A review of salinity tolerances for the New Zealand mudsnail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum, Gray 1843) and the effect of a controlled saltwater backflush on their survival in an impounded freshwater lake

Category: Aquatic Invasive Species

Published: 2012

Pages: 24

Author(s): Larry L. LeClair and Yuk W. Cheng


The New Zealand mudsnail (NZMS) is an invasive first discovered in Olympia, Washington's Capitol Lake in 2009 and has since been detected in the lake at high densities. In this study, we review salinity tolerances from NZMS investigations conducted in the wild and in the laboratory. Based on the review, we backflushed Capitol Lake with saltwater introduced through a dam that connects the lake to the sea in order to examine the effect of raising the lake's salinity on NZMS survival. We present pre- and post-backflush survival rates from 26 sample stations, eight of which were supplemented with the topical application of salt. Raising the lake's salinity decreased survival and the topical application of salt increased the effect. Sample size and location had a significant effect on survival. We subjected pre- and post-backflush NZMSs to laboratory saltwater trials and used the data to construct a generalized linear model (GLM) to predict survival rates under various salinity exposure regimes. More NZMSs were killed in response to the backflush than was predicted by GLM. Water temperatures in the lake were lower than those used in the laboratory and this may have decreased the NZMS's resistance to increased salinities in the lake.