Life cycles and distribution of the aquatic gastropod molluscs Bithynia tentaculata (L.), Gyraulus albus (Muller), Planorbis planorbis (L.) and Lymnaea peregra (Muller) in relation to water chemistry

Research paper by G. B. J. Dussart

Indexed on: 01 Dec '79Published on: 01 Dec '79Published in: Hydrobiologia


The ecology of the aquatic gastropods Bithynia tentaculata, Gyraulus albus, Planorbis planorbis and Lymnaea peregra in North West England was investigated over 13 months at sites chosen for their wide range of water chemistry. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the significance to the mollusc distributions of a variety of physico-chemical factors. Biotic factors were not considered. The species had similar life cycles, with little difference between populations within a species. B. tentaculata could live for over a year, and the major water chemistry variable was potassium (+), where the sign is that of the regression coefficient. G. albus could also survive into a second year and the major variable was mud substratum type (+). Rock substratum type (-) was the most important factor for P. planorbis. There was a slight difference in the life cycles of L. peregra in hard and medium compared with soft waters and the major water chemistry variable was magnesium (-).