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Life history traits determine the differential vulnerability of native and invasive apple snails (Pomacea spp.) to a shared juvenile-stage predator

Life history traits determine the differential vulnerability of native and invasive apple snails... The vulnerability of gastropods to their predators varies with life history traits such as morphology, body size, behavior, and growth rates as well as predator size. A recent study suggested that the invasive apple snail, Pomacea maculata, was considerably more vulnerable to crayfish predators than the native Florida apple snail, P. paludosa. The difference was hypothesized to be caused by the relatively small hatchling size of P. maculata. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a series of feeding assays designed to quantify maximum feeding rates and selective foraging of crayfish on apple snails. The rate at which crayfish killed individual P. maculata (i.e., kill rates) decreased with snail size, and kill rates on both species increased with crayfish size. Kill rates on juvenile P. maculata were higher than kill rates on size-matched hatchling P. paludosa, and crayfish fed selectively on P. maculata when offered mixed groups of size-matched snails. Further analyses revealed that hatchling P. paludosa possess shells 1.8× heavier than size-matched P. maculata suggesting differences in vulnerability to crayfish were consistent with interspecific differences in shell defenses. Differences in hatchling size and defensive traits in combination make crayfish kill rates on hatchling P. maculata approximately 15.4× faster than on hatchling P. paludosa, but the relative contribution of hatchling size to differences in apple snail vulnerability was >3× greater than the contribution of defensive traits. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aquatic Ecology Springer Journals

Life history traits determine the differential vulnerability of native and invasive apple snails (Pomacea spp.) to a shared juvenile-stage predator

Aquatic Ecology , Volume 51 (3) – Apr 11, 2017

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Life Sciences; Freshwater & Marine Ecology; Ecosystems
ISSN
1386-2588
eISSN
1573-5125
DOI
10.1007/s10452-017-9620-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The vulnerability of gastropods to their predators varies with life history traits such as morphology, body size, behavior, and growth rates as well as predator size. A recent study suggested that the invasive apple snail, Pomacea maculata, was considerably more vulnerable to crayfish predators than the native Florida apple snail, P. paludosa. The difference was hypothesized to be caused by the relatively small hatchling size of P. maculata. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a series of feeding assays designed to quantify maximum feeding rates and selective foraging of crayfish on apple snails. The rate at which crayfish killed individual P. maculata (i.e., kill rates) decreased with snail size, and kill rates on both species increased with crayfish size. Kill rates on juvenile P. maculata were higher than kill rates on size-matched hatchling P. paludosa, and crayfish fed selectively on P. maculata when offered mixed groups of size-matched snails. Further analyses revealed that hatchling P. paludosa possess shells 1.8× heavier than size-matched P. maculata suggesting differences in vulnerability to crayfish were consistent with interspecific differences in shell defenses. Differences in hatchling size and defensive traits in combination make crayfish kill rates on hatchling P. maculata approximately 15.4× faster than on hatchling P. paludosa, but the relative contribution of hatchling size to differences in apple snail vulnerability was >3× greater than the contribution of defensive traits.

Journal

Aquatic EcologySpringer Journals

Published: Apr 11, 2017

References