Potential establishment of the apple snail in the EU

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Article
apple snail, Pomacea insularum, Pomacea canaliculata, Pomacea maculata, population dynamics model, establishment
First published in the EFSA Journal
12. Dezember 2013
Adopted
21. November 2013
Last Updated
12. März 2014. This version replaces the previous one/s.
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
Abstract

EFSA requested the PLH Panel to review the current state of the art of the biology and ecology of apple snails, reported in this opinion, and to perform an environmental risk assessment for validation of the Plant Health environment guidance document, which will be provided in a second opinion. The Panel presents in this opinion the current state of the art of the biology of apple snails, and develops and uses a population dynamics model to assess the potential establishment of apple snails in the EU. A thorough review of the literature on the biology of Pomacea canaliculata and P. maculata was performed to collect information and data on life history characteristics related to temperature, which was used in the population dynamics model. Although uncertainties on the systematics and taxonomy of the genus Pomacea remain, it is now acknowledged that Pomacea insularum is a synonym of P. maculata and can be undoubtedly differentiated from P. canaliculata. Natural spread occurs via rivers and canals, in which the snails crawl, drift, float and raft. Flooding increases spread. In addition, attachment to animals (e.g. birds, cattle, horses, deer and aquatic invertebrates) results in spread. Human assistance results in spread through cultivation transport of rice seedlings, aquaculture, aquaria, boats, and agricultural field machinery. The potential distribution of P. canaliculata in Europe was obtained by calculating with the population dynamics model, the average snail abundance per year in each node of a grid of 0.25 ×  0.25 degrees covering Europe, which resulted in the following conclusions: (1) the area of potential establishment comprises wetlands of southern Europe (i.e. Spain, southern France, most of Italy and Greece) and the Balkans up to the latitude of the Danube river, (2) the potential area of establishment includes the rice production areas in Europe.

Panel members at the time of adoption
Richard Baker, Claude Bragard, Thierry Candresse, Gianni Gilioli, Jean-Claude Grégoire, Imre Holb, Michael John Jeger, Olia Evtimova Karadjova, Christer Magnusson, David Makowski, Charles Manceau, Maria Navajas, Trond Rafoss, Vittorio Rossi, Jan Schans, Gritta Schrader, Gregor Urek, Johan Coert van Lenteren, Irene Vloutoglou, Wopke van der Werf and Stephan Winter
Panel on Plant Health
Contact
plh [at] efsa.europa.eu
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2013.3487
EFSA Journal 2013;11(12):3487 [49 pp.].
Question Number
On request from
EFSA
Print on demand
Number of Pages
49