The existence of every living creature is harmful and beneficial for the environment. Snails are no exception. Many people know that this mollusk is a serious pest for agricultural land. They destroy sprouts, leaves and fruits. However, these creatures may be useful.
Nowadays snail slime is gaining popularity in cosmetology. Its amazing properties are used in creams, cosmetic procedures, as well as all kinds of tinctures for internal use. However, the mucus of this mollusk is also beneficial. The active substances contained in it, contribute to the process of soil mineralization.
For example, freshwater snails that live in rivers, lakes and other bodies of water are considered water savers. In the process of eating algae and organic garbage, these animals secrete nutrient mucus and excrement into the soil. This material serves as a fertilizer for bottom soil, providing food to other inhabitants of the bottom.
In addition, the amount of algae is controlled by mollusks, which leads to natural purification of water, as well as to the normalization of the substrate. By eating small algae in the coastal zone, snails save the coast from silting. They are cleaning the bottom and saturating it with nutrients for other inhabitants.
A distinctive feature of the gastropod is their ability to accumulate metals in their bodies. This ability helps scientists identify biologically contaminated sites. According to some signs of the reaction of snails to environmental factors, the general condition of vegetation, soil, calcium can be judged. These traits are simple: shell size, number of offspring, reproduction intensity. However, there are more complex tests that give an accurate answer about the content of heavy metals in the soil. Carefully studying the hepatic duct, digestive gland, shell, scientists make a conclusion about the presence of cadmium, zinc and other metals.
Therefore, after analyzing this data, you can collect a complete description of the environment. To improve the overall condition of the environment, it is necessary to increase the population. After all, the predominance of increased species dispersion helps to filter the environment and habitat.
Biologically active utilize
Terrestrial mollusks are important builders of an ecosystem, modulating the accessibility of the ecosystem to other species. Studying the question of the influence of the snail on the leaves, scientists have come to certain conclusions. The snail community can reduce leaf litter and greatly affect litter mass loss.
Gastropod mollusks are able to fix calcium through the extracellular biomineralization system. This process helps to retain calcium in the upper layers of the soil, which favorably affects its composition.
By the rapid decomposition of fallen leaves, a favorable environment for the development of microorganisms is formed in the soil.
In the process of life, gastropods accelerate the decomposition of fallen leaves by crushing. Such system facilitates the colonization of soil by microbes through the excretion of faeces, rich in nutrients. This, in turn, provides suitable habitats for microbes.
Important branch in food chain
The food chain is a very important factor in the conservation of species and populations of various living organisms. Snails are a common food for many species. They are consumed by ducks, fish, crayfish and turtles, birds, rodents and small predators. Thus, the next step in the food chain ensures that calcium and many other nutrients penetrate into the body.