Effects of diet and heavy metals on growth rate and fertility in the deposit-feeding snail Potamopyrgus jenkinsi (Smith) (Gastropoda: Hydrobiidae)
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Evidence for the influence of food type and heavy metals on shell growth and fertility is presented for a freshwater population of the snail P. jenkinsi. When fed an excess of lettuce or lamb heart (protein source), growth rates were higher for lettuce. Highest growth rates occurred at a diet of lettuce plus lamb heart. Fertility was favoured by a diet of lamb heart. When fed an excess of lettuce, the EC50 growth values were 16 µg Cd l−1, 13 µg Cu l−1, and 103 µg Zn l−1 in lake water; snail fertility was inhibited at 25 µg Cd l−1 and 30 µg Cu l−1. A diet of lake detritus spiked with Cd or Cu resulted in a decrease of approximately 50% in growth rates, when compared with growth on non-spiked detritus. Spiked detritus lost metals into lake water. Food type positively interacted with metal stress, both for growth rate and fertility. The assessment of inhibitory effects of detritus contaminated either in the field or, notably, by spiking, and serving as food source for deposit feeders is hampered by sampling problems in the field and by redistribution processes of pollutants between particles and water in laboratory-scale experiments.
Key wordsheavy metals diet detritivory growth reproduction Potamopyrgus jenkinsi
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