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27.02.2018 | Ausgabe 4/2018

Urban Ecosystems 4/2018

Urbanization impacts on land snail community composition

Zeitschrift:
Urban Ecosystems > Ausgabe 4/2018
Autoren:
Mackenzie N. Hodges, Michael L. McKinney

Abstract

Urbanization has tremendous impacts on most native species. This is especially true in land snails, which are surprisingly understudied organisms. Due to their low mobility and dispersal potential, land snails are valuable indicators of ecosystem disturbance. For this study, land snails were collected in 54 city parks along an urban gradient to understand impacts of urbanization on snail communities. Sampled parks include small extensively landscaped downtown parks, neighborhood and community parks, district parks, and large nature parks, each with variable vegetation, soil characteristics, disturbance regimes, and human activities. Sampling recovered 12,153 individual snails, representing 20 families, 43 genera, and 95 species. Seven new Tennessee state and 87 new county occurrences were recorded. Five non-native and one extra-limital non-native species were found, four of which are new Tennessee state records. Results show that urbanization greatly alters land snail community structure. Nature and district parks have significantly greater species richness, species diversity and species evenness than community, neighborhood, and downtown parks. Degradation of parks, distance from the park to the commercial city center and percent of coarse woody debris accounted for most of the variation between park types. Non-metric multidimensional scaling and pairwise Jaccard indices indicate that downtown snail communities are more similar whereas snail communities in nature parks are more distinct. This suggests that urbanization promotes homogenization among land snail communities. We also show that this homogenization is thus far driven mainly by synanthropic, broadly adapted native species rather than non-native snail species.

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