How to explain the invasive success of introduced slug species?
– Dr. Angélique Dupuch and Anna Mazaleyrat (UQO)
The goal of this project was to determine the ecological factors that facilitate the successful invasion of non- indigenous slugs. In Canada there are almost 40 species of slugs and approximately half of them are introduced. This project tested whether habitat disturbances, like logging, helps invasive species proliferate. To do so, we evaluated the abundance of an introduced slug species, Arion fuscus, and that of indigenous species in managed forests in the Outaouais region. It was hypothesized that logging would create habitats more suitable for A. fuscus while decreasing habitat quality for indigenous species in the Philomycus genus.
– The species of slugs identified at Kenauk so far include: Pallifera dorsalis, Deroceras laeve, Philomycus carolinianus, Philomycus flexuolaris, Philomycus venustus, Philomycus togatus (indigenous), and Arion fuscus (invasive).
– P. venustus has never been found in Canada and P. carolinianus has never been found in Quebec (to our knowledge) and is listed as threatened by COSEWIC.
– As expected, A. fuscus was more abundant in logged areas than in mature stands while the opposite was observed for Philomycus species. This suggests that logging facilitates the invasion of introduced slug species but is detrimental to indigenous slugs.
Stay tuned for results