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SFS Annual Meeting

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EFFECT OF LEAF-LITTER SPECIES ON THE POPULATION AND INDIVIDUAL GROWTH RATES OF NEW ZEALAND MUD SNAILS (POTAMOPYRGUS ANTIPODARUM)

The composition of forests is changing across the globe due to human activities. Are there consequences for invasive species in streams and rivers? The New Zealand mud snail (NZMS) (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) is an invasive species in the Laurentian Great Lakes region of North America where populations have existed since at least 1991, with very recent secondary invasions into rivers. Since NZMS are considered herbivore/detritivores, the quality and species of leaf litter they consume could affect growth rates, and their success as invaders. Using laboratory mesocosms we performed two experiments to quantify individual and population growth rates of snails on different leaf-litter species that are common, but changing in abundance due to human activities. Individual growth rates significantly differed among leaf species. Cottonwood and ash had the highest growth rates and grew 0.05mm/day and 0.04mm/day, while snails given maple, oak, and no leaves grew by 0.01mm/day, 0.01mm/day, and 0.005mm/day. Population growth did not significantly differ among leaf species. This research highlights how requirements for growth potentially differ between populations and individuals, and how forest community changes in the Great Lakes region could affect NZMS growth and their subsequent invasion success.

Emily Bovee (Primary Presenter/Author), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, enbovee@oakland.edu;


Justine Lawson (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, lawsonjustine@hotmail.com;


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


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