Exotic snails dominate nitrogen and carbon cycling in a highly productive stream

Robert O. Hall, Jennifer L. Tank, Mark F. Dybdahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Individual animal species can impact ecosystem processes, but few exotic invaders have demonstrated ecosystem-scale impacts, even when population sizes are large. We combined whole-stream measures of carbon and nitrogen fluxes with rates of consumption and ammonium excretion to show that an exotic freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, dominated these fluxes in a highly productive stream. The snails consumed 75% of gross primary productivity, and their excretion accounted for two-thirds of ammonium demand. Such large fluxes were due to high snail biomass rather than high rates of excretion or consumption. This exotic species may dramatically alter ecosystem function in rivers, with potential consequences for food web structure and element transport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-411
Number of pages5
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Volume1
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Exotic snails dominate nitrogen and carbon cycling in a highly productive stream'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this