The Ability of Terrestrial Mollusks of Moscow Oblast to Feed on Invasive Species of the Genus Solidago (S. canadensis and S. gigantea)

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Invasive species have to overcome the biotic resistance of the environment for successful distribution in the secondary range; this resistance can be effectively made by unspecialized phytophages. We carried out a series of laboratory experiments on studying the ability of generalist phytophages, such as terrestrial mollusks, to feed on invasive goldenrod species (Solidago canadensis L. and S. gigantea Aiton). A significant number of terrestrial mollusks of six species were found on the stems and leaves of goldenrods; however, the results of laboratory experiments have shown that most of them cannot consume this plant as food, and Fruticicola fruticum (O.F. Müller) (Bradybaenidae) and Deroceras sp. (Agriolimacidae) do not choose goldenrod when there are other alternatives, although they can potentially feed on goldenrod. Therefore, snails and slugs in natural populations have a negligible effect on the vital activity of S. canadensis and S. gigantea and cannot suppress the expansion of these species.

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The author is grateful to S.N. Lysenkov (Department of Biological Evolution, Moscow State University) for giving valuable advice during the work with the manuscript, as well as to K.B. Popova (Department of Geobotany, Moscow State University) for identifying willow and V.V. Mar’inskii (Department of Hydrobiology, Moscow State University) and E.V. Shikov for providing information about the biology of terrestrial mollusks.


This study was performed under the State Assignment no. CITIS AAAA-A16-116021660031-5, Part 2.

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Correspondence to E. N. Ustinova.

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The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.


All experimental protocols were carried out according to the EU guidelines on using laboratory animals and managing them (86/609/CEE) and in compliance with the rules approved by the Order no. 12000-496 of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences on April 2, 1980, and Order no. 22 of the Ministry of Higher Education of the Soviet Union, dated September 13, 1984. All efforts were made to use only the minimum number of animals to obtain reliable scientific data.

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Translated by D. Zabolotny

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Ustinova, E.N. The Ability of Terrestrial Mollusks of Moscow Oblast to Feed on Invasive Species of the Genus Solidago (S. canadensis and S. gigantea). Russ J Biol Invasions 10, 387–393 (2019).

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  • Solidago canadensis
  • Solidago gigantea
  • terrestrial mollusks, biotic resistance
  • herbivory