Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:
Predatory snail feeding behavior has widespread effects on ecosystems. However, little is known about what influences predatory feeding behavior in certain species of snails. Furthermore, even less is known about how soil-calcium levels affect the feeding behavior of predatory snails, which may use prey shells as a calcium source (snail shells are composed mainly of calcium carbonate). We examined the feeding behavior of predatory snails in containers with altered soil-calcium levels. We hypothesized that higher soil-calcium levels would reduce consumption of snail prey species and their shells. At the conclusion of two one-week trials, we found that predators with the highest soil-calcium level consumed far fewer prey species’ shells than expected (relative to the low soil-calcium treatment). This finding could be important for reducing the impact of introduced snail predators on rare native snail species.
Awards and/or presentations:
Grantham, Ryan. "Got Calcium? The effects of soil-calcium levels on predatory snail feeding." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK.