Publication details

Patterns of land snail diversity over a gradient of habitat degradation: a comparison of three Czech cities



Year of publication 2009
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Biodiversity and Conservation
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Zoology
Keywords Diversity patterns and conservation; Land snails; Response to habitat degradation; Urban ecology
Description Terrestrial snail faunas were studied at 273 sites in three large Czech cities (Prague, Pilsen and Hradec Kralove). The aim was to explore the effect of habitat degradation on land snail diversity in urban environments. Of the 81 species recorded, 12 were considered synanthropic and 29 anthropophobic. The highest correlation was observed between richness of athropophobic species and habitat degradation (average r = -0.69, P = 0.001), which explained on average 48% of the variation, whereas distance from the city centre explained a negligible amount of independent variation. In conclusion, the response of local snail assemblages along a gradient of habitat degradation can be generalised as a gradual decline in species richness, especially of rare and anthropophobic species. This reduction was independent of the sites position within the city, which highlights the importance of natural habitats for the maintenance of snail diversity in urban environments.
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