The role of herbivores in determining plant species composition of temperate forests

snails.JPG

Anna Liang, Claudia Stein, Scott Mangan

Species-specific effects of herbivores on seedling establishment and plant performance can induce changes in plant community composition. Using experiments in both the lab and the field, we compare the effects of two generalist herbivores, white-tailed deer and snails, on seedling establishment of plant species native and invasive to temperate forests in Missouri. Our results suggest that snail food preferences play a major role in determining community composition of temperate forest systems.

 Mangan lab: plant-soil interactions