How to explain the invasive success of introduced species in disturbed habitats?
– Dr. Angélique Dupuch and Anna Mazaleyrat (UQO)
The goal of this project is to determine the ecological factors that facilitate the successful invasion of non-indigenous slugs. In Canada there are 36 species of slugs, 17 of which are introduced non-indigenous species. This project will test whether disturbances, like logging, help invasive species proliferate by doing a comparison of the presence of native versus non-native slugs in the Outaouais region. On the property of Kenauk there are 4 slug species, 3 of which are native and 1 of which is invasive. Slugs are highly sensitive species to factors such as temperature and humidity, which results in specific preferred habitats. It is hypothesized that invasive species have wider behavioral and physiological tolerances compared to native species, allowing them to withstand the more extreme thermal and moisture conditions found in logging areas. This project will have three components: 1) an inventory of slug species in logged vs undisturbed forests; 2) vegetation surveys; and 3) determining slug displacement and feeding behaviors. Slug communities will be characterized using three methods: pit fall traps with ethanol, wooden planks that attract slugs, and active searching for slugs after rain.
Stay tuned for results