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Open AccessArticle

Contrasting Patterns of Pomacea maculata Establishment and Dispersal in an Everglades Wetland Unit and a Central Florida Lake

1
Department of Biology, University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, FL 32514, USA
2
Departamento de Biologia, Setor de Ecologia Aplicada, Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA), Lavras/MG 37200-000, Brazil
3
Broward County Parks and Recreation Division, Natural Resources and Land Management Section, 950 NW 38th Street, Oakland Park, FL 33309, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2019, 11(10), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11100183
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 5 September 2019 / Accepted: 18 September 2019 / Published: 1 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Diversity of Apple Snails)
The spread of non-native species raises concerns about native species displacement, while other negative effects on native species (e.g., habitat degradation) should also be considered. The highly invasive non-native apple snail Pomacea maculata has raised such concerns as it has become established in a wide range of aquatic systems worldwide. While monitoring native Florida P. paludosa populations in Lake Tohopekaliga (LTOHO) from 2001 to 2009 and in Water Conservation Area 3A (WCA3A, Everglades) from 2006 to 2015, we opportunistically documented the establishment and distribution of P. maculata. We estimated snail densities and recorded egg cluster presence in three study sites (12 total plots, LTOHO) and 137 sites (WCA3). On LTOHO, native snails were absent or at very low densities prior to finding P. maculata. Few snails of either species were found in high-stem-density vegetation of the littoral zone. Pomacea maculata immigration into the littoral zone occurred following managed vegetation removal, and Hydrilla verticillata proliferation in LTOHO likely contributed to the spread of P. maculata. We found both native and non-native apple snail species in many WCA3A sites following P. maculata invasion. We initially found the non-native snail in two sites in southern WCA3A; they were mostly restricted to within three kilometers of initial sites over the next four years. Overall plant community compositions in LTOHO and WCA3A appeared less impacted than expected based on previous reports of P. maculata invasions. View Full-Text
Keywords: gastropod; snail; non-native; aquatic; invasive species; Pomacea maculata; dispersal gastropod; snail; non-native; aquatic; invasive species; Pomacea maculata; dispersal
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Gutierre, S.M.M.; Darby, P.C.; Valentine-Darby, P.L.; Mellow, D.J.; Therrien, M.; Watford, M. Contrasting Patterns of Pomacea maculata Establishment and Dispersal in an Everglades Wetland Unit and a Central Florida Lake. Diversity 2019, 11, 183.

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