Bellamya Invasion Essay

783 Words 4 Pages
Fresh water lake ecosystems are very susceptible to invaders which degrade lake habitats and food webs. The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis), referred to as Bellamya, is an understudied invasive species that is becoming more abundant in the fresh water lakes of North America and poses a threat to the ecological community of the Great Lakes. Understanding how Bellamya can effect lake ecology is critical to preventing the possible extinction of native snail species and the degradation of lake habitats.

A study conducted by Haak et al. (2017) aimed to determine the effect of a Bellamya invasion in the reservoirs of the Salt Valley region of Nebraska, USA. The researchers developed dynamic models for 19 of the reservoirs to predict the effects of an invasion. Bellamya were introduced at a set density, (0.0003 t km-2) either with or without a biomass forcing function. The model lacking a forcing function showed a steady or decreasing population density of Bellamya. To contrast, the model including a forcing function found the
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(2009) studied the response of native snails to a co-invasion by rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) and Bellamya. Outdoor mesocosms, with water chemistry which mirrored that of Sparkling Lake, Wisconsin, USA, were constructed. Over an 8-week period these mesocosms were randomly subjected to one of four treatments; only native snails, native snails and Bellamya, native snails and crayfish, or native snails with crayfish and Bellamya. The invaders were found to have negative effects on native snail abundance with the presence of Bellamya causing a 32% decrease in Lymnaea abundance, and the presence of crayfish causing a 90% decrease, when the invaders were together, the species went extinct. Despite this, the researchers were unsure how this experiment, and its observed effects, would match up to an entire lake ecosystem. Field surveys were recommended as a next step in understanding the invaders (Johnson et al.

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