Biodiversity of Gastropod Assemblages in the Bridgewater Area

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2007

Project Description/Abstract

Although terrestrial gastropods (snails and slugs) are highly diverse, ecologically important, and, as a group, highly imperiled, little is known about the ecology of most species. Ecological theory, however, suggests that such slow-moving species are likely to be strongly impacted by the fragmentation and loss of habitat. To assess the local diversity of gastropods and the degree to which they are affected by habitat fragmentation, I propose to conduct an inventory of gastropods in protected habitat fragments of various sizes. This will enable me to assess current levels of gastropod diversity, evaluate the degree to which local gastropods are abundant generalists versus geographically restricted habitat specialists, and establish a long-term sampling protocol so changes in gastropod diversity over time can be documented and explained.

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