Movement patterns of the grey field slug (Deroceras reticulatum) in an arable field

Ellis, J., Petrovskaya, N., Forbes, E., Walters, K.F.A. and Petrovskii, S. (2020) Movement patterns of the grey field slug (Deroceras reticulatum) in an arable field. Scientific Reports, 10 (1).

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We report the results of an experiment on radio-tracking of individual grey field slugs in an arable field and associated data modelling designed to investigate the effect of slug population density in their movement. Slugs were collected in a commercial winter wheat field in which a 5x6 trapping grid had been established with 2m distance between traps. The slugs were taken to the laboratory, radio-tagged using a recently developed procedure, and following a recovery period released into the same field. Seventeen tagged slugs were released singly (sparse release) on the same grid node on which they had been caught. Eleven tagged slugs were released as a group (dense release). Each of the slugs was radio-tracked for approximately 10 h during which their position was recorded ten times. The tracking data were analysed using the Correlated Random Walk framework. The analysis revealed that all components of slug movement (mean speed, turning angles and movement/resting times) were significantly different between the two treatments. On average, the slugs released as a group disperse more slowly than slugs released individually and their turning angle has a clear anticlockwise bias. The results clearly suggest that population density is a factor regulating slug movement.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Agriculture and Environment (from 1.08.20)
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2021 16:36
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2021 14:24

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