Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Hot water tolerance of soil animals: utility of hot water immersion in preventing invasions of alien soil animals.

Abstract

Introduced soil animals have frequently affected native fauna on oceanic islands that have never been connected to a continental land mass. Alien soil animals can be unintentionally introduced via transfer in potted plants or by commercial trade among islands and continental landmasses. Hot water treatment to destroy pests has recently been used during the quarantine of ornamental plants. To examine the possibility of using hot water treatment for introduced soil animals in potted plants, an experiment was performed to determine whether hot water treatment (immersion in water at 40, 43, 45, 47, and 50°C for 5 min) kills soil animals. I examined four taxa (different phyla) of soil invertebrates that have been introduced to the oceanic Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands, approximately 1,000 km south of the Japanese mainland. The species used were: the invasive alien terrestrial flatworm Platydemus manokwari (Platyhelminthes); an unidentified alien species of earthworm (Annelida); the alien snail Acusta despecta sieboldiana (Mollusca); and the alien ant Technomyrmex albipes (Arthropoda). The water temperature required to kill flatworms (≥43°C) and earthworms (≥43°C) was lower than that to kill snails (≥50°C) and ants (>47°C). Use of hot water for protection from alien soil animal invasions may mitigate their environmental impacts, particularly on oceanic islands where valuable biota could be threatened.