Cultivate snails and maintaining them alive

Cultivate snails and maintaining them alive

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I found snails in my garden, I want to create a good house for them. I don't really know how to do. Sorry if this is not the good site to ask that but I don't want them to die so I'm trying to be quick.

This is a temporary terrarium for them, is it good ? What do I need to keep them in good health ? What do I need to put in the box ? Is it too small ? I will inquire all about later, I want them first in a safe place.

Thank you :)

Finicky Snails Provide New Clues To The Evolution Of Coastal Ecosystems

Whether sautéed in wine or steamed in the shell, mussels have long been a favorite of seafood lovers. For most people, the type of mussel served isn't important - as long as there are plenty of them on the plate.

But in the wild, it's a different matter. According to a new study in the journal Science, when it comes to preying on mussels, marine snails are often pickier than people.

The study, led by scientists from Stanford University, focused on a species of mussel that California snails love to eat but Oregon snails won't come near. The scientists discovered that this culinary preference is probably an inherited trait - the result of generations of genetic and geographic isolation along the shores of the Pacific.

The discovery of finicky snail populations on the Oregon and Washington coast could have profound implications for managing marine ecosystems worldwide, the researchers added.

''If you go down the coast from Canada to Mexico, you will find species that individually look the same but actually have undergone genetic adaptations to local conditions,'' said George N. Somero, the David and Lucile Packard Professor in Marine Science at Stanford and co-author of the Science study. ''As a result, a species that's relatively unimportant in one habitat may turn out to be very important in another.''

The new findings, published in the May 16 issue of Science, were based on experiments conducted at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station, where researchers analyzed the eating habits of the channeled whelk (Nucella canaliculata) - an inch-long snail commonly found in coastal waters from Alaska to California. Whelks are voracious consumers of mussels, despite being much smaller than their prey.

''A whelk drills through the shell of a mussel using its file-like tongue - the radula - and acid secretions,'' said Eric Sanford, lead author of the Science study. ''When the hole is drilled through, a tube called the proboscis is extended into the shell, and the soft mussel tissue is ingested.''

Sanford, now a research associate at Brown University, led the study while he was a postdoctoral fellow in Somero's laboratory at Hopkins.

In one experiment, researchers fed whelks a diet consisting exclusively of sea mussels (Mytilis californianus) - a species that is abundant along the Pacific coast. The reaction was decidedly mixed: The vast majority of whelks from Oregon and Washington refused to eat the sea mussels, while California whelks eagerly preyed on them.

These laboratory results mirrored what the research team had already discovered in the wild.

''We found that, along the California coast, channeled whelks feed intensely on sea mussels,'' Sanford explained. ''But in Oregon, sea mussels are a meal that few whelks will touch, preferring instead to prey on bay mussels (Mytilis trossulus), which are less common in California. Remarkably, in our experiment, we have found that these differences in predatory behavior appear to have a genetic basis.''

Unlike many marine invertebrates, which release offspring into the open sea, channeled whelks attach their egg capsules to nearby rocks. This breeding behavior led Sanford to speculate that newborn whelks probably hatch and grow up within a few yards of where their parents lived. By staying close to home, whelk populations eventually would become isolated from one another, he proposed, resulting in dozens of genetically distinct communities of whelks up and down the West Coast.

To test this hypothesis, Sanford collected whelks from 13 sites along a 900-mile stretch of the Pacific - from Southern California to the northern tip of Washington State. He then brought the whelks back to the lab, where DNA analysis confirmed that very little interbreeding had taken place among the 13 populations sampled.

''When we did the genetics, we found that the snails are a single species that is reproductively isolated into separate populations,'' he said. ''Generation after generation has lived and died, isolated on their own particular stretch of rocky coastline.''

If all channeled whelks belong to the same species, then why is there such a sharp difference in the feeding behaviors of northern and southern populations? Do whelks born and raised in the Pacific Northwest inherit their dislike for sea mussels, or is it a learned behavior?

To find out, the scientists decided to raise baby whelks in the lab using egg capsules Sanford had collected from eight sites in California, Oregon and Washington.

''Once the juvenile snails hatched from their capsules, we raised them on a common diet of bay mussels until they reached adult size about 10 months later,'' he recalled. ''We then tested whether these lab-reared whelks would drill sea mussels - a species that they had never encountered before.''

The results were dramatic and virtually identical to what had been observed in the field: 75 percent of snails raised from California eggs drilled into the shells of sea mussels, compared to only 7 percent of the Oregon and Washington hatchlings.

''Since the snails were raised under identical laboratory conditions, this strongly suggests that the differences in drilling behavior have a genetic basis,'' Sanford concluded, noting that these behavioral differences may have evolved in response to regional differences in prey availability. Bay mussels are scarce in California, but sea mussels are plentiful. Therefore, natural selection would favor California snails that feed on sea mussels.

The discovery of distinct whelk populations along the Pacific coast has significant implications for the design and management of marine reserves, Sanford noted.

''Is a snail just a snail wherever it is found, or are there important evolutionary differences that determine what role it will play in a coastal ecosystem?'' he asked. ''If you studied whelks in Oregon, you would conclude that, although they certainly affect some species, such as bay mussels, they probably don't play an essential role in the overall community.''

In contrast, he noted, the California whelk is a predator on sea mussels - a vital member of the rocky shore community: ''If not held in check, sea mussels often are the dominant competitor - overgrowing and outcompeting barnacles, algae and other species for limited space on the shore.''

Earlier studies have shown that sea mussel populations are kept under control by another rapacious predator - the ochre sea star (Pisaster ochraceus).

''The sea star is a keystone species,'' Sanford explained. ''As long as it's there, you'll have diversity. But if you take the sea star out, then the sea mussels can move downshore and crowd out other species living on the rock.''

If sea star populations were suddenly reduced by disease or some other disturbance, would the channeled whelk fill the void and help keep sea mussels in check?

To find out, the research team placed sea mussels in mesh cages specially designed to exclude sea stars, then attached the cages to intertidal sites in California and Oregon. After nine months, whelks had discovered and drilled nearly 20 percent of the caged mussels in California.

''In contrast,'' the authors wrote, ''not a single mussel was eaten in Oregon, despite mean whelk densities that were seven times greater than in California.'' Given the slow growth and low supply of young sea mussels in California, the authors concluded that whelks could partially or completely fill the sea star's predatory role in California - but not in Oregon.

''A species that seems only marginally important in one community may turn out to be an essential player in a community just a few hundred miles down the coast,'' Sanford concluded. ''Thus, scientists and resource managers have to be careful in assuming that local studies of species interactions apply everywhere that the species co-occur. These results are a strong argument for conserving and maintaining whole, intact marine communities, rather than focusing on certain target species.''

Other coauthors of the Science study are Melissa S. Roth, a former Stanford undergraduate now with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Glenn C. Johns, a Stanford postdoctoral fellow and John P. Wares, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California-Davis.

This study was part of the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) - a consortium of marine scientists from Stanford, Oregon State University, the University of California-Santa Barbara and the University of California-Santa Cruz - funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities program at Stanford.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Stanford University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

How to Plant, Care, Prune and Harvest Blueberry Bushes

Site Selection for Blueberry Bushes

Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Soil: Moist, acidic, organic, well drained soil. Highbush blueberries require a soil pH of 4.0-5.2. If you do not have acidic soil, it can easily be changed by working with a local lawn and garden supply store to help lower your soil’s pH. The pH of the soil can also be lowered by adding finely ground straight elemental sulfur or elemental sulfur in pill form. Aluminum sulfate and iron sulfate are no longer recommended, because they cause plant toxicity with certain soil types. A range of 3-20 percent organic content is best. To increase the soil’s organic content, amend with organic mulch, wet peat moss, well-aged sawdust, straw or leaf litter.

Pollination: Blueberries are self-pollinating. However, cross-pollination produces a better crop, creating larger berries and larger yields. It is best to plant 2-3 types of blueberry with the same bloom time. (Note: Rubel and Bluecrop both bloom mid-season).

How to Plant Northern Highbush Blueberries

For best results, plant your blueberry bushes in early spring. Once your plants arrive, plant them immediately. If you cannot plant immediately, keep new arrivals cool and roots moist. To keep cool, it is recommended that you store in refrigerator or cool place.

  1. Unpack and Soak: Unpack your blueberry bush and soak in water for 3 to 6 hours just before planting.
  2. Cut Broken Roots.
  3. Dig Hole(s): The width of the hole should allow you to spread roots. If you are planting multiple blueberries, dig holes 4'-6' apart. If you are creating several rows dig holes 7'-12' apart.
  4. Spread Roots in Hole
  5. Shovel Dirt Back in Hole and Add Amend Soil.
  6. Do Not Tap Soil: Don’t step on the soil or tap it down.
  7. Water: Give each plant 1"-2" of water.

How to Water Blueberries

Blueberry plants have a thread-like root mass with no root hairs. Because they have no root hairs, they are sensitive to fluctuating soil moisture. Deep, low pH mulch like peat moss, pine needles or well aged sawdust conserves water and minimizes soil water fluctuations.

Water blueberry plants during the day. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Give them at least 1" per week during growing season and up to 4" per week during fruit ripening. Keep the soil moist to a depth of 1". Water evenly on all sides of the plant. Insufficient water when the buds start to grow in late summer and when fruit is developing the following summer can lead to smaller berries. Too much water can lead to large, bland fruit.

How to Control Weeds Around Blueberries

Weed control is essential. Eliminate weed competition prior to planting if possible. Blueberry plants are shallow rooted, so do not hoe or cultivate around the bushes deeper than 2". Pull the weeds out.

How and When to Fertilize Blueberry Bushes

Blueberries do not fertilize the first year. During the following years, fertilize with ammonium sulfate or a complete 10-10-10 fertilizer (for acid loving plants) in spring. Split the dose, one as buds open and the second a month later. Increase the amount as the plants mature. Only nitrogen is required on an ongoing basis. Never apply nitrate containing fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate or calcium nitrate as these can be toxic to the plant.

How to Prune Blueberries

Do not prune for the first 2-3 years except to remove damaged or rubbing canes. Remove the fat fruit buds the first year to force vegetative growth and help the root system get established. Upright blueberry shrubs tend to become dense in the center causing shading.

After the third year, a mature cultivated blueberry plant has 15-18 canes which originate from the crown. Pruning controls the crop to increase fruit quality.

When the bushes are mature after several years, remove older central canes and prune inward pointing laterals back to the main cane. Prune when dormant in late winter or early spring. Fall pruning is not recommended, because the new shoots could be killed by a cold winter. If necessary, thin out the dormant fruit buds to get fewer but larger berries.

How to Protect Your Blueberries from Birds

Netting is the most effective solution to prevent birds from consuming your crop. Put it on as the fruit starts to ripen. Tie securely around the base of the plants to exclude rodents.

Blueberry Picking

These northern highbush cultivars ripen mid-season, but will not produce a crop until at least the second season.

When to pick your blueberries: Blueberries taste sweeter if left hanging on the bush to fully ripen. Pick 3-7 days after the berries turn completely blue all the way around for maximum sweetness. The stem should be blue not green or red, berry skin dull looking, and the berry detaches easily.

Refrigerating your blueberries: Refrigerate in a shallow container or freeze right after harvest. Do not wash the berries until ready to use. Refrigerated blueberries are best when used within 3-5 days, but storage life can extend 7-10 days. Blueberries will stain clothing.

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Types of Aquarium Snails

Anyone who has been involved with aquarium keeping is probably familiar with snails at one level or another. To some aquarists, they are valued algae eaters and scavengers that help clean the tank and keep things in balance. To others, they are a loathed scourge that quickly overrun the tank and are close to impossible to get rid of, and to some, they are beautiful creatures that make colorful, interesting pets.

For the most part, freshwater aquatic snails are hardy creatures that thrive in the same water parameters as most aquarium fish, making them easy to keep and compatible with a wide variety of fish and invertebrate species. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, and despite popular belief, not all snails are prolific breeders that will overpopulate your aquarium, although a few types can and do. Always research any new additions before introducing them to your tank. In this article, we will look at the different types of freshwater snails and how to properly care for or avoid them.

Good Vs. Bad Snails

There is a tendency to categorize aquarium snails as &ldquogood&rdquo or &ldquobad&rdquo. Truth is, all snails are good for our aquariums in one way or another, it&rsquos just that sometimes they do things we do not like or are unprepared for, like eating our plants or overpopulating the tank. Virtually all problems with snails can be avoided by understanding them, knowing how to avoid accidentally introducing them to your tank and doing adequate research to make sure you buy the right snails for your aquarium.

"Good" Aquarium Snails

Most aquatic snails are great at getting rid of algae and consuming uneaten food, dead plant matter and other detritus that accumulates in the aquarium. One type, the Malaysian Trumpet Snail (MTS), burrows in the sand or gravel looking for food, and in doing so, they keep the substrate clean and prevent it from compacting and becoming anaerobic. Sadly, they are also the primary culprit for overpopulating an aquarium.

More recently, aquarists seek snails as unique pets. Their bright colors, intricate patterns and unusual shapes make several snail species ideal candidates for aquariums of all types and sizes.

"Bad" Aquarium Snails

There really are no &ldquobad&rdquo snails, but a few species can multiply unchecked and overrun an aquarium. Seeing hundreds, if not thousands of these little beasts taking over your tank can be unnerving, and they can place a burden on biological filtration as well as clog filter intake tubes. Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS) and ramshorn snails are prone to doing this. To add to the problem, nuisance snails are virtually impossible to eradicate once they are in your aquarium. Ironically, one way of dealing with unwanted snail outbreaks is to introduce a species of snail that eats other snails! This article will touch more on this below.

Some species of apple snails (Pomacea) are voracious herbivores that will decimate a planted aquarium in short order. Apple snails have also caused damage to crops in certain parts of the world after being inadvertently introduced into the wild. However, the majority of apple snails in the aquarium industry make great aquarium scavengers and usually leave plants alone.

How Do I Get Snails In My Aquarium?

There is only one way snails get into our aquariums &ndash we put them there. But, you might say, I&rsquove never purchased a snail in my life and suddenly they are showing up! The most common ways unwanted snails enter our aquariums accidentally are via eggs or juveniles hitchhiking on plants or decorations, or in gravel cultures transferred from one tank to another.

Many snail eggs are transparent and are often attached to the undersides of plant leaves, making them difficult to see. Juveniles of red ramshorns and pond snails can be very tiny and hide easily, especially in fine-leaved plants. There are ways of eliminating snails and their eggs which will also be discussed below.

Malaysian Trumpet snails are often transferred in used gravel intended to help start the biological cycle in a new aquarium, but they can come in on rocks, plants, driftwood and decorations, as well. MTS are known to live in buckets of used gravel for over a year! Even after rinsing the gravel thoroughly, they can still be alive and well, ready to start reproducing in their new home.

Types of Snails

Mystery Snails

Sometimes called Inca snails, Mystery snails (Pomacea spp.) are a type of apple snail and are among the most popular in the aquarium hobby. These peaceful snails live 3 to 4 years, grow to a little over 1½ inch in diameter and are valued for their bright colors and algae eating ability. Bodies are usually black or pinkish-orange with neon orange spots around the head area. Shells can be tan or olive with dark stripes, maroon, white, golden yellow or blue. They eat soft algae, dead plant matter and make great scavengers in peaceful community tanks.

There are several theories about how Mystery snails got their name, but a popular one is that when they were first introduced into the hobby, no one knew what kind of snail they were it was a mystery. Scientists have described two species popular in the aquarium industry &ndash Pomacea bridgesii and Pomacea diffusa, with P. diffusa thought to be the most common one.

Mystery snails have gills as well as a lung, with a sort of siphon tube that allows them to breathe air by coming to the surface. A secure lid should be used to prevent them from climbing out of the tank. Breeding is not difficult mystery snails are gonochoristic, meaning you need a boy and a girl for it to happen. In addition, the female must be able to leave the water to deposit her eggs, which appear as a honeycomb-like cluster on the tank wall above the water line or attached to the underside of the lid. Babies hatch out in 2 to 3 weeks, depending on temperature, and drop into the water.

Nerite Snails

Nerites (Neritina spp.) are fantastic algae eaters that also eat leftover fish food, dead plant matter and other &ldquostuff&rdquo that ends up on the bottom. They come in different colors and patterns, including one with horns! They are among the most beautiful of all aquarium snails. They are relatively small, they don&rsquot eat plants and their waste contains bacteria that is beneficial to the digestive tracts of shrimp, making them perfect for planted aquariums and shrimp tanks.

Nerite snails are not difficult to breed, but the larvae require brackish or saltwater to develop, so there is little risk of them overrunning an aquarium. They are thought to live at least 3 years, but there are reports of 5 years from hobbyists. They love to crawl out of the water, so make sure you have a secure lid on your tank!

Rabbit Snails

A relatively recent addition to the hobby, Rabbit snails (Tylomelania spp.), are rapidly becoming an aquarium favorite due to their larger size, interesting colors and &ldquorabbit-like&rdquo faces. Native to Sulawesi, Indonesia, some species can grow up to 4 inches in length, and they are thought to live up to 3 years. They do best in aquariums of 20 gallons or larger and prefer warmer temperatures (76° - 84°F) and slightly alkaline water with pH 7.8 &ndash 8.4. Some aquarists mix crushed coral into the gravel or place coral in their filters to achieve the correct water chemistry.

Rabbit snails feed on soft algae, dead plant matter and other detritus, but they will also eat sinking pellets, algae wafers and other fish foods that fall to the bottom. They do not bother plants, however, there are anecdotal reports of them nibbling on Java Fern.

Rabbit snails are gonochoristic and give birth to live, fully developed young, that are enclosed in a milky white egg pod. Babies are usually born one at a time, although occasionally two or even three are encased. Egg pods are produced once every 4 to 6 weeks, so their reproductive rate is very slow, even if you have several of them.

Assassin Snails

Assassin snails (Clea helena) are native to southeast Asia. They have become popular in the

aquarium because they eat other snails, making them a natural method for reducing nuisance snail populations. They grow to about 1 inch in length and have alternating yellow and dark brown &ldquobumble bee&rdquo stripes. They like to burrow in the substrate but quickly come out for food.

Unlike most aquarium snails, which are largely herbivorous or at least omnivorous, Assassin snails are carnivores, feeding largely on other snails or carrion. However, they will not eat their own kind even when other food is in short supply. A few shrimp breeders have reported seeing Assassin snails eating their valuable shrimp, but experts believe that this happens very rarely, and the victims are most likely weak or sickly.

Assassin snails are known to breed in captivity. They are gonochoristic, so if you want to breed them, you should start with at least 5 or 6 to make sure you have males and females. Reproduction is slow because females only lay 1 to 4 eggs at a time. Eggs are transparent and difficult to see, hatching out in 8 to 9 weeks, depending on temperature.

Ramshorn Snails

Ramshorn snails have been in the aquarium hobby longer than almost any other type of snail. Some aquarists use them to help keep fry-rearing or shrimp tanks clean, while others consider them a pest that should be eliminated at any cost. They are great at eating soft algae, dead plant matter and leftover food, but they can multiply quickly, especially in aquariums that have a lot of organic debris. They are also known to eat soft-leafed plants when food is scarce.

The two most common species in the aquarium trade are Planorbella duryi , the Red Ramshorn and Planorbarius corneus, a larger species known as the Great Ramshorn. Red Ramshorns are red, as their name suggests, while Great Ramshorns are typically olive-yellow to brown, with stripes on the shell. Other variants, such as pink, yellow or blue are also available. Ramshorns are air-breathers, making it necessary for them to come to the surface to breathe.

Great Ramshorn snails are usually introduced intentionally into aquariums to control algae and help keep the tank clean, but Red Ramshorns often appear spontaneously. More often than not, tiny individuals or eggs sneak in on live plants, rocks, driftwood, ornaments and even gravel transferred from one aquarium to another. A sudden population explosion is often a result of detritus and organic waste building up in the aquarium.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails

When it comes to multiplying, the Malaysian Trumpet Snail (MTS), Melanoides tuburculata, has few rivals. Depending on your outlook, these small, cone-shaped snails can be the best scavenger known to aquarium keeping or the most despised creature on earth. To be sure, they are prolific. They are parthenogenetic &ndash not hermaphroditic &ndash meaning females can give birth to more females without requiring contact with a male. In short, one tiny hitch-hiking female is all it takes to get things going, and they are virtually impossible to get rid of once they enter your aquarium.

On the positive side, MTS forage in the substrate by day, keeping it aerated and breaking down any organic debris and waste that accumulates there, preventing anaerobic conditions which can release deadly hydrogen sulfide gas from developing. Plus, they won&rsquot eat your plants. For these reasons, they make excellent scavengers for planted aquariums, shrimp tanks and aquariums that are heavily stocked or fed generously. That is comforting if you like natural methods, but for some folks, seeing that many snails in a tank or watching your gravel actually &ldquomove&rdquo is, well&hellip&hellip. a little creepy.

It is pretty much impossible to eradicate MTS entirely once they are in your aquarium but cutting back on feeding and vacuuming the substrate regularly will deprive these snails of their food source and keep their numbers down.

Pond Snails

Several species fall under the term &ldquopond snails&rdquo. To some hobbyists they are a valued scavenger, while others consider them a pest. Most grow to an inch or less and are olive-green to speckled brown in color. They are omnivores, feeding on algae, dead plant material, detritus and uneaten fish food. They usually do not bother live plants, but they are known to reproduce rapidly when an ample food supply is present.

Pond snails can be kept with peaceful community fish and make great scavengers in shrimp tanks. To prevent populations from getting out of control, keep organic debris to a minimum by doing regular water changes, vacuuming debris and feeding sparingly.

Water Quality Requirements

Snails are not very fussy when it comes to their water parameters, but it is important to maintain healthy conditions in their aquarium by feeding sparingly, doing regular water changes and maintaining good filtration. Test water chemistry regularly to make sure you are providing the right conditions for all your aquatic pets.

How and What To Feed Snails

Snails naturally feed on algae, dead plant matter and bits of fish food that fall to the bottom, but they can also be fed Aqueon Algae Rounds and Bottom Feeder Tablets. Snails &ndash and shrimp &ndash need an ample supply of calcium for healthy shell growth, so if you use reverse osmosis or deionized water, add Aqueon Water Renewal to replenish essential minerals and trace elements. You can also place a little crushed coral in your filter, add liquid calcium to the aquarium, or even feed your snails Zilla Aquatic Turtle Food to make sure they&rsquore getting enough calcium. If you are more of a &ldquonaturalist&rdquo, feed your snails blanched kale, spinach, Chinese cabbage, green beans or broccoli, as these vegetables are all rich in calcium. Feed sparingly and remove uneaten food to avoid water quality problems.

Avoid Introducing Nuisance Snails to Your Aquarium

Nuisance snails have an uncanny knack for making their way into aquariums, and once they are there, it can be extremely difficult to eliminate them. To avoid this happening, take the following precautions:

  • Soak décor items from other tanks in bleach water or scrub them thoroughly before placing them in your aquarium.
  • Inspect used gravel thoroughly before placing it in your tank. If you are unsure of its origin or there are nuisance snails in the tank it came from, do not put it in your aquarium!
  • Soak live plants in a solution of 2 to 3 tablespoons of Alum powder per gallon of water or quarantine them for at least 15 days in a separate aquarium before introducing them to your display tank.

Getting Rid Of Nusiance Snails

You cannot always eliminate nuisance snails completely, but you can drastically reduce their numbers by doing the following:

  • Vacuum gravel regularly and siphon out dead plant material and detritus to eliminate their food supply.
  • Feed your fish less to control the amount of food and waste available to snails.
  • Physically remove snails by picking them out by hand, using a snail trap or baiting them. Place Aqueon Algae Rounds, Bottom Feeder Tablets or lettuce leaves in the aquarium, leave them overnight and remove them with the attached snails in the morning! Red Ramshorn snails can be netted from the surface when they come up to breathe.
  • Crush a few snails at a time and let your fish eat them!
  • Introduce Assassin snails to eat your nuisance snails.
  • Certain species of fish, including loaches, catfish, cichlids and puffers eat snails, and they can be an effective way of lowering nuisance snail populations. Always research fish before purchasing them to make sure they are suitable for your tank size and compatible with its residents.
  • Use snail-killing products. While chemicals should always be your last resort and should be used with extreme caution, they can and do work. The problem with chemical treatments is that some are harmful, if not lethal, to plants, shrimp, other invertebrates and certain sensitive fish, so they will have to be removed if you choose this method. In addition, a mass die-off of snails can over-burden your filter and cause ammonia and nitrite levels to rise.

Can I use Medications And Other Additives with Snails?

Some medications contain copper sulfate and other chemicals that are harmful to snails and other invertebrates. Most other water treatments are safe to use in the presence of aquarium snails. Always read package instructions and ingredient lists before using any treatment in your aquarium.

Snails are part of nature, and as such, they can be a valuable and interesting addition to an aquarium.

Assassin Snails: Hobbyists often keep Assassin Snails in their freshwater tanks to help keep populations of other snails in check. Assassin Snails prowl the tank looking for other snails like Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Pond Snails, and Ramshorn Snails to eat.

Gold Inca Snails: A popular type of freshwater snails in pet store display tanks are Gold Inca Snails. Gold Inca Snails can be good tank cleaners. Their bright yellow shells can add an accent color to a tank especially against green plants or a black background. Gold Inca Snails can be ferocious eaters. They are always on the prowl for a bite to eat and are very interested in soft algae buildup on hard surfaces. These freshwater snails also like supplements of bottom feeder tablets, pellets, fish flakes and algae wafers, as well as some types of blanched green vegetables. Some Gold Inca Snails may also be interested in eating live aquarium plants much to the chagrin of hobbyists.

Ivory Snails: With their creamy white colored shells, Ivory Snails are another type of freshwater snail that can work well in a community tank. Like Gold Inca Snails, Ivory Snails like to scavenge the tank for uneaten food, dead or decaying plant matter and soft algae on hard surfaces. Ivory Snails may also be interested in eating supplements of nearly any kind including fish flakes, algae wafers, tablets, pellets and even some blanched green and leafy vegetables.

Japanese Trapdoor Snail: An interesting freshwater snail available in stores these days is a Japanese Trapdoor Snail. Calm, peaceful and non-aggressive in temperament, a Japanese Trapdoor Snail can spend hours on end scouring the tank for uneaten food, debris and soft algae. Their operculum serves as the “trap door” that seals their shell aperture should danger suddenly arise.

Mystery Snails: One of the most readily available freshwater snails in pet stores are Mystery Snails. These freshwater snails have shells that are generally on the dark side, with light brown and dark brown accent colors and stripes. Other Mystery Snail shells can be ivory white. The color patterns of Mystery Snails shells are unique and nearly limitless. Mystery Snails can be great aquarium cleaners, feeding on a diet of uneaten food, and dead or decaying plant matter. Mystery Snails also like supplements of bottom feeder tablets, pellets, algae wafers and fish flakes. These freshwater snails are notorious escape artists, so it’s very important to keep tanks covered to the extent possible. If there is a way out of the tank, the odds are Mystery Snails will eventually find it.

Nerite Snails: One of the most popular freshwater snails kept by hobbyists are Nerite Snails. Available in several varieties with different shell shapes, colors, textures and patters, Nerite Snails are one of the best algae eating snails around. Nerite Snails spend a lot of time methodically travelling across aquarium glass and other hard surfaces searching for soft algae buildup that they eat in small bites. Some Nerite Snails also dig about an inch or so below the surface of the substrate to feast on algae buildup there as well. Nerite Snails are also popular because they do not reproduce in freshwater aquariums and overrun a tank like some other freshwater snails do. Nerite Snails do create a bit of a mess at times however, as they lay little hard white eggs on hard surfaces.

Pond Snails: More often than not, pond snails are the type of freshwater snails that end up in tanks by accident. Pond snails can make their way into tanks by being attached to live plants purchased from the store. Sometimes, they are even in the display tank water used to transport fish in the plastic bag from the store. Other times, live plants can have small pond snail eggs on them. Whether pond snails are considered to be pet or pest depends on each hobbyist.

Rabbit Snails: One of the more interesting freshwater snails is the Rabbit Snail. A Rabbit Snail is a peaceful, non-aggressive slow moving tank mate that can help keep tanks free of otherwise uneaten food and debris. Rabbit Snails have very intriguing look, and they can reproduce in fresh water.

Ramshorn Snails: For some hobbyists, these freshwater snails can be purchased for for sale in stores. They can be fun to raise. For others, Ramshorn Snails, like pond snails, can accidentally make their way into tanks and be considered fast reproducing pests. Ramshorn Snails can be good tank cleaners interested in soft algae buildup on hard surfaces, as well as uneaten food, dead or decaying plant matter and food supplements. Ramshorn Snails lay eggs, reproduce in freshwater, and can quickly overrun a tank. Whether Ramshorn Snails are considered to be pet or pest depends on each hobbyist and the type of tank kept.

Trumpet Snails: Another group of freshwater snails that can either be introduced as a welcomed inhabitant or be dreaded as an unwelcome guest are Trumpet Snails. With their cone shaped shells, Trumpet Snails can spend hours on end eating soft edible algae buildup from hard surfaces. Tank glass and aquarium filter intakes are good examples. Trumpet Snails are also good diggers. They make their way deep into gravel or substrate to search for edible matter under the surface.

Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Related links

Key references using this protocol

Pasche, V., Laleu, B. & Keiser, J. Parasit. Vectors 11, 298 (2018):

Panic, G., Vargas, M., Scandale, I. & Keiser, J. PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 9, e0003962 (2015):

Cowan, N. & Keiser, J. Parasit. Vectors 8, 417 (2015):

8 Unexpected Health Benefits of Snail during Pregnancy

Have you eaten the snail? This kind of seafood is popular in Asia and French cuisine due to its taste and nutritional value. It has the good source of protein and minerals including potassium and sodium as well. People like to consume snail to get the best health results. Besides, pregnant women are recommended to consume snail as it offers numerous health benefits. Moreover, it turns out that snails can be beneficial to be the natural remedy for certain health problems. As the consequence, let’s see the list of health benefits of snail during pregnancy to check what snail can do to our body.

1. Source of Protein

Pregnant women must consume healthy foods to have the healthy pregnancy. In this case, they can choose great foods like vegetables and seafood as well. Then, it turns out that snail can give you the high content of protein. As a result, protein in snail will help pregnant women to protect their babies. It will help mother to build and repair muscle. Moreover, it will give mother more energy as well. Such the great benefits, right? You can also check on Health Benefits of Grilled Fish

2. Source of Vitamin B12

Pregnant women need to consume snail during pregnancy. This will help mother to boost energy. This benefit is linked with the content of vitamin B12 in snail to promote energy building. Not only for that, vitamin B12 plays a role in promoting red blood cells and maintaining the healthy nervous system. Then, in case to make the mother and baby healthy, consuming snail is something that should be taken into account. You can also check on Health Benefits of Vitamin B6

3. Source of Minerals

As the consequence, snail has the good source of minerals including the sodium and potassium. The amount of these minerals is suitable for pregnant women. By eating a 100-gram serving of snail, then you will achieve 382 milligrams of potassium as well as getting 70 milligrams of sodium. By this means, these essential minerals will protect the cardiovascular health and control the blood pressure. You can also check on Health Benefits of Beets for Blood Pressure

4. Prevents Chronic Fatigue

Pregnant women tend to feel tired during their pregnancy. To deal with this case, they need to consume healthy foods. In this point, choosing fruits and vegetables is the best. Besides, seafood like snail can be the great option too. It is known that snail contains iron which can help mother to prevent chronic fatigue and anemia. Also, it is essential to promote the red blood cells and bring the energy to all body parts. Therefore, as you know that snail is the great food, then putting it on your plate is the great way to go! You can also check on Symptoms of Anemia

5. Low in Calories

If you are looking for seafood which has low calories level, then snail is the great option to go. It is known by consuming a 100-gram serving size of snails, then it will just give you 90 calories. This is such a good news for a mother who wants to manage the body weight during pregnancy. It is healthy and can help you to control the body weight. Not only for that, it also has low-carbohydrate content which may make your diet better. Still, the protein content will help make you feel full longer and help you to have a healthy diet.

6. Promotes Healthy heart

One of the health benefits of snail during pregnancy is to promote the healthy heart. At this point, snail will make pregnant women’s heart healthy as it contains omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, by consuming a 100-gram serving of snails, then you will get 119 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid as the long chain of omega-3 fatty acids. As a result, by consuming snail in moderate, it will help to promote the healthy heart and reduce the risks of heart diseases including stroke and heart attack. Then, are you interested to try snail as your food option?

7. Boosts Immune System

Pregnant women are recommended to consume snail as it offers the benefit to promote the immune system during pregnancy. At this point, it has the great source of lectin which can prevent the growth of cancer cells in the body. Indeed, pregnant women need to be healthy as well as they have to consume healthy foods like the snail. You can also check on Health Benefits of Dry Fruits during Pregnancy

8. Promotes Healthy Skin

Surprisingly, the snail can be valuable to promote the beauty and healthy skin. In this case, the snail slime has the content of allantoin, collagen, and elastin to treat skin diseases. Not only for that, it can help to reduce the scars and wounds. Thus, it is good for pregnant women who want to reduce the stretch mark during pregnancy.

After knowing the health benefits of snail during pregnancy. Then, you can also see the tips for consuming snail during pregnancy below.

Tips for Consuming Snail during Pregnancy

  • Before starting to consume snail during your pregnancy, it is best to talk to your doctor first. You can manage how much the consumption of this food will be.
  • After that, you can buy fresh snails in all seafood markets. You can pick cans or packages form and check whether they have been purged or not. Remember to wash the snail before and after the purging process.
  • Also, it is important to check whether the snails are still alive or not. Simply touch them lightly and pick the ones that still alive. Then, keep them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Hence, it is good to consume snails immediately to get the best flavor and taste.

As the conclusion, pregnant women may need to consume snail during their pregnancy. It will help to fulfill the essential nutrients needed in the body. Indeed, it will also promote the body health of the mother and baby as well. You can cook it and eat it in moderate to get the best health result. Thus, stay healthy there!

Company culture affects every element of business, whether directly or indirectly. Creating and maintaining a healthy culture should be listed among any company’s top priorities. However, in the franchising industry, challenges lie in effectively casting and implementing vision for a healthy workplace and customer experience across multiple markets.

Franchising is fueled by growth, oftentimes at a rapid pace. In biology, culture is defined as maintaining conditions suitable for growth. This is a great reminder of why it is so necessary for leadership to grasp its importance in our industry. If you want to grow, pay attention to culture.

We all know the feeling of burnout, but as leaders, it’s our job to equip our employees to thrive in the office. Think about the health of your organization by gauging how excited your teams are to come into work. Excitement is not fueled by obligation, but rather by vision.

In the world of franchising, culture barriers lie across state lines and in the reality that business stakes are in the hands of a variety of licensees and individual storeowners. The vision may be great in the home office and within corporate leadership, but how can a growing franchise enterprise keep culture healthy and vision alive amidst the challenge of launching in new markets and expansive hiring?

In our field, our goal is to take a relatively traumatic experience and make it hassle-free, both for our teams and our customers. Going to work every day not with a title but as a solution to our customers’ problems allows us to operate from vision, rather than a bottom line. Since 2009, we’ve grown from one Central Florida location to now more than 140 stores across the United States and Canada. Our teams are healthy and our brand is growing.

Here are three ways to build and preserve company culture and consistent experiences across all franchises.

Key No. 1: Communication cultivates a healthy culture

A healthy company culture catalyzes a chain reaction of healthy business transactions in stores and across markets, which translates into a higher-quality customer experience. Great customer relations allow for business to flourish, thus proving the bottom-line value of a healthy culture. If you can communicate expectations and track performance among your employees who interact at the consumer level, rewarding them along the way, your team will take individual ownership of the company-wide goals and deliver on them, believing their work matters.

Start with clear expectations. The foundation of any healthy company culture is crystal clear expectations. If your team is unaware of performance standards, vision flounders. Your company becomes a fragile structure, with an inconsistent and misaligned foundation.

As a leader, you can build a fun, timeless company culture by communicating vision from the start. Establish your hopes and dreams for your company and find ways to inspire similar dreams in every stakeholder at the highest and lowest levels.

If you conduct a quick Internet search for Google’s company culture, you will find images of lounges, nap stations, gaming centers and more. You might be thinking, “How do they get work done in such a fun environment?” Google established clear performance expectations in advance, and now they embrace a culture of freedom and creativity, knowing that performance will not suffer at the expense of a healthy and fun workplace.

However, it is important to remember that freedom is difficult to manage without methods of accountability. When expectations are clear and performance measures are in place, you empower employees to be in control of their performance, and save time and energy as a leader by not having to micromanage your teams.

Ask yourself, have I set clear expectations and what metrics do I use to measure the engagement of my teams?

Empower employees with incentives and rewards. If employees perform at or above communicated standards, they should be rewarded with opportunities for growth and advancement within the organization. This will look different depending on the industry you are a part of and an individual’s role within your company. However, the end goal is to have a company culture so empowering that it makes employees think, “This organization is great, and I would love to make it greater.” Teams that embody a vision beyond a bottom line are unique and powerful.

How can you reward your employees? Is your team aware of incentives in place?

Key No. 2: Align your brand with the right franchisees

Growth does not have to affect culture. For a franchise company, growth can pose a threat to culture if corporate leadership does not take steps to preserve core values and vision across multiple markets. A corporate team may be too big to control the micro-level culture of each franchise team, but by aligning yourself with the right licensees and supporting them, you instill vision within them and create consistency across markets. Be selective in the franchising licensee process and choose people who not only have resources, but also share common vision and values. This will preserve culture as markets grow and the brand spreads.

Cultivate fun company culture and maintain awareness of company goals through face-to-face gatherings for employees, such as an annual company retreat or summit. These events are great opportunities for a group of people with a shared passion to rally around a common goal and inspire one another. This is also a good time for feedback to corporate leadership and franchise level collaboration.

How are you creating opportunities for your teams to spend time together?

Key No. 3 Sharing success

Everyone must commit to success. When troubles come, a shared vision and healthy culture will dictate how resilient the team will be. It all goes back to having a shared goal: if each party commits to success, takes responsibility for himself and uses the tools at his disposal, failure is an opportunity to overcome together.

If one licensee is underperforming, most often responsibility is shared between corporate leadership and the licensee. When both parties commit to success in times of hardship, culture is inspired through that support. The effect goes beyond the leadership - licensee relationship and into the individual team level.

Are you supporting your teams on an individual level?

Grow together

The biggest threat to company culture is inconsistency. A healthy culture will never thrive with inconsistent management, goals and performance tracking. Know your people, invest in them and commit to their success. The bottom line can only take organizations so far in the growth process. Healthy organizations grow through shared vision and clearly communicated goals and rewards. Are you inspiring your teams to grow with you?

In vitro drug sensitivity assays with newly transformed schistosomula

Schistosomula screening

Schistosoma NTS in vitro Assay is obtained using one of the transformation methods already described in this review. The NTS suspension adjusted to a concentration of 100 NTS per 50 μL [12, 25, 26, 34] is then incubated in culture medium at 37 °C, 5% CO2 in ambient air for a minimum of 12 to 24 h to allow maturation or in order to achieve complete transformation into schistosomula before being further processed [12, 17, 20, 23–25, 34]. Other authors incubated NTS suspension just for 1 to 3 h before being used in subsequent experiments [18, 27]. The transformed schistosomula in schistosomula culture medium are then incubated with the test drugs in a 96-well flat bottom plate in duplicate or in triplicate and at least 2 to 3 time at a number of 100 NTS/well [12, 20, 25, 26, 34]. Since drug stock solution is prepared in DMSO, the highest concentration of DMSO diluted in Schistosomula culture medium is used to serve as control. Thereafter, drug effects are assessed microscopically under an inverted microscope.

Determination of schistosomula viability in response to test compound

Based on microscope readouts, phenotypic changes of NTS is recorded at 3 different time points (24 h, 48 h, 72 h post-drug exposure). The changes are recorded with regard to death of worms, changes in motility, viability and morphological alterations [12, 25, 34]. This makes use of a viability scale from 0 to 3 (3 = motile, no changes to morphology 2 = reduced motility and/or some damage to tegument noted 1 = severe reduction to motility and/or damage to tegument observed 0 = dead) [12, 13, 25–27, 34]. The 50% (IC50) and/or 99% (IC99) inhibitory concentration are determine for active compounds [12, 23–26, 34].

Inconvenience of microscopic read-out and development of automated technologies

Current methods utilized to assess schistosomula viability encompass microscopic techniques. In this case, the experimenter manipulates the parasite in vitro and assesses the effect of such manipulation by bright field examination of morphology. This procedure has been used in several drug screening protocols [18, 25–27] and general manipulations of parasite development [55]. Schistosome viability has been assessed in various research work using different criteria. Some of the criteria are intracellular granularity, schistosomula movement, schistosomula shape alterations. Nevertheless, evaluating parasite viability through microscopic read-out are itself potential deterrents to the development of high throughput since these methods are slow and subjective and therefore represent a bottleneck for high-throughput screening. More often, high throughput methods are dependent upon assay miniaturisation, objectivity and very demanding in term of quantification. Several complementary techniques initially developed for single cell eukaryotes viability measurement have been adapted to multicellular schistosomes parasites. Among the existing viability assays that have been developed for use with single cell eukaryotes, it is amazing to find that only a limited range of techniques have successfully been translated to studies with schistosomes. This may be explained by the multicellular nature of schistosomes which size more than 1 cm with complex tissue and also its external tegument bound by a heptalaminate membrane [56]. The heptalaminate is thought to be selectively permeable to macromolecules, simple compounds and water [57]. Nonetheless, there is a challenges due to parasite biology, there is also evidence that some techniques developed for single cell viability can successfully be adapted to schistosomes.

The size and complexity of schistosomes can partly be considered as useful attributes for determining viability. One of the valuable trait in assessing schistosome (both schistosomula and adult worm schistosome) viability in vitro is their regular movement, although lack of movement is thought to be not infallible indicator of death. Motility together with other microscopic characteristics such as morphology changes, granularity and tegument damaging [12, 25, 34] are currently the most common indicators for assessing schistosome viability and represent the “gold standard” for assessing drug screening protocols within the schistosomiasis research community [12, 18, 20, 25, 34].

Despite the wide application of bright-field, light microscopic assessment of schistosome viability, this technique presents several problems. Firstly, the personnel should be well trained to acquire sufficient knowledge on diverse schistosome phenotypes. Secondly, the bright-field, light microscopic detection of schistosome viability will always be subjective due to lack of immunological and molecular evidence that death has actually occurred when a schistosome is immobile. Even when the personnel has acquire the proficiency at identifying schistosome phenotypes, this technique is still slow and tedious. For instance a recent study performed the screening of only 640 potential anti-schistosomula compounds per month [18]. Finally, replication of results obtained by bright-field microscopic means is not always possible, because of the absence of uniformity between laboratories. With recent advancements in automated technologies, a number of alternatives read-out assay have been attempted with varying degrees of success in order to avoid the subjective nature of quantifying viability of schistosome from microscopic observation of phenotype alone [58]. For example, methylene blue has shown to stain differentially dead schistosomula and therefore was considered as a reliable dye for dead schistosomula [55] and has been used to assess the viability of mechanically transformed schistosomula [59]. Regardless, it was thought that vital dyes can be successfully translated from single cell viability markers to multicellular schistosomes.

Some fluorescent compounds such as DNA intercalating dyes, ethidium bromide (EB) and Propidium Iodide (PI) [60, 61], carboxyfluorescein [61] as well as resazurin have also been used to quantify schistosome viability in low-throughput, microscopic read-out methods. In more detail, resazurin, the active ingredient of Alamar Blue (AB), a non-toxic and cell permeable compound, is blue in color and virtually non-fluorescent. But when resazurin enters the cells, it is converted to resorufin which is red in color and highly fluorescent. Resazurin is continuously reduced to resorufin by viable cells. This staining technique was used to discriminate between live and dead schistosomula after 48 and 72 h of incubation with standard selected drug compounds of known antischistosomal activity [26]. Unfortunately this technique cannot be used for earlier time-points and to measure dose response drug effects [23].

Ethidium bromide has been used to differentiate dead schistosomula from live ones during microscopic examination [61], while PI has successfully been used for the same reason (as a differential stain of dead schistosomula) for both microscopic examination and flow cytometry [60]. Carboxyfluorescein in contrast to ethidium bromide and propidium iodide, has been tested as live staining for schistosomula. However, it was difficult to clearly differentiate live schistosomula to dead ones since the latter developed some fluorescence [61].

By promoting the use of single dye staining, a dual fluorescent viability assay has been developed for schistosomula [17]. In this case, authors combined the use of PI with fluorescein diacetate (FDA) to easily assess the percentage of viable schistosomula present in a sample. By using a microtiter plate reader, this fluorescent bioassay was developed for 96 or 384 well microtiter black-sided, flat-bottom plate optically clear. Ninety-six (96) well plate were designed for medium throughput and 384 for high throughput applications [17]. The use of the fluorescent bioassay has the added advantages that it could increase by 10-fold the number of compounds screened per month over existing microscope methodologies and also, it does not require extensive training of personnel in parasite morphology [58]. Therefore fluorescent bioassay has been shown to be entirely objective [58] and has been validated with schistosomula. Currently, there are indications that fluorescent bioassay can be adapted for use with adult worm schistosomes as well as other life stages. Although the combined use of PI and FDA, can objectively and rapidly quantify schistosome viability in a high-throughput format, the ability of PI and FDA to provide significant phenotypic data is slightly limited [58]. Therefore, there is still a need for the complementary technologies to the fluorescent bioassay and methodologies that allow the automated assessment of phenotype that could be seen as a great discovery in the field of novel antischistosomal drugs discovery.

Smout et al. [62] developed a motility assay that was thought to be one of the technological advance to offer a solution to this helminth phenotype quantification challenge, until high content screening as an affordable reality. This assay, which uses the xCELLigence system was a new application or device to monitoring cells in a real-time manner. This was known to simply and objectively assess anthelmintic effects by measuring parasite motility in real time in a fully automated high-throughput fashion. In principle, this technique is based on the detection of changing electrical currents running through mini gold electrodes incorporated into the bottom of tissue culture plates. When schistosomes in the immature and mature stages are quite dense, they usually sediment during in vitro culturing and this make contact with the gold electrodes. It is known that, changes to the culturing conditions that may impact a worm’s physiology will probably modifiy its behavior or phenotype. This result to a measurable fluctuation in current across the electrodes [58]. Since many anti-schistosomal drug compounds act by affecting the motility of the target parasite, the importance of these measurable current fluctuations can be considered as an indicator of potential therapeutic activity. This biophysical characteristic to assess anthelmintic activity of compounds in real time in a high-throughput fashion was demonstrated by Smout et al. [62]. This technology was applied to adult schistosomes to illustrate that by increasing the doses of PZQ, the signal decreased from adult worm schistosomes, and this allowed to generate a dose dependent curve. Can this technology be applied to larval schistosome life stages? Although the answer to this question is currently unknown, it appears feasible. It is believed that this assay may provide an advanced methodology to microscopy that will help remove subjectivity in helminth phenotype characterization as well as making available a technology to compare results directly from different laboratories [58]. But the original cost of the xCELLigence equipment may restrict its widespread use.

Howe et al. [24] investigated a fluorometric L-lactate assay for viability in schistosoma drug screening assays. Lactate is a by-product of glycolysis. It is secreted via aquaglyceroporins from NTS and adult worm schistosomes [23]. Authors fully investigated parameters of lactate measurement and performed drug sensitivity assays by applying schistosomulae and adult worms to establish a proof of concept. They showed that lactate levels reflect clearly the viability of schistosomula and this was also correlated with schistosomulae numbers. They tested compounds with described potencies, and compared activities of fluorometric L-lactate assay with microscopy. Howe et al. [24] concluded that lactate can be used as simple surrogate marker since its measurement can be a promising new approach to assess the viability of schistosomulae in drug sensitivity assays. However, this technique requires two things. Firstly, the supernatant must be removing from the drug assay without aspirating the Schistosomula and secondly, the drug assay should be diluted to an acceptable fluorescence range as needed. These two aspects make the fluorometric L-lactate assay less than high-throughput [23].

More recently, the commercial luminescence-based cell viability kit known as CellTiterGlo® was validated by Lalli et al. [63] for the in vitro assay using S. mansoni NTS and adult worms schistosomes. In this procedure unfortunately, a precise multi-drop dispenser is required to ensure an exact number of NTS present in each well. Although the investigation of marker-dye based assays has been a popular activity, we can simply note that, the aim of a simple, inexpensive and accurate dye that does not require much additional equipment or analysis has not so far been entirely met [23]. Table 3 summarizes different in vitro drug sensitivity assays developed so far for the determination of anti-schistosomula activity of drug compounds. The summary of publications cited in this review are contained in Table 4.

Biological productivity

In the highly stressful desert environment, productivity is generally very low however, it is also highly variable from time to time and from place to place. (For a full discussion of productivity, see biosphere: Resources of the biosphere.)

Temporal variations are caused by the occasional input of moisture this allows the vegetation to grow for only a short period before arid conditions resume. Spatial variations are due in part to the structural patchiness of the vegetation itself, as surface soil beneath shrubs is several times more fertile than it is between shrubs. Shrub roots contribute to this process by retrieving nutrients from the deep soil and depositing them in litter on the soil surface beneath the shrub canopy. Windblown litter that accumulates around shrubs and the microbial flora found in soil shaded by the shrub canopy also create patchy, fertile areas. Because human disturbance of desert vegetation commonly involves the partial or total removal of the shrub cover, the impact of human disturbance on these ecosystems is significant.


  1. Keshav

    Excuse please, that I interrupt you.

  2. Elias

    I have removed this thought :)

  3. Hardouin

    Always respected the authors of this blog, infa 5 ++

  4. Faezilkree

    Now all is clear, thanks for an explanation.

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