Invasion of Impatiens glandulifera affects terrestrial gastropods by altering microclimate

Ruckli, R. and Rusterholz, H. -P. and Baur, B.. (2013) Invasion of Impatiens glandulifera affects terrestrial gastropods by altering microclimate. Acta oecologica, Vol. 47 , S. 16–23.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6212332

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Invasive species can have far-reaching impacts on ecosystems. Invasive plants may be able to change habitat structure and quality. We conducted a field experiment to examine whether the invasive plant Impatiens glandulifera affects native terrestrial gastropods. We also evaluated whether the invasive plant alters forest soil characteristics and microclimate which in turn may influence gastropod abundance. We sampled gastropods in plots installed in patches of I. glandulifera, in plots in which I. glandulifera was regularly removed by hand, and in control plots which were not yet colonized by the invasive plant. The three types of plots were equally distributed over three mixed deciduous forest areas that were slightly, moderately or heavily affected by a wind throw 11 years ago. A total of 33 gastropod species were recorded. Gastropod species richness was not affected by delayed effects of the wind throw, but it was significantly higher in invaded plots than in uninvaded plots. Similarly, gastropod abundance was higher in invaded plots than in the two types of control plots. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed marginally significant shifts of gastropod communities between the three types of plots and indicated that soil moisture, presence of I. glandulifera and cover of woody debris affected gastropod species composition. Field measurements showed that soil moisture was higher and daily soil temperature was more damped in patches of I. glandulifera than in the native ground vegetation. The changed microclimatic conditions may favour certain gastropod species. In particular, ubiquitous species and species with a high inundation tolerance increased in abundance in plots invaded by I. glandulifera. Our field experiment demonstrated that an invasive plant can indirectly affect native organisms by changing soil characteristics and microclimate.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Rusterholz, Hans-Peter and Baur, Bruno
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Ed. Elsevier
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:31 Jan 2014 09:51
Deposited On:31 Jan 2014 09:51

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