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Land snail dispersal, abundance and diversity on green roofs

posted on 2019-11-14, 18:47 authored by Michael L. McKinney, Nicholas S. Gladstone, Jillian G. Lentz, Faith A. Jackson

We present the first major systematic study of land snail diversity on green roofs. We surveyed 27 green roofs and the adjacent ground habitat in six major cities in the southeastern United States. We found a total of 18 species of land snails, with three considered to be non-native or invasive species. The majority of land snails encountered in surveys are widespread, generalist species, typically adapted to open habitats. Twelve of the land snails encountered are “greenhouse” species that are very commonly transported via the horticultural trade. Therefore, we infer that at least some land snail species are introduced to green roofs via initial green roof installation and associated landscaping. The major determinants of snail species richness and abundance are the size of each roof and the quality of green roof maintenance regime.