Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-03-01 End Date: 2013-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $750 Total Non-Federal Funds: $315
Principal Investigators: Eric Richins
Abstract: To better understand the risks New Zealand Mud Snail (NZMS) poses for Montana aquatic systems the investigator proposes to examine several hypothesized, but inadequately tested, consequences of NZMS invasion, their long term effect on benthic food webs; the interacting role of existing gradients in stream productivity; and the effects of eutrophication for the success of NZMS invasions: 1. Available primary production limits invasion success; densities, growth rates (and associated demographic traits) will increase as a consequence of eutrophication. 2. NZMS reduce availability of periphyton food sources as well as shifting algal community composition towards less edible forms. 3. Successful NZMS invasion reduces the abundance and diversity of native aquatic invertebrates over the long term.