Presentation Title

Do California Newts affect New Zealand Mud Snail Movement?

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-#85

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

Invasive species are a significant danger to freshwater ecosystems. In 2000, New Zealand Mud Snails, (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) were detected in the Santa Monica Mountain streams for the first time. Many of these streams are inhabited by the California Newt (Taricha torosa), which produces tetrodotoxin (TTX), a neurotoxin utilized for self-defense. This toxin has been shown in previous studies to affect the behavior of freshwater invertebrates. This study was designed to determine if California Newts affect the distance travelled by New Zealand Mud Snails. In the laboratory NZMSs were placed in plastic containers containing Newt solution, bullfrog solution or control water. These containers were observed for an hour with pictures taken every 10 minutes. The distance moved by each snail in the six ten minute intervals were measured and recorded. Our data showed that mean movement significantly differed between all three treatments when compared using a mixed effects linear regression model. This data shows that California Newts could be playing an important role in limiting the spread of invasive mud snails in Santa Monica Mountain streams.

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Nov 12th, 4:00 PM Nov 12th, 5:00 PM

Do California Newts affect New Zealand Mud Snail Movement?

HUB 302-#85

Invasive species are a significant danger to freshwater ecosystems. In 2000, New Zealand Mud Snails, (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) were detected in the Santa Monica Mountain streams for the first time. Many of these streams are inhabited by the California Newt (Taricha torosa), which produces tetrodotoxin (TTX), a neurotoxin utilized for self-defense. This toxin has been shown in previous studies to affect the behavior of freshwater invertebrates. This study was designed to determine if California Newts affect the distance travelled by New Zealand Mud Snails. In the laboratory NZMSs were placed in plastic containers containing Newt solution, bullfrog solution or control water. These containers were observed for an hour with pictures taken every 10 minutes. The distance moved by each snail in the six ten minute intervals were measured and recorded. Our data showed that mean movement significantly differed between all three treatments when compared using a mixed effects linear regression model. This data shows that California Newts could be playing an important role in limiting the spread of invasive mud snails in Santa Monica Mountain streams.