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Identifying factors linked to the occurrence of alien gastropods in isolated woodland water bodies

Spyra, Aneta, Strzelec, Małgorzata
Naturwissenschaften 2014 v.101 no.3 pp. 229-239
Potamopyrgus antipodarum, aquatic environment, biodiversity, calcium, chlorides, community structure, environmental factors, freshwater, global change, habitats, indigenous species, introduced species, invasive species, nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, ponds, reproduction, snails, surface water, water analysis
Biological invasions are a significant component of human-caused global change and is widely regarded as one of the main threats to natural biodiversity. Isolated anthropogenic water bodies created in the areas that are deprived of natural freshwater habitats allow the survival and reproduction of alien species on newly settled sites. They are often small with water level fluctuations causing frequent environmental disturbances. The colonisation success may be the result of the rate of their degradation. The aims of the study were to determine the environmental conditions that affect the existence of alien species of gastropods in this type of aquatic environment and to examine whether the occurrence of non-native species affects the community structure of the native species. This study made it possible to group woodland ponds according to the occurrence of the three invasive species in snail communities and discuss the environmental conditions present in these pond types. Analysis of water properties emphasised the distinctiveness of the selected pond types. In ponds of the Potamopyrgus antipodarum type, we found the highest values of some parameters mainly hardness, conductivity, and content of calcium and chlorides, in contrast with the Physella acuta type, which were characterised by the lowest values except for phosphates and nitrites. In the Ferrissia fragilis type, we found the highest nitrate content. Data on the occurrence of alien species in different water environments play an important role in actions which are taken to prevent new invasions and spread of non-native species as well as to reduce future impacts of invaders.