Newest marsh villain: the periwinkle snail

Dec 19, 2005

Oil companies, levees and the burrowing nutria have been blamed for destroying Louisiana's marshes -- and now a new culprit arrives: the periwinkle snail.

The marble-sized snail has been blamed by researchers from Brown and Louisiana State universities for leaving thousands of Gulf of Mexico and eastern U.S. coastal marshes bare mud flats that had been thriving wetlands, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Monday.

And since marshes protect land against hurricanes, the loss had affected many areas struck by this year's record number of hurricanes.

Brian Silliman, a former Brown researcher and lead author of a study on the snails published in this week's issue of the journal Science, says the snails killed as much as 11 percent of the estimated 100,000 acres of marsh lost in Louisiana during the 2000-01 droughts.

However, Mark Schexnayder, a Louisiana Sea Grant program scientist, told the Times-Picayune: "Obviously (the snails) exist and are part of the web. But I'm not dropping the fight against the main causes of the erosion to take on a snail."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers create methylation maps of Neanderthals and Denisovans, compare them to modern humans

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

26 minutes ago

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

11 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Recommended for you

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

2 hours ago

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

Apr 17, 2014

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

Apr 17, 2014

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...