Lethal and non-lethal effects of multiple indigenous predators on the invasive golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata)

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1. We investigated the individual and combined effects of two predators (the climbing perch, Anabas testudineus, and the wetland crab, Esanthelphusa nimoafi) indigenous to wetlands in Laos, on the behaviour and survival of the invasive South American golden apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata). The snail is considered a pest, consuming large amounts of rice and other aquatic vegetation in the region. 2. Snail avoidance reactions to released predator chemical cues were investigated in aquaria while the effects of predators on a mixed snail population were studied in field enclosures that contained native aquatic plants (Salvinia cucullata, Ludwigia adscendens and Ipomoea aquatica). 3. In the aquaria experiment, neonate (2-3 mm) and medium-sized snails (8-10 mm) responded to fish chemical cues by going to the surface, whereas adult snails (35-40 mm) went to the bottom. In contrast, no size class of snails reacted to chemical cues released by crabs. 4. In the field experiment, fish reduced the abundance of neonate snails, and crabs reduced the abundance of all size classes. The effect of the combined predators could not be predicted from the mortality rate observed in single predator treatments. The survival of neonate and medium-sized snails was greater and of adults less than expected. The presence of predators did not affect egg production. Snails consumed significant amounts of plants despite the presence of predators. 5. Our findings suggest that some indigenous Asian predators have lethal and sublethal effects on P. canaliculata that depend on snail size and predator type. When in the presence of several predators the response of snails to one predator may either increase or decrease the vulnerability of snails to the others.


  • Nils Carlsson
  • A Kestrup
  • M Mårtensson
  • Per Nyström
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Miljövetenskap
  • Ekologi
Sidor (från-till)1269-1279
TidskriftFreshwater Biology
Utgåva nummer10
StatusPublished - 2004
Peer review utfördJa


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