussels, clams) and for pearls (pearl oysters). Several bivalve species have also gained notoriety as pests due largely to human activities and an ability to rapidly colonize. This workshop explored the structure and diversity of bivalves and focused on  the features that distinguish the most important major taxa within the class.

Outline of Workshop topics

  • General introduction – bivalve structure, diversity, life habits
  • Overview of the main groups
  • Identification – families, genera and, in some groups, species.
  • Resources for species-level identification
  • Conservation – general and special issues
  • Exotic species and their impacts
  • Collection methods (with demonstrations in the field)