European terrestrial gastropod distribution: How may climate change affect their diversity and current distribution

Anouschka R. Hof*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


It is expected that ongoing climate change may have significant direct effects on the geographic distribution of species. Especially ectothermic species, such as terrestrial gastropods, may be affected considerably by alterations in temperature and precipitation regimes. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change can have a large impact on species communities and habitat structure as well. Since terrestrial gastropods are also sensitive to alterations in habitat structure and species interactions, it is expected that a further changing climate will affect terrestrial gastropods in ways difficult to anticipate. While experimental studies are useful and necessary to predict the impact of a future warming climate on single species, predictive modelling approaches can provide us with a better understanding of the impact of climate change on a larger number of species, on a wider geographical scale. I used species distribution modelling to assess the geographic distribution of nearly 100 terrestrial gastropods (order Stylommatophora) under emission scenarios A and B, of the HADCM3 projection, for the year 2080. The results show that most terrestrial gastropods will likely shift their geographic distribution range north-eastwards. It is thus expected that the gastropod diversity in Fennoscandia and North-western Russia will increase, whilst species diversity in the Mediterranean regions is likely going to decrease. Predicted range shifts of terrestrial gastropods will alter regional species diversity and abundance, which can have far reaching consequences for agricultural management. In addition, predators of macro-invertebrate prey might be affected by changes in terrestrial gastropod abundances, which needs to be taken into account in conservation planning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGastropods
Subtitle of host publicationDiversity, Habitat and Genetics
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781613246955
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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