Brazilian Journal of Biology
Print version ISSN 1519-6984
NUNES, GKM and SANTOS, SB. Environmental factors affecting the distribution of land snails in the Atlantic Rain Forest of Ilha Grande, Angra dos Reis, RJ, Brazil. Braz. J. Biol. [online]. 2012, vol.72, n.1, pp. 79-86. ISSN 1519-6984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842012000100010.
The distribution and abundance of terrestrial molluscs are affected by environmental factors, but data are lacking for Brazilian land snails. The aim of this study was to understand the relationship between measured environmental factors and the land-snail species composition of two hillsides covered with Atlantic Rain Forest on Ilha Grande. On each hillside, five plots located at 100 m intervals between 100 to 500 m asl were chosen. Each plot was sampled by carrying out timed searches and collecting and sorting litter samples from ten quadrats of 25 × 75 cm. A range of environmental data was measured for each of the quadrats in a plot. A Cluster Analysis was carried out for the richness and abundance data. The environmental variables were analysed using a Pearson Correlation Matrix and Discriminant Analysis. Our results show that the two mountains are similar in species richness, but species composition and abundance are different, probably reflecting observed differences in environmental conditions. The environmental factors associated with compositional variation between the two mountains were: atmospheric temperature, soil temperature, litter depth, and relative air humidity. Distinct luminosity and canopy closure conditions were related to the composition of the land-snail community of one hillside.
Keywords : canopy closure; Gastropoda; litter depth; relative air humidity; temperature.