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Small mammals cause non-trophic effects on habitat and associated snails in a native system.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21691854     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Legacy effects occur when particular species or their interactions with others have long-lasting impacts, and they are increasingly recognized as important determinants of ecological processes. However, when such legacy effects have been explicitly explored, they most often involve the long-term direct effects of species on systems, as opposed to the indirect effects. Here, we explore how a legacy of small mammal exclusion on the abundance of a shrub, bush lupine (Lupinus arboreus), influences the abundance of a native land snail (Helminthoglypta arrosa) in coastal prairie and dune habitats in central California. The factors that limit populations of land snails are very poorly known despite the threats to the persistence of this group of species. In grasslands, prior vole (Microtus californicus) exclusion created long-lasting gains in bush lupine abundance, mediated through the seedbank, and was associated with increased snail numbers (10×) compared to control plots where mammals were never excluded. Similar plots in dune habitat showed no difference in snail numbers due to previous mammal exclusion. We tested whether increased competition for food, increased predation, and/or lower desiccation explained the decline in snail numbers in plots with reduced lupine cover. Tethering experiments supported the hypothesis that voles can have long-lasting impacts as ecosystem engineers, reducing woody lupine habitat required for successful aestivation by snails. These results add to a growing list of studies that have found that non-trophic interactions can be limiting to invertebrate consumers.
Authors:
Mikaela Huntzinger; Richard Karban; John L Maron
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-6-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  Oecologia     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1432-1939     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-6-21     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0150372     Medline TA:  Oecologia     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, University of California, Davis, CA, 95616, USA, pmhuntzinger@ucdavis.edu.
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