Date of this Version
Haak, D.M. 2015. Bioenergetics and habitat suitability models for the Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis). University of Nebraska-Lincoln, PhD Dissertation.
Relatively little is known about the invasive Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis). This research aims to elucidate some of the mystery surrounding this species. First, we place the species in context with other invasive freshwater snails of the USA and Canada, identifying current information gaps, categorizing shared characteristics among families and species, and comparing functional roles and ecological effects of freshwater snails. We conclude that more focus needs to be directed to regulating the aquarium, pet, and food trades if we are serious about preventing future invasions. Next, we develop a bioenergetics model for the species by quantifying and comparing consumption, egestion, respiration, and production of the Chinese mystery snail at varying water temperatures. We observed differences in these values across different water temperatures, indicating that temperature affects growth and reproductive strategies of this species. Then we focused on analyzing a specific case study to identify physical, chemical, and biological lake characteristics that help predict where the Chinese mystery snail is found. The top predictor model found that Chinese mystery snail presence is correlated with Secchi depth, latitude, and the presence of other aquatic invasive species. Finally, we use network analysis to develop a method for coupling social and ecological network models so they may be used in tandem to assess how humans aid the movement of the Chinese mystery snail, as well as how the snail affects an ecosystem after invasion. This was achieved through the adaptation of the framework of infectious disease network modeling.
Advisors: Kevin L. Pope and Valery E. Forbes