Slugs (Arionidae) benefit from nocturnal artificial illumination

  • Artificial illumination increases around the globe and this has been found to affect many groups of organisms and ecosystems. By manipulating nocturnal illumination using one large experimental field site with 24 streetlights and one dark control, we assessed the impact of artificial illumination on slugs over a period of 4 years. The number of slugs, primarily Arionidae, increased strongly in the illuminated site but not on the dark site. There are several nonexclusive explanations for this effect, including reduced predation and increased food quality in the form of carcasses of insects attracted by the light. As slugs play an important role in ecosystems and are also important pest species, the increase of slugs under artificial illumination cannot only affect ecosystem functioning but also have important economic consequences.

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Author details:Roy Hendrikus Antonius van GrunsvenORCiDGND, David Jaehnichen, Maja GrubisicORCiDGND, Franz HölkerORCiDGND
Pubmed ID:
Title of parent work (English):Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological and Integrative Physiology
Place of publishing:Hoboken
Publication type:Article
Date of first publication:2018/05/14
Completion year:2018
Release date:2021/09/14
Tag:ALAN; Arionidae; gastropoda; light pollution; phototaxis
Number of pages:5
First page:429
Last Page:433
Funding institution:Federal Ministry of Education and Research, GermanyFederal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF) [BMBF-033L038A]; Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Germany [3514821700]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Biochemie und Biologie
DDC classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Peer review:Referiert
Publishing method:Open Access / Green Open-Access