Feeding behaviour of juvenile snails (Helix pomatia) to four plant species grown at elevated atmospheric CO2

Ledergerber, S. and Leadley, P. W. and Stöcklin, Jürg and Baur, Bruno. (1998) Feeding behaviour of juvenile snails (Helix pomatia) to four plant species grown at elevated atmospheric CO2. Acta Oecologica. Oecologia plantarum, 19 (1). pp. 89-95.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5251936

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The feeding behaviour of juveniles of the land snail Helix pomatia was examined in model plant communities consisting of Trifolium repens, Hieracium pilosella, Bromus erectus and Prunella vulgaris that are common species in extensively managed calcareous grasslands in the Swiss Jura mountains. The plant communities were grown either at ambient (350 ppm) or elevated (600 ppm) CO2 concentrations. Leaves of T. repens and P. vulgaris grown in elevated atmospheric CO2 had a lower specific leaf area, and leaves of T. repens had lower percentage N on a dry weight basis than leaves grown under ambient CO2 concentration. Snails fed on all four plant species, but showed a overwhelming preference for T. repens (percentages of total biomass consumed were 91.9 % at 350 ppm and 97.6 % at 600 ppm). The species-specific feeding intensity of juvenile H. pomatia did not differ between the two treatments. The total dry weight of T. repens consumed by the snails was marginally greater (P = 0.06) at elevated CO2, but there were no significant differences in leaf N or leaf area eaten. These findings are similar to numerous other studies showing that invertebrates increase their consumption of plant material to balance reductions in plant N concentrations at elevated CO2 treatments. Helix pomatia that fed on plants grown at elevated CO2 atmosphere showed a larger increase in relative wet weight than those that fed on plants from ambient CO2 conditions. However, the weight gain of H. pomatia was poorly correlated with amount of plant tissue consumed, so we suggest that the effect of CO2 on weight gain in H. pomatia was due to a change in the quality of T. repens leaves.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Stöcklin, Jürg and Baur, Bruno
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:14 Nov 2017 07:38
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:43

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