Environmental limits on the dispersal of invasive Pomacea maculata in Lake Seminole
Marzolf, Nicholas Scott
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The introduction of the Island apple snail, Pomacea maculata in the past 20 years is one of the largest threats to freshwater ecosystems in the tropics and subtropics. In the United States, P. maculata has direct impacts on native snail species, submerged aquatic vegetation, and its dispersal to novel habitats is of great concern. Environmental factors, particularly temperature and calcium, have shown to affect behavior and physiology. In Lake Seminole, a large shallow reservoir, P. maculata was introduced in 2003, and has since dispersed throughout large sections of the lake. Temperature variability in the lake may alter snail behavior, but localized refugia will allow P. maculata to persist. Calcium concentrations around the lake and in nearby lakes suit the elemental requirements of P. maculata growth and survival, except when combined with cooler conditions. This suggests P. maculata can disperse throughout Lake Seminole, and throughout the lower ACF basin in future.