Second International Marine Bivalve Workshop

Second International Marine Bivalve Workshop, Thailand, 2005

In August-September 2005, a two-week workshop on marine mollusks, with an emphasis on systematics, anatomy, and natural history of bivalves, was held in Chanthaburi, Thailand. The goals and format paralleled those of the Florida Keys Bivalve Workshop in 2002, and had the additional goals of increasing understanding of the poorly known molluscan fauna of the Kungkrabaen Bay, Gulf of Thailand, and developing international contacts that might lead to future collaboration. Organizers of the workshop were Bieler and Mikkelsen [coPIs of this proposal] in the U.S., Fred Wells in Western Australia (experienced organizer of numerous marine biological workshops in Australia and elsewhere in the southeastern Pacific), and Kashane Chalermwat in Thailand. Nine trainees worked one-on-one in teams with invited expert scientists on selected bivalve species or groups of species that were determined on site.

Organizing Team

  • Dr. Rüdiger Bieler, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.
  • Dr. Paula M. Mikkelsen, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, U.S.A.
  • Assoc. Prof. Kashane Chalermwat, Burapha University, Bang Saen, Thailand
  • Mr. Kitithorn Sanpanich, Burapha University, Bang Saen, Thailand
  • Mr. Ilya Tëmkin, New York University and American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, U.S.A.
  • Dr. Fred E. Wells, Western Australian Department of Fisheries, Perth, Australia

Kungkrabaen Bay

The workshop focused on the intertidal habitats of Kungkrabaen Bay, a large bay on the Gulf of Thailand, located in the Ta Mai District of Chantaburi Province (12°32-41'N, 101°52-57'E) and part of a Royal Conservation Project. The bay is 4.6 km long and 2.6 km wide, with a fringing mangrove forest 30-200 m wide and up to 20 m high on the inner bay side. The mangroves are healthy and mixed, including Rhizophora, Sonneratia, Avicennia, and other genera. There is a boardwalk through part of the mangroves which provided ready access to a variety of habitats. Much of the bay emptied during daily spring tides. The center of the bay is soft sediment with a variety of sediment sizes, ranging from fine mud to coarse sand.

The invertebrates, and particularly the mollusks, of these flats are extensively and continuously harvested for food by local inhabitants. Two species of seagrass are found in small quantities in the center of the bay. The deepest part of the bay is 8 m. The headlands to the bay are both rocky, with a diverse assemblage of associated mollusks. The outer margins are sandy shores, with a fisheries research station on the eastern shore that facilitated some of our activities. A small rocky “coral” reef (supporting mainly soft corals) occurs in shallow water near the shore about 1 km south of the fisheries station. Small offshore islands were visited by small boat.


Research Teams:

Seven invited scientists mentored one or more students during the workshop. Five of these had participated in the first IMBW in the Florida Keys. Their specialties varied greatly, including systematics, functional morphology, ecology, and population biology. Trainees were selected from a field of applicants on the basis of their credentials and interest in the field of bivalve biology. Including the organizers, the international list of participants included representatives from eight countries. Eleven of the 29 participants were Thai.

Teams: Dr. P. Graham Oliver, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Mr. Antonio Agüera García, Malaga, Spain.

Ms. Harriet Wood, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Dr. Emily Glover, The Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom.

Dr. John D. Taylor, The Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom.

Ms. Erin Meyer, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

Mr. Bancha Nilkerd, Burapha University, Chanthaburi, Thailand.

Prof. Robert S. Prezant, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, New Jersey U.S.A.

Mr. Chirasak Sutcharit, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Mr. Teerapong Duangdee, Kasetsart University, Bang Saen, Thailand.

Mr Pongrat Dumrongrojwattana, Burapha University, Bang Saen, Thailand.

Dr. Peter D. Roopnarine, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California U.S.A.

Mr. Javier Hernán Signorelli, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr. Rüdiger Bieler, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois U.S.A.

Dr. Paula M. Mikkelsen, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Mr. André Fernando Sartori, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Ms. Cheewarat Printrakoon, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Dr. Luiz Ricardo L. Simone, Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Ms. Samantha Wilkinson, The Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom.

Mr. Paul Valentich Scott, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.

Dr. Piyoros Tongkerd, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Other participants: Assoc. Prof. Kashane Chalermwat, Burapha University, Bang Saen, Thailand

Assoc. Prof. Yaowaluk Chitramvong, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Mr. Nopadon Kakhai, Kungkrabaen Bay Royal Development Study Center, Chanthaburi, Thailand.

Mr Sumait Putchakarn, Burapha University, Bang Saen, Thailand.

Mr. Kitithorn Sanpanich, Burapha University, Bang Saen, Thailand

Dr Tan Koh Siang, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

Mr. Ilya Tëmkin, New York University and American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Dr. Fred E. Wells, Western Australian Department of Fisheries, Perth, Australia


Workshop Activities

Following arrival in Bangkok, participants were bused to the Chanthaburi Campus of Burapha University, 230 km southeast of Bangkok near the Cambodian border. Accommodations, meals, and laboratories were centered here. Double-occupancy dormitory accommodations, laboratories, and classrooms were conveniently located to one another. Labs were well equipped with ample bench space, stereoscopic microscopes, fume hoods, and freezers. Meals (an interesting mixture of Thai and “western” cuisines) were catered, cafeteria-style, in the laboratory building. Three nine-passenger vans with drivers were available to transport participants from campus to various field locations; local fisheries department boats served as dive platforms and contracted commercial boats ferried participants to nearby offshore islands. Easily accessible habitats included extensive mudflats and oyster bars, tidal channels, mangroves, intertidal rocks, sand bars, and offshore rocky reefs. Group and team collecting activities included shovel-and-sieving, snorkeling, scuba diving, and cracking rocks for boring bivalves. Molluscan by-catch from commercial fishing trawls and the Chanthaburi fish market provided valuable additional species for study. Bivalve literature for use during the workshop was supplied by various participants. Most evenings included presentations by participating scientists on their research programs or laboratories. During the last few days, each trainee presented a short summary of the results of their team research at the workshop.

Twenty-two field sites were visited; some of them multiple times by various research teams. Voucher specimens have been deposited in the Field Museum of Natural History, the American Museum of Natural History, the National Science Museum (Bangkok), and the home institutions of participating scientists (including The Natural History Museum, London; National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Buenos Aires; Museu de Zoologia, São Paulo, Brazil; and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History).


Workshop Results

From the field and subsequent laboratory results, a dedicated 2008 supplement volume of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, a well-respected peer-reviewed journal focusing on the natural history of Southeast Asia, was produced in hardcopy and electronic format. As for the First Bivalve Workshop, most contributions represent the scientific results of projects initiated at the workshop, co-authored by the scientist-student research teams.


Molluscs of Eastern Thailand

Proceedings of the International Marine Bivalve Workshop, Chanthaburi, Thailand, August-September 2005, with contributions on other molluscan groups, edited by Rüdiger Bieler, Kashane Chalermwat, Paula M. Mikkelsen, Tan Koh Siang and Fred E. Wells

Rüdiger Bieler, Kashane Chalermwat, Paula M. Mikkelsen & Fred E. Wells:  International Marine Bivalve Workshop 2005: Introduction and Summary.

Antonio Agüera & Graham Oliver: Species discrimination in seven species of Barbatia (Bivalvia: Arcoidea) from Thailand with a redescription of B. grayana (Dunker, 1858).

Emily A. Glover, John D. Taylor & S. T. Williams: Mangrove-associated lucinid bivalves of the central Indo-West Pacific: Review of the “Austriella” group with a new genus and species (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Lucinidae).

Erin Meyer, Bancha Nilkerd, Emily A. Glover & John D. Taylor: Ecological Importance of chemoautotrophic lucinid bivalves in a peri-mangrove community in Eastern Thailand.

Robert S. Prezant, Chirasak Sutcharit, Kashane Chalermwat, Nopadon Kakhai, Teerapong Duangdee & Pongrath Dumrongrojwattana:  Population study of Laternula truncata (Bivalvia: Anomalodesmata: Laternulidae) in the mangrove sand flat of Kungkrabaen Bay, Thailand with notes on L. cf. corrugata.

Cheewarat Printrakoon & Ilya Tëmkin: Comparative ecology of two parapatric species of Isognomon (Bivalvia: Isognomonidae) of Kungkrabaen Bay, Thailand.

Peter D. Roopnarine, Javier Signorelli & Christopher Laumer: Systematic, biogeographic and  microhabitat-based morphometric variation of the bivalve Anomalocardia squamosa (Bivalvia: Veneridae: Chioninae) in Thailand.

André Sartori, Cheewarat Printrakoon, Paula M. Mikkelsen & Rüdiger Bieler: Siphonal structure in the Veneridae (Bivalvia: Heterodonta) with an assessment of its phylogenetic application and a review of venerids of the Gulf of Thailand.

Luiz R. L. Simone & Vanessa S. Amaral: Plicatulostrea, a new genus of Plicatulidae from Thailand (Bivalvia: Pectinoidea).

Luiz R. L. Simone & Claudia H. Guimarães: Comparative anatomical study of two species of Semele from Thailand (Bivalvia, Tellinoidea).

Luiz R. L. Simone & Samantha Wilkinson: Comparative morphological study of some Tellinidae from Thailand (Bivalvia, Tellinoidea).

Paul Valentich-Scott & Piyoros Tongkerd: Coral-boring bivalve mollusks of Southeastern Thailand, with the description of a new species

Kashane Chalermwat & Fred E. Wells: Growth of Chicoreus capucinus (Gastropoda: Muricidae) at Ang Sila, Thailand.

Kitithorn Sanpanich, Fred E. Wells & Yaowaluk Chitramvong: Reproduction and growth of Littoraria (Gastropoda: Littorinidae) at Ang Sila, Thailand.

Tan Koh Siang: Mudflat predation on bivalves and gastropods by Chicoreus capucinus (Neogastropoda: Muricidae) at Ao Kungkrabaen, Gulf of Thailand.

Cheewarat Printrakoon, Fred E. Wells & Yaowaluk Chitramvong: Distribution of molluscs in mangroves at six sites in the upper Gulf of Thailand.

Fred E. Wells, Kashane Chalermwat, Yaowaluk Chitramvong, Nopadon Kakhai, Sumaitt Putchakarn & Kitithorn Sanpanich: Assessment of three techniques for measuring the biodiversity of mollusks on rocky intertidal shorelines in eastern Thailand.