Organisms have to adapt to their environment as time goes on and changes occur.  Often times, there are changes in the organism's normal habitat that force them to adapt, whether it be varying levels of moisture and temperature, scarcity of certain foods, or even the introduction of a non-native species into the organism's habitat. 

The Movement
The research of Molly Van Appledorn and her colleagues focuses on the effects of zebra mussels on Campeloma decisum, helping to illustrate different adaptations that Campeloma decisum have developed to maintain their existence.  One of the main adaptations that Campeloma decisum have developed is their unique vertical movement, or their burrowing ability.  They have adapted this behavior, not only to protect themselves from predators by hiding in the water's floor, but also to protect themselves from drying out.  Campeloma decisum love wet environments, so it is obviously unfavorable for them to go through desiccation.  Therefore, their burrowing ability has proven to be extremely beneficial for their survival.

The Energy
Campeloma decisum are much more vulnerable when they are colonized by zebra mussels.  Predators do not seem to mind that Campeloma decisum are infected with zebra mussels (even when Campeloma decisum have up to 20 mussels attached to them).  The attachment of zebra mussels causes a physical coercion on the movement of Campeloma decisum.  They are less likely to burrow deeper since they are carrying around all the extra weight.  To attempt to adapt to this negative effect, Campeloma decisum are able to exert immense amounts of energy with hopes to borrow as deeply as they normally would if they were not infected.  This adaptation, however, is not always successful (Van Appledorn et al., 2007).

Through these adaptations, Campeloma decisum are able to respond to their ever-changing environment in an attempt to maintain a stable lifestyle.

Follow Campeloma into the kitchen to find out what Mother Gastropoda is cooking up for some tasty Nutrition.

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