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EFFECTS OF THE INVASIVE NEW ZEALAND MUD SNAIL IN THE AU SABLE RIVER (MICHIGAN, USA)

The New Zealand mud-snail (NZMS) Potamopyrgus antipodarum, a world-wide invader, is expanding its range throughout North American rivers. Studies conducted in the western United States have documented impacts to benthic-invertebrate and fish communities. Given the very recent discovery of NZMS in the rivers of the Great Lakes region, the potential impacts are currently unknown. Here we made use of 7 sites on the Au Sable River (Michigan, USA) that had varying NZMS densities to examine the effects of NZMS on stream-invertebrate communities and trout diet. Preliminary results show NZMS densities ranged from 0 – 9,345 individuals/m2. NZMS were constituents in the diets of the 25 trout sampled at NZMS-invaded sites; 44% of these individuals contained NZMS in their gut contents. The proportion of NZMS in total gut contents of individual trout ranged from 0-50%, with a mean proportion (+/- SD) of 7.19% (12.17). These results suggest that the NZMS invasion has influence on trout diets, with unknown consequences for the health of these fish and the ecosystems in which they live.

Jeremy Geist (Primary Presenter/Author), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, jageist@oakland.edu;


Mark Luttenton ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University, luttentm@gvsu.edu;


Justin Wegner ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University, wegnerju@mail.gvsu.edu;


Scott Tiegs ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, tiegs@oakland.edu;