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Title: The release of phosphorus and nitrogen by living and decomposing snails


Rybak, Jan Igor

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Release of phosphorus and nitrogen by snails


Polish Academy of Sciences. Institute of Ecology


Polish Academy of Sciences. Institute of Ecology. Publishing Office

Place of publishing:

Dziekanów Leśny


Pages 17-24 : illustrations ; 27 cm ; Bibliographical references (pages 23-24)

Type of object:



The excretion of P-PO4 and N-NH4 by snails (Lymnaea (Lymnaea) stagnalis, Lymnaea (Radix) auricularia and Planorbarius corneus) was measured in laboratory experiments. For L. (L.) stagnalis the release of these elements from decomposing animals and their faecal material were also determined. Amounts of nutrients excreted by the snails studied varied greatly in the ranges <1 to 70 µg P-PO4 and <2 to over 200 µg N-NH4 per individual. These amounts were very much related to the sizes of snails. The phosphorus and nitrogen contained in the tissues of L. (L.) stagnalis are released to the water very rapidly due to the rapid decomposition that the bodies of snails undergo. The release of phosphorus from freshly produced faecal matter is considerable -even greater than the excretion by live snails (expressed per unit weight). However, the limited mass of faeces produced as compared with the body weight of an snail, ensures that this still accounts for only 3% of daily excretion of phosphorus from the body of a live snail.


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Polish Journal of Ecology





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oai:rcin.org.pl:121248 ; ISSN 1505-2249


MiIZ PAN, call no. P.2840 ; click here to follow the link



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Creative Commons Attribution BY 3.0 PL license

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Copyright-protected material. [CC BY 3.0 PL] May be used within the scope specified in Creative Commons Attribution BY 3.0 PL license, full text available at: ; -

Digitizing institution:

Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Library of the Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Projects co-financed by:

Operational Program Digital Poland, 2014-2020, Measure 2.3: Digital accessibility and usefulness of public sector information; funds from the European Regional Development Fund and national co-financing from the state budget.



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Oct 2, 2020

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Apr 21, 2020

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