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Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Report

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A primary goal of invasion biology is to predict which introduced species become invasive and which systems are susceptible to invasion. Therefore it is vital to understand how invasive species sustain positive population growth rates in their introduced range and what environmental factors control population growth. The New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) (Figure 1.) has spread throughout Europe, Australia, and North America, and has reached pest densities in many streams in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) since their introduction in the 1980‘s. High rates of growth and secondary production have been documented for mud snails in its introduced range in the GYA, as have evidence of negative interactions between mud snails and native macroinvertebrates and higher trophic levels. However, little is known about how the availability of nutrients affects the invasion success of mud snails.