Biological Invasions

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 1695–1708 | Cite as

Dependence on aerial respiration and its influence on microdistribution in the invasive freshwater snail Pomacea canaliculata (Caenogastropoda, Ampullariidae)

  • María E. Seuffert
  • Pablo R. Martín
Original Paper


The invasive Neotropical snail Pomacea canaliculata is usually regarded as amphibious, although the relative significance of aerial and aquatic respiration is unknown. To investigate the degree of dependence on aerial respiration and its influences on microdistribution, experiments were performed in the laboratory and under seminatural and natural conditions. Restriction of aerial respiration negatively affected survivorship, activity and feeding, its effects worsening with temperature and water fouling; females were more seriously affected than males although the effect depended on reproductive effort. Snails were unevenly distributed relative to the access to air, both in a stream and in an outdoor tank, being concentrated less than 2–4 m from the nearest emergent substratum. Accessibility to air would be an important trait of waterbodies prone to invasions of P. canaliculata, especially in tropical areas. The effectiveness of some control measures could be increased by focusing on areas where snails are concentrated due to their dependence on air.


Apple snail Water fouling Temperature Surfacing Survivorship Activity 



This work was funded with grants by CONICET (“Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas”, PIP 6150) and UNS (“Universidad Nacional del Sur”, PGI 24B/108 and PGI 24B/144). MES is a doctoral fellow in CONICET. PRM is a researcher in CONICET. We are grateful to Nicolás Tamburi for his assistance in the Pigüé stream survey and to Silvana Burela for providing the snails used in the trials. We also wish to thank to two anonymous reviewers for their helpful criticisms.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biología, Bioquímica y FarmaciaUniversidad Nacional del SurBahía BlancaArgentina

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