JSU Student Symposium 2020
Urban Cover Impact on Freshwater Snail Distribution



Faculty Mentor

Lori Tolley-Jordan, Biology


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Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor | 8:00-8:10 a.m.


Freshwater snails have historically occurred throughout the stream systems of the Cahaba River Basin. These river systems contain the most biodiverse freshwaters in the southeastern United States. Land use and urban cover are known to severely impact snail communities within their natural environments. I surveyed 47 small-order streams along a rural-urban gradient to detect where snails are presiding within the Cahaba River Basin. The streams range in size from 0.02km² to 31.6km². The urban cover ranges of the streams begin at 1.35% and go as high as 90%. Of the 47 streams surveyed, 6 contained snails ranging in watershed sizes 0.9km² to 18km², and ranging in urban coverage from 26.9% to 82.3%. This suggests that snails can persist in watershed sizes ranging from 0.9km² to 18km² and they are able to withstand urban cover percentages up to 82.3%. These small-order streams may be running dry and becoming worsened by channel morphology change due to urban cover. Another possible explanation is the water chemistry may be under the threshold for the CaCo3 needed for snail shell growth. Future research on the topic includes comparing the morphology of similar streams in size and urban cover with one containing snails and one without to determine the effects of urban cover on stream morphology and snail communities.


student presentations, student posters, snails


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Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Presentation Information

Davis, C. (2020, 14 February). Urban cover impact on freshwater snail distribution. Poster presented at the 2020 JSU Student Symposium, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL.

Urban Cover Impact on Freshwater Snail Distribution