EFFECTS OF EXOTIC NEW ZEALAND MUDSNAILS ON LEAF DECOMPOSITION
The invasive New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), or NZMS, is expanding its range across much of North America and the world. Though NZMS have existed in the Laurentian Great Lakes since at least1991, only very recently have they secondarily invaded streams and rivers in the region, including economically important trout streams, where their ecological consequences are unknown. We examined leaf decomposition in the Au Sable River (Michigan, USA), where NZMS were discovered in 2016. We performed a leaf-litter assay at seven sampling sites with varying levels of NZMS abundance over multiple seasons, and a manipulative experiment in which 25 NZMS were enclosed in fine-mesh bags with a known quantity of leaf litter. Preliminary results suggest that NZMS do not impact leaf decomposition in the Au Sable River at the low densities that characterize the early stages of the invasion process. A minor difference between mesh sizes was found suggesting little shredder activity, with additional differences observed among seasons. Forthcoming analysis will further examine the potential impact that NZMS in various abundances have on leaf decomposition in the Au Sable River.
Kennedy Phillips (Primary Presenter/Author), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Jasmine Mancuso (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, email@example.com;
Scott Tiegs (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Dept. of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, firstname.lastname@example.org;