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Forest edges reduce slug (but not snail) activity-density across Western Europe
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Number of Authors: 152019 (English)In: Pedobiologia, ISSN 0031-4056, E-ISSN 1873-1511, Vol. 75, p. 34-37Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fragmentation strongly shapes the distribution of organisms within forest patches through contrasting environmental conditions between the edge and interior habitat. Edge-to-interior distribution patterns are, however, poorly studied for litter- and soil-dwelling fauna, such as terrestrial gastropods, despite their high densities and significant impact on ecosystem processes, as both herbivores and detritivores. Therefore, we investigated edge-to-interior abundance patterns of terrestrial gastropods in 224 fragmented forest patches across Western Europe. Catching over 15,000 gastropods, we found that slug abundance is reduced in forest edges, while snail abundance shows no response on the edge effect. We hypothesize that these patterns could be explained by higher drought tolerance of snails, since forest edges have reduced air and soil humidity and elevated temperatures compared to forest interiors. Reduced slug abundance in forest edges potentially has ecological consequences for herbivory in and outside forest patches and nutrient cycling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 75, p. 34-37
Keywords [en]
Edge effects, Forest fragmentation, Gastropoda, Terrestrial molluscs
National Category
Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries Physical Geography Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-170788DOI: 10.1016/j.pedobi.2019.05.004ISI: 000474368200005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-170788DiVA, id: diva2:1338319
Available from: 2019-07-22 Created: 2019-07-22 Last updated: 2019-07-22Bibliographically approved

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Cousins, Sara A. O.
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Department of Physical Geography
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