Snail herbivory in forest communities

Anna Liang (Washington University in St. Louis, USA) and colleagues recently had their paper on snail herbivory published in Journal of Ecology. This study was a large part of Anna’s undergraduate senior thesis done under the supervision of Scott Mangan and Claudia Stein. Many thanks to Claudia and Anna for sharing these photos from their fieldwork.


Caught in action: Neohelix alleni feeding on a seedling of Ailanthus altissima in our experimental forest plots (Photo: Anna Liang).


Anna Liang performing a census of the transplanted seedlings during the summer of 2015 (Photo: Claudia Stein).


High school student, undergraduate student, high school teacher & lab technician working together to set up of the second round of the field experiment in spring of 2015 (Photo: Claudia Stein).


Snail enclosure plot in the forest. The sharp rim is curved to prevent snails from climbing out of the snail fences. In addition, we lined the inside of the snail enclosures with copper tape to increase the efficiency of the fences (Photo: Claudia Stein).


A high school student collected a handful of snail shells after just a few minutes of searching the forest floor (Photo: Anna Liang).


Arenas for cafeteria-style preference trials. Left: at the start, right: after 12 hours (Photo: Anna Liang).


Arena for cafeteria-style preference trials. Snail was starved for 24 hours before the start of the experiment and then put in this arena with plant material from all six plant species. Snails were allowed to feed for 12 hours over night (Photo: Anna Liang).

Read the full paper online: Snail herbivory affects seedling establishment in a temperate forest in the Ozarks. View more fieldwork photo collections on the blog. 

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