Location: Water Quality and Ecology Research
Project Number: 6060-13660-009-027-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Dec 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 31, 2026
The primary objective of this project is to develop strategies to manage and control the spread of invasive apple snails (Pomacea maculata) in agricultural production systems of the southeastern US. Specific objectives for this research are to (1) assess environmental sinksof copper applied at rates consistent with proposed rates for apple snail control; and (2) evaluate the potential impacts of environmental copper on the industry-relevant rice crops and non-target organisms.
While several control methods for invasive apple snails have been suggested, one of the most commonly used chemical therapeutics in aquaculture is copper sulfate pentahydrate (i.e. copper sulfate). Recent work suggests relatively high concentrations of copper sulfate are required to effectively control invasive apple snails. Secondary impacts of such high concentrations of copper sulfate are not well understood, both from an environmental and industry perspective. Mesocosm studies investigating the fate of copper sulfate in simulated rice fields will help to better understand these secondary impacts, and how copper treatments may influence future rice crops. Additionally, a study design utilizing a sentinel macroinvertebrate will provide evidence of biotic impacts to non-target organisms in the fields and surrounding waterways.