The invasive freshwater gastropods, Physa acuta and Potamopyrgus antipodarum

distribution in urban and non-urban streams in the Georges River catchment

Katie Shield, Carl Tippler, Adrian Renshaw, Ian A. Wright

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

    Abstract

    Urban catchments have high coverage of impervious surfaces with modified stream hydrology and water chemistry. In urban areas, it is well documented that opportunistic invasive species colonise and displace many native species once the habitat is degraded. The freshwater gastropods Physa acuta (Physidae) and Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Hydrobiidae) are invasive species (from Europe and New Zealand respectively) and have become widespread throughout the waterways of south-east Australia. The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of these two gastropod species (P. acuta and P. antipodarium) and the pollution sensitive mayfly family (Leptophlebiidae) in streams with three different levels of urban development (non-urban, peri-urban and urban) in the Georges River catchment, Sydney, NSW. Quantitative sampling of Leptophlebiidae, Physidae and Hydrobiidae was undertaken from a total of 17 sites across the catchment. We found Physa acuta and Potamopyrgus antipodarum were absent from non-urban catchments, whereas Leptophlebiidae nymphs were abundant. The non-urban streams had low pH (<6) and low salinity (<250 μS/cm). The urban catchments had higher pH (>7) and higher salinity (>400 μS/cm). Additionally, Leptophlebiidae were absent from highly urbanised catchments. A puzzling finding was that invasive gastropods have an apparent intolerance of the water chemistry of the cleanest non-urban streams. We suspect that the naturally low pH and scarcity of some minerals may be protecting these streams from colonisation by the invasive snails. We question whether the ANZECC pH guideline (minimum pH of 6.5) is prudent for protecting freshwater ecosystems from invasive gastropod species. Further field and laboratory investigation is required to detect and measure other factors that are contributing to the invasive success of both exotic gastropods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th Australian Stream Management Conference
    EditorsGeoff Vietz, Ian Rutherfurd, Rhiannon Hughes
    Place of PublicationMelbourne
    PublisherThe University of Melbourne
    Pages542-548
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)9780734050380
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventAustralian Stream Management Conference (7th : 2014) - Townsville, QLD
    Duration: 27 Jul 201430 Jul 2014

    Conference

    ConferenceAustralian Stream Management Conference (7th : 2014)
    CityTownsville, QLD
    Period27/07/1430/07/14

    Keywords

    • Gastropoda
    • mayflies
    • water quality
    • pH
    • salinity
    • aquatic ecosystems
    • invasive species
    • impervious surfaces

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The invasive freshwater gastropods, Physa acuta and Potamopyrgus antipodarum: distribution in urban and non-urban streams in the Georges River catchment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Shield, K., Tippler, C., Renshaw, A., & Wright, I. A. (2014). The invasive freshwater gastropods, Physa acuta and Potamopyrgus antipodarum: distribution in urban and non-urban streams in the Georges River catchment. In G. Vietz, I. Rutherfurd, & R. Hughes (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th Australian Stream Management Conference (pp. 542-548). Melbourne: The University of Melbourne.