Landscape and Ecological Engineering

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 113–120 | Cite as

Annual respiration of Japanese mud snail Batillaria attramentaria in an intertidal flat: its impact on ecosystem carbon flows

  • Kei Kawasaki
  • Akiko Sasaki-Kinoshita
  • Takayuki NakatsuboEmail author
Short Communication


The Japanese mud snail Batillaria attramentaria, a common gastropod in northeastern Asia, often predominates in isolated or degraded intertidal flat ecosystems in Japan and in other countries where it has invaded as an alien species. To evaluate the effects of B. attramentaria on carbon flow in intertidal flat ecosystems, we estimated the annual respiration of B. attramentaria from field surveys and laboratory experiments. The densities of the snails, as determined at an intertidal flat of the Seto Inland Sea, western Japan, were 235–485 individuals m−2. Temperature and snail size strongly affected their respiration rates, as determined by measuring their CO2 emission rates using an open-flow infrared gas analyzer method. The respiration rates were higher in the submerged condition than in the air-exposed condition. Based on the size structure of the natural population, laboratory experiment results, and environmental factors in the field (temperature and duration of the ebb/flood tide), we estimated the respiration in spring, summer, and autumn, respectively, as 1.9, 2.4, and 4.0 g C m−2. The total amount of carbon mineralized annually by the respiration of B. attramentaria exceeds 10% of that mineralized through sediment respiration. Based on these data and respiration/ingestion ratios in previous reports, we conclude that B. attramentaria has a significant impact on the carbon flows in intertidal flat ecosystems.


Gastropod Ingestion Invasive species Mineralization Size structure 


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Copyright information

© International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kei Kawasaki
    • 1
  • Akiko Sasaki-Kinoshita
    • 1
  • Takayuki Nakatsubo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Dynamics and Management, Graduate School of Biosphere ScienceHiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan

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