Nature's Dynamic Duo: The Fascinating Relationship Between Snails and Algae
Aquatic snails can live in all sorts of freshwater environments, including those subject to harmful algae blooms. We wanted to explore the relationship between scavenging snails and different concentrations of algae cells!
Elsa Sam, Chadisha Cummings, Sofia Lopez
Morningside Pond, a popular attraction in Morningside Park, is a beautiful conglomeration of wildlife in a New York City ecosystem. However, due to algal blooms, the pond color changes visibly. We tested how different concentrations of algae impact freshwater snail mortality, reproduction, and behavior. Small organisms like snails help with the water cycle by taking in and releasing water back into the ecosystem. The intention of this experiment was to determine which algae concentrations had the largest impact on snail health. This is important to study because events like algal blooms affect nutrients available in the ecosystem. Throughout this experiment we looked at snail health indicators such as mortality, snail speed, and distance traveled. It also helps us to better understand how snails contribute to clean water in their environment since they are known to consume algae to restore balance.
Healthy ponds are able to sustain life by providing a suitable environment for all organisms to thrive and grow. This experiment was conducted by looking at pond snails in various conditions: Low Algae, Medium Algae, and Algal bloom (highest level) concentrations. These quantities were selected by looking at real ponds and their algal content and replicating them on a smaller scale in controlled conditions. A control group with no algae was also used.
This page was originally developed by BioBus Summer 2021 Jr. Scientist William Rhee.