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Importance of Macrophyte Quality in Determining Life-History Traits of the Apple Snails Pomacea canaliculata: Implications for Bottom-Up Management of an Invasive Herbivorous Pest in Constructed Wetlands

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
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Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030248
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 24 February 2016
Pomacea canaliculata (Ampullariidae) has extensively invaded most Asian constructed wetlands and its massive herbivory of macrophytes has become a major cause of ecosystem dysfunctioning of these restored habitats. We conducted non-choice laboratory feeding experiments of P. canaliculata using five common macrophyte species in constructed wetlands including Ipomoea aquatica, Commelina communis, Nymphoides coreana, Acorus calamus and Phragmites australis. Effects of macrophytes on snail feeding, growth and fecundity responses were evaluated. Results indicated that P. canaliculata reared on Ipomoea had the highest feeding and growth rates with highest reproductive output, but all individuals fed with Phragmites showed lowest feeding rates and little growth with poorest reproductive output. Plant N and P contents were important for enhancing palatability, supporting growth and offspring quantity of P. canaliculata, whilst toughness, cellulose and phenolics had critically deterrent effects on various life-history traits. Although snail offspring quality was generally consistent regardless of maternal feeding conditions, the reduced growth and offspring quantity of the poorly-fed snails in constructed wetlands dominated by the less-palatable macrophytes could limit the invasive success of P. canaliculata. Effective bottom-up control of P. canaliculata in constructed wetlands should involve selective planting strategy using macrophytes with low nutrient and high toughness, cellulose and phenolic contents. View Full-Text
Keywords: apple snails; herbivory; palatability; growth; reproduction; aquatic plants; invasive species control apple snails; herbivory; palatability; growth; reproduction; aquatic plants; invasive species control
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Yam, R.S.W.; Fan, Y.-T.; Wang, T.-T. Importance of Macrophyte Quality in Determining Life-History Traits of the Apple Snails Pomacea canaliculata: Implications for Bottom-Up Management of an Invasive Herbivorous Pest in Constructed Wetlands. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 248.

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