Population influences desiccation tolerance in an invasive aquatic snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Tateidae, Mollusca)

Edward P. Levri, Sheila Hutchinson, Rebecca Luft, Colin Berkheimer, Kellie Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traits in species that influence invasion success may vary in populations across its invaded range. The aquatic New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, reproduces parthenogenetically in its invaded range, and a few distinct clonal genotypes have been identified in North America. Much of the spread of the snail in North America has been the result of unintentional overland transport by recreational water users. Thus, desiccation tolerance may play an important role in the invasion success of this species. The primary goal of these experiments is to determine if variation in desiccation tolerance exists between populations of this species. Here we compared multiple multi-locus genotypes (MLGs) and populations within those genotypes with regard to their desiccation tolerance. We conducted three experiments. The first compared the survival rate over time of snails from three populations and two MLGs with regard to their ability to survive being completely removed from water. The second experiment examined different size classes of snails from the same population, and the third experiment compared four different populations and two MLGs genotypes with respect to their survival rate over time when removed from water but being kept in moist conditions. We found larger snails tolerate desiccation longer than smaller snails with snails between 4 and 4.6 mm surviving at a rate of more than 50% after 12 h while smaller snails survived at a less than 5% rate after 12 h. We also found significant variation both between and within MLGs in their survival rate when completely removed from water and dried with the MLG from the western US having a more than 50% greater survival probability than the eastern MLGs at both 18 and 24 h out of water. When removed from water and kept moist all MLGs had a near 100% survival rate at 60 days at 7 ̊C, and most survived at a greater than 90% rate at 60 days at 17 ̊C, while no MLG’s survived past 30 days at 27 ̊C. The results demonstrate that variation for desiccation tolerance exists between populations of this invader which could influence the invasiveness of different populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15732
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences

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