Informace o publikaci

Specific damage recognised on land snail shells as a tool for studying predation intensity: differences related to habitat and predator types

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Rok publikování 2019
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Contributions to Zoology
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

Klíčová slova attacking behaviour; competition; predation; prey; shell damage; snail
Popis Shell formation is the main defensive strategy against predation for the majority of snails. Therefore, various predators have had to develop a variety of techniques how to overcome this barrier. As shells can persist in a calcium-rich environment for a long time, specific external or internal traces on shells left by predators indicate whether and who killed the snail. Based on litter samples collected at 30 sites of five different habitat types, the intensity and type of predation were assessed. The minimal predation rate varied between 0.0 and 21%, with an average of 8%. The highest rate was observed at limestone steppes, on average 15%. Beetles were found to be the most common predators of snails; however, predation by snails was more common in calcareous fens. Predation by some vertebrates and dipteran flies was also recognised. To test the role of mouth barriers as a means to reduce predation by carabid beetles that break the shell from an aperture, we analysed the predation rate separately on adult and juvenile shells using 24 populations of the steppe snail Granaria frumentum (Draparnaud, 1801). As expected, carabid beetles chiefly preferred juveniles compared to adult shells (Wilcoxon test, p < 0.001). On the contrary, the parasitoid fly Pherbellia limbata (Meigen, 1830) and Drilus beetles preferred adults. We found that predation by carabid beetles positively increased with prey abundance (R2 = 42.8%, p = 0.021), while no relation was observed for the parasitoid (p = 0.703), likely due to their feeding specialisation.
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