Microhabitat associations of land snails in forested dolinas: implications for coarse filter conservation

Abstract

We determined microhabitat associations for 39 land snail species based on multimodel inference and generalized linear mixed models using a comprehensive and micro-scale data set from the Aggtelek Karst Area, Hungary. Patterns of microhabitat associations were highly nested among microhabitat types (litter, live trees, dead wood, rock) with high number of specialist species in dead wood and in rock microhabitats. Species composition was highly predictable in these microhabitats as opposed to live tree and litter faunas. Species richness was affected by microhabitat, topographic factors and local moisture conditions. Species richness in dead wood and rock microhabitats remained high irrespective of the topographic effects as opposed to litter and live tree microhabitats, where richness decreased with drier microhabitat conditions due to topography. Our results imply that consideration of topographic factors and microhabitat quality as part of coarse filter conservation measures could be beneficial to local land snail populations in the face of changing climate and disturbance regimes.

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Correspondence to Z. Kemencei.

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Kemencei, Z., Farkas, R., Páll-Gergely, B. et al. Microhabitat associations of land snails in forested dolinas: implications for coarse filter conservation. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY 15, 180–186 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1556/ComEc.15.2014.2.6

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Keywords

  • Abundance
  • Dispersion
  • Gastropoda
  • Habitat features
  • Indicator species
  • Mollusca
  • Niche width
  • Species composition
  • Species richness