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Deep River Center, United States

Wood A.M.,University of Wisconsin-La Crosse | Haro C.R.,University of Wisconsin-La Crosse | Haro R.J.,University of Wisconsin-La Crosse | Haro R.J.,River Studies Center | And 2 more authors.
Hydrobiologia | Year: 2011

Invasive species are of critical concern as they have the potential to rapidly alter biotic systems around the globe. The upper Mississippi River (UMR) system has been recently invaded by the aquatic snail, Bithynia tentaculata, which spread from the Great Lakes region. In addition to potentially impacting native aquatic snails, B. tentaculata also carries three parasites which kill thousands of migrating waterfowl annually. Although this invader is having detrimental impacts on a number of species in the UMR region, little is known regarding (1) the tolerances of B. tentaculata to abiotic stresses in this area, and (2) how stress thresholds in this species compare to native species across developmental stages. To help fill in these informational gaps, we conducted a series of laboratory experiments aimed at assessing the tolerances of B. tentaculata and a native snail (Physa gyrina) to desiccation at two stages of ontogeny (eggs and adults). Results showed that P. gyrina egg masses were more tolerant to a transient desiccation period (9 h) than B. tentaculata egg masses as evidenced by their higher hatching success. Conversely, adult survival in B. tentaculata was much greater than that of P. gyrina after a longer desiccation period (1 week). Although superior tolerance to drying varies between the developmental stages of each species, B. tentaculata may have an overall advantage due to its ability to endure prolonged drying at maturity. These results suggest that hydrologic fluctuations in the UMR may contribute to reductions in P. gyrina numbers, potentially facilitating B. tentaculata colonization and the spread of waterfowl infections. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Peirce J.P.,University of Wisconsin-La Crosse | Peirce J.P.,River Studies Center | Sandland G.J.,University of Wisconsin-La Crosse | Sandland G.J.,River Studies Center | And 3 more authors.
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2016

Bithynia tentaculata is an invasive snail that was discovered in the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) in 2002. In addition to being a threat to native benthos, the snail also harbors parasite associated with annual outbreaks of waterfowl mortality in the UMR. Trophic transmission of parasites between snails and birds occurs during seasonal waterfowl migrations, which can depend intimately on temperature. We developed an annual model for waterfowl disease in the UMR where transmission depends on water temperatures gleaned from empirical studies. By running simulations from annual temperature profiles selected randomly from a normal distribution, we quantified the association between the number of infected hosts and annual average temperatures. Model output demonstrated that as annual average temperatures rise, infected host populations initially increase and then decay after temperatures exceed a certain threshold. Results from this work suggest that increasing temperatures in the region may have a negative effect on parasites, decreasing their transmission and reducing infected host populations. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Sandland G.J.,University of Wisconsin-La Crosse | Sandland G.J.,River Studies Center | Gillis R.,University of Wisconsin-La Crosse | Haro R.J.,University of Wisconsin-La Crosse | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2014

Bithynia tentaculata is an aquatic invasive snail first detected in the upper Mississippi River (UMR) in 2002. The snail harbors a number of parasitic trematode species, including Sphaeridiotrema pseudoglobulus, that have been implicated in waterfowl mortality in the region. We assessed the capacity of S. pseudoglobulus cercariae to infect B. tentaculata and native snails found in the UMR. Four snail species (one invasive and three native) were individually exposed to S. pseudoglobulus larvae and all were successfully infected. A subsequent experiment examining infection patterns in invasive and native hosts exposed singly or in mixed treatments revealed no difference in parasite establishment among snail species. Our results add to our understanding of S. pseudoglobulus transmission and provide insight into processes underlying waterfowl disease in the UMR. © Wildlife Disease Association 2014.

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