Alien and Pest Molluscs: Invasion Dynamics, Impacts, Control Methods and Ecosystem Services in a Changing World

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Ecology and Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 November 2024 | Viewed by 5154

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department Evolutionary Ecology and Environmental Toxicology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue-Str. 13, 60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Interests: limnology; invasive species; marine biology; Limnoperna; Corbicula; aquatic and benthic ecology; hull fouling

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Guest Editor
Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”-CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Interests: ballast water; biofouling; invasion biology; ecophysiology; biology; Limnoperna fortunei; Corbicula; larval fish; invasive mollusks

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to the first Special Issue of Animals focused on alien and pest molluscs. Invasive molluscs threaten native ecosystems, biodiversity, economy, and human health worldwide, which underscores the importance of integrated approaches for pest management to minimize adverse effects. In a changing world with additional stressors like climate change, chemical pollution, and habitat loss, comparative assessments of invasion dynamics and factors influencing colonization success, as well as understanding the ecological and socio-economic impacts and potential ecosystem services, are crucial to developing sound management strategies.

This Special Issue aims to publish original research articles, reviews, commentaries and reports on (but are not limited to) the following research areas:

  • Invasion dynamics and distribution patterns of exotic molluscs: Examining the patterns and processes of mollusc invasions, including understanding the factors that contribute to successful establishment, population growth, and range expansion.
  • Ecological impacts: Investigating the ecological consequences of invasive molluscs on native ecosystems, such as changes in community structure, species interactions, and ecosystem functioning. Assessing the direct and indirect effects of invasive molluscs on native species, including competition for resources, predation, and habitat modification.
  • Factors influencing colonization success of invasive molluscs.
  • Dispersal mechanisms and pathways of exotic molluscs: Studying the factors influencing the spread and dispersal of invasive molluscs, including understanding their reproductive biology, larval dispersal strategies, and mechanisms of transport, as well as mechanisms facilitating their establishment.
  • Control and management strategies for invasive molluscs: Assessment and development of effective strategies for the control and management of invasive mollusc populations, including understanding their response to different control methods, evaluating the efficacy of management interventions, and exploring novel approaches such as biocontrol.
  • Genetics and evolution: Investigating the genetic aspects of invasive molluscs, including studying their genetic diversity, population structure, and evolutionary adaptations to new environments.
  • Risk assessment and prevention: Conducting risk assessments to identify potential pathways and vectors of introduction, as well as evaluating the efficacy of prevention measures and early detection systems.
  • Interactions between invasive molluscs and multiple stressors, such as climate change, chemical pollution, habitat degradation and loss, and direct species consumption: Understanding the interactions between climate change and invasive molluscs, including investigating how changing environmental conditions may influence their distribution, abundance, and impacts on native ecosystems.
  • Socio-economic impacts: Assessing the socio-economic consequences of invasive molluscs, including evaluating their impacts on fisheries, aquaculture, water management, and recreational activities, as well as new ecosystem services in colonized areas, such as improving water clarity, providing food resources to native species (e.g., fish) and human communities, and uses as biomonitoring species and model organisms to study ecological and evolutionary processes.
  • Policy and legislation: Examining the policy frameworks and legal instruments for the management and regulation of invasive molluscs, including evaluating the effectiveness of current policies and exploring strategies for improving prevention and control measures.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Francisco Sylvester
Dr. Esteban M. Paolucci
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • invasive molluscs
  • invasive species
  • pest species
  • pest control
  • pest management
  • biological control
  • molluscicide
  • ecological impacts
  • socio-economic impacts
  • ecosystem services
  • biodiversity loss
  • invasion vectors
  • invasion pathways
  • genetic variability
  • morphological variability
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • population modelling
  • risk assessment
  • invasion dynamics
  • drivers of biodiversity loss
  • ecosystem integrity
  • policy and legislation
  • anthropocene
  • global change
  • changing world

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 29694 KiB  
Article
Histopathological Lesions Caused by a Digenean Trematode in a Pest Apple Snail, Pomacea canaliculata, in Its Native Geographic Distribution Area
by Lorena Evangelina Martinez, Carmen Gilardoni, Cintia Débora Medina, Florencia Cremonte and Jorge Alejandro Etchegoin
Animals 2024, 14(8), 1191; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14081191 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 602
Abstract
Pomacea canaliculata is one of the most dangerous invasive species. Morphological and molecular analyses have revealed that a digenean species belonging to the family Echinostomatidae parasitizes this snail at two sites in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, South America. Molecular results confirmed that the [...] Read more.
Pomacea canaliculata is one of the most dangerous invasive species. Morphological and molecular analyses have revealed that a digenean species belonging to the family Echinostomatidae parasitizes this snail at two sites in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, South America. Molecular results confirmed that the species belongs to a genus closely related to Patagifer. Analysis of the 28S rDNA showed that the sequences of the rediae and metacercariae are identical, indicating that the apple snail acts as the first and second intermediate host. The cercariae may encyst as metacercaria inside the redia and also emerge and re-infect the same snail or another snail. The prevalence of digeneans was higher in one of the sampling locations (15.1% vs. 0.72%), probably because the bird species that acts as the definitive host is more abundant in that area. Histopathological examination showed that the parasite quickly invades multiple host organs (gills, intestines, albumen gland, lung, kidney, and mantle border) besides the gonad and digestive gland, as is usual in digeneans. In addition, the partial or total castration of snails was observed in cases of moderate and high infection intensity. In males, there was loss of integrity in testicular tubules, while in females, the replacement of ovarian tissue by rediae was found. Full article
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16 pages, 4472 KiB  
Article
Integrated Metagenomic and Metabolomic Analysis on Two Competing Mussels, Mytella strigata and Perna viridis, in China
by Chenxia Zuo, Peizhen Ma, Xiaojie Ma, Yi Zhu, Shaojing Yan and Zhen Zhang
Animals 2024, 14(6), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14060918 - 16 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1090
Abstract
Biological invasion is a primary direct driver of biodiversity loss. Recently, owing to exploitation competition with an invasive mussel, Mytella strigata (Hanley, 1843), there has been a drastic decrease in the population of native Perna viridis (Linnaeus, 1758) in several western Pacific regions. [...] Read more.
Biological invasion is a primary direct driver of biodiversity loss. Recently, owing to exploitation competition with an invasive mussel, Mytella strigata (Hanley, 1843), there has been a drastic decrease in the population of native Perna viridis (Linnaeus, 1758) in several western Pacific regions. In the present study, intestinal microbiota, metabolome, and key digestive enzyme activities were compared between the two competing mussels, M. strigata and P. viridis, to elucidate the differences in intestinal microbiota and metabolic points. We observed that Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidota were the three predominant bacterial phyla in the two species. The relative abundance of Bacteroidota related to carbohydrate-degrading ability was significantly higher in M. strigata than in P. viridis. Compared to P. viridis, different metabolites including maltose and trehalose were enriched in M. strigata. Lastly, higher carbohydrases activities of alpha-amylase, cellulase, and xylanase were observed in M. strigata than in P. viridis. These differences might play an important role in the adaptation process of M. strigata to the new environment. This study provides important basic knowledge for investigating the competition between M. strigata and P. viridis in terms of food resources utilization. Full article
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13 pages, 2159 KiB  
Article
eDNA-Based Early Detection Illustrates Rapid Spread of the Non-Native Golden Mussel Introduced into Beijing via Water Diversion
by Wei Guo, Shiguo Li and Aibin Zhan
Animals 2024, 14(3), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14030399 - 27 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1274
Abstract
The world’s largest water diversion, the South-to-North Water Transfer Project (SNWTP) in China, has created an “invasion highway” to introduce invasive golden mussels (Limnoperna fortunei) from the Yangtze River basin to Beijing. To examine the spread and colonization patterns of this [...] Read more.
The world’s largest water diversion, the South-to-North Water Transfer Project (SNWTP) in China, has created an “invasion highway” to introduce invasive golden mussels (Limnoperna fortunei) from the Yangtze River basin to Beijing. To examine the spread and colonization patterns of this newly introduced invasive species, we conducted comprehensive environmental DNA (eDNA)-based early detection and conventional field surveys across all water bodies in five river basins in Beijing from 2020 to 2023. Our results indicated a rapid spread over the past four years. Among the 130 tested sites, the number of sites with positive signals from eDNA analysis exhibited an annual increase: Commencing with four infested sites identified through field surveys in 2019, eDNA analysis detected an additional 13, 11, and 10 positive sites in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively, and a substantial rise comprising an additional 28 sites in 2023. Conventional field surveys detected mussels 1–3 years later than eDNA-based analysis at 16 sites. Across all 16 sites, we detected a low population density ranging from 1 to 30 individuals/m2. These findings collectively indicate that the invasions by golden mussels in Beijing are still in their early stages. To date, golden mussels have successfully colonized four out of the five investigated river basins, including the Jiyun River (22.2% positive sites), North Canal River (59.6% positive sites), Chaobai River (40% positive sites), and Yongding River (63.6% positive sites), with the North Canal River and Yongding River being the most heavily infested. Currently, only the Daqing River basin remains uninfested. Given the significant number of infested sites and the ongoing transport of large new propagules via SNWTP, further rapid spread and colonization are anticipated across aquatic ecosystems in Beijing and beyond. Consequently, we call for the proper implementation of effective management strategies, encompassing early detection, risk assessment, and the use of appropriate control measures to mitigate the potential ecological and economic damages in invaded ecosystems. Full article
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19 pages, 9900 KiB  
Article
Acute Exposure to Two Biocides Causes Morphological and Molecular Changes in the Gill Ciliary Epithelium of the Invasive Golden Mussel Limnoperna fortunei (Dunker, 1857)
by Amanda Maria Siqueira Moreira, Erico Tadeu Fraga Freitas, Mariana de Paula Reis, Júlia Meireles Nogueira, Newton Pimentel de Ulhôa Barbosa, André Luiz Martins Reis, Afonso Pelli, Paulo Ricardo da Silva Camargo, Antonio Valadão Cardoso, Rayan Silva de Paula and Erika Cristina Jorge
Animals 2023, 13(20), 3258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13203258 - 19 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1494
Abstract
Limnoperna fortunei, the golden mussel, is a bivalve mollusk considered an invader in South America. This species is responsible for ecological and economic damages due to its voluminous fouling capability. Chemical biocides such as MXD-100™ and sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC) are often used [...] Read more.
Limnoperna fortunei, the golden mussel, is a bivalve mollusk considered an invader in South America. This species is responsible for ecological and economic damages due to its voluminous fouling capability. Chemical biocides such as MXD-100™ and sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC) are often used to control L. fortunei infestations in hydraulic systems. Thus, we proposed to investigate the effects of different periods (24, 48 and 72 h) of exposure to MXD-100™ (0.56 mg L−1) and NaDCC (1.5 mg L−1) on the gills of L. fortunei through morphological and molecular analyses. NaDCC promoted progressive morphological changes during the analyzed periods and only an upregulation of SOD and HSP70 expression during the first 24 h of exposure. MXD-100™ led to severe morphological changes from the first period of exposure, in addition to an upregulation of SOD, CAT, HSP70 and CYP expression during the first 24 h. In contrast, MXD-100™ led to a downregulation of CAT transcription between 24 and 48 h. In static conditions, NaDCC causes lethal damage after 72 h of exposure, and that exposure needs to be continuous to achieve the control of the species. Meanwhile, the MXD-100™ treatment presented several effects during the first 24 h, showing acute toxicity in a shorter period of time. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Morphological and genetic assessment of invasive Corbicula lineages from southern South America: A case study in Argentina
Authors: Leandro A. Hünicken; Esteban M. Paolucci; Pablo D. Lavinia; Francisco Sylvester
Affiliation: CONICET / Centro de Investigación Aplicada y Transferencia Tecnológica en Recursos Marinos "Almirante Storni"
Abstract: The invasive distribution of the Corbicula clams in Europe and America is driven by asexual androgenetic reproduction, resulting in several hermaphroditic lineages that share morphological traits and exhibit phenotypic plasticity, difficulting their morphological identification. Genetic markers, like the mitochondrial COI gene, can help in distinguishing these lineages within their ranges. Invasive Corbicula lineages reached South America in the 1960s, spreading primarily through river basins in Argentina and Brazil. However, their actual distributions and identities still need to be clarified in extensive areas across the invasive range. Here, we comprehensively review Corbicula's distribution in Argentina, discriminate extant lineages based on both morphological and genetic data, and describe variation in internal and external morphology within populations. Morphological and genetic analyses were conducted on individuals from 15 populations across Argentina. External and internal morphological data were analyzed through discriminant analysis. COI gene sequences were obtained for phylogenetic analysis. Genetic relationships and distribution were evaluated using a haplotype network. Two mitochondrial lineages were identified: A/R morphotype ( FW5 haplotype) and C/S morphotype (FW17 haplotype). Strikingly, despite having similar vectors, origins, and invasive stages, Corbicula lineages exhibit virtually segregated distributions. However, intermediate morphotypes and both mitochondrial haplotypes are found in sympatry in northeastern Argentina, suggesting the presence of hybrids due to maternal genome retention.

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