Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Spatial and Temporal Relationships Between the Invasive Snail Bithynia tentaculata and Submersed Aquatic Vegetation in Pool 8 of the Upper Mississippi River
Weeks, A. M., De Jager, N. R., Haro, R. J., and Sandland, G. J. 2017. Spatial and Temporal Relationships Between the Invasive Snail Bithynia tentaculata and Submersed Aquatic Vegetation in Pool 8 of the Upper Mississippi River. River Res. Applic., doi: 10.1002/rra.3123.
Bithynia tentaculata is an invasive snail that was first reported in Lake Michigan in 1871 and has since spread throughout a number of freshwater systems of the USA. This invasion has been extremely problematic in the Upper Mississippi River as the snails serve as intermediate hosts for several trematode parasites that have been associated with waterfowl mortality in the region. This study was designed to assess the abundance and distribution of B. tentaculata relative to submersed aquatic vegetation as macrophytes provide important nesting and food resources for migrating waterfowl. Temporal changes in both vegetation and snail densities were compared between 2007 and 2015. Between these years, B. tentaculata densities have nearly quadrupled despite minor changes in vegetation abundance, distribution and composition. Understanding the spatial distribution of B. tentaculata in relation to other habitat features, including submersed vegetation, and quantifying any further changes in the abundance and distribution of B. tentaculata over time will be important for better identifying areas of risk for disease transmission to waterfowl.
Bithynia tentaculata; invasive species; trematodes; macrophytes; waterfowl disease; spatial autocorrelation; Upper Mississippi River