Comparing functional similarity between a native and an alien slug in temperate rain forests of British Columbia

  • The impacts of invasive alien species are greatest when they become dominant members of a community, introduce novel traits, and displace native species. Invasions by alien mollusks represent a novel context by which to compare trait differences between generalist native and introduced herbivores in terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we determined the abundance, habitat, feeding preferences, as well as the metabolic rate of the native Pacific banana slug (Ariolimax columbianus) and the alien black slug (Arion rufus) in the coastal forests of British Columbia, Canada. Through a series of observational and experimental studies, we found that alien slugs are more abundant, differ in their habitat preferences, and consumed more fungi (mushrooms) than native banana slugs. Conversely, in an enclosures experiment we found that herbivory damage by native slugs was higher compared to enclosures with alien only and control enclosures. Finally, metabolic rates were similar for both slug species. These results suggest that alien black slugs possess a suite of traits that make them functionally different from native banana slugs.

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Author:Mariano A. Rodriguez-Cabal, Taylor C. Gibbons, Patricia M. Schulte, M. Noelia Barrios-Garcia, Gregory M. Crutsinger
Parent Title (English):NeoBiota
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2015
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/01/25
Tag:European black slug; Gastropoda; Pacific banana slug; generalist herbivores; invasive species; metabolic rate
Page Number:14
First Page:1
Last Page:14
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:NeoBiota / NeoBiota 25
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0