HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Alien earthworms changing ecology of Northeast forests

KINGSTON, R.I. June 24, 2003 Some forests throughout the Northeast are rapidly changing, but most observers won't notice it unless they take a close look at the soil beneath their feet. That's because the driving force behind the changing forests are earthworms, which play a key role in recycling nutrients in the soil but which may also be altering habitat for plants, salamanders, birds and other wildlife.

Only a few forest stands are known to be affected to date, according to University of Rhode Island soil scientists Josef Grres and Jos Amador, but they say the threat to forests is real. Most of the earthworm species found in the Northeast are not native to the area.

Grres and Amador are evaluating the environmental impact of the common nightcrawler, one of the region's 16 to 20 species of earthworms. While the spread of the worms in Rhode Island has not yet been evaluated, the researchers note that bait cups littering popular fishing spots suggest that local forests may be affected soon.

"These exotic earthworms arrived here either in plant materials imported by European settlers, from fishing bait that escaped, and some that were imported here for use in composting," Grres said. "Any native earthworms that may have been in New England thousands of years ago were crushed by the glaciers."

When earthworms move into a new area, they feed on the organic material on the forest floor and bring it down into their burrows. They feed primarily on the top layer of leaf litter, as well as on the duff the spongy layer of decomposing vegetation beneath the leaf litter.

Grres said that while earthworms do an excellent job of recycling nutrients, "when they eat away the duff layer, all the plant seeds that germinate there, like trillium and mayflowers and wood anemone, may disappear or may not have any place to germinate. Other creatures that live in the duff and forest litter like salamanders and ground-nesting birds may be affected as we
'"/>

Contact: Todd McLeish
tmcleish@uri.edu
401-874-7892
University of Rhode Island
24-Jun-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Alien life forms more likely to be found outside solar system, says Colorado prof.
2. Alien Species Cost U.S. $123 Billion A Year
3. Non-native earthworms may be wiping out rare plants
4. A changing landscape may have dire implications for birds
5. Croatian skeletons reveal changing status of cancer in Europe across the centuries
6. Undisturbed Amazonian forests are changing, say scientists
7. Northern climate, ecosystems driven by cycles of changing sunlight
8. Fast changing gene drives species split
9. Gene duplication adapts to changing environment
10. View of forest insects changing from pests to partners
11. Initiative considers changing face of biology

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/14/2019)... LAKE CITY, and MARTINSRIED, Germany (PRWEB) , ... ... ... in high-throughput antibody screening and characterization, announced today that they have opened a ... Carterra’s platform has fueled the need for the new office. , The Munich ...
(Date:8/14/2019)... JOLLA, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... August 14, 2019 , ... ... insight into their future children, announces inclusion in the 38th annual Inc. 500|5000 ... been eligible to apply. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue ...
(Date:8/9/2019)... ... August 09, 2019 , ... With a demand in healthcare to ... patients will visit urgent care centers (UCC) in the coming years, according to a ... The Market for Urgent Care Centers , is a detailed look at the current ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/2/2019)... DENVILLE, N.J. and LIÉGE, Belgium (PRWEB) , ... ... ... provider of solutions for epigenetics research and in vitro diagnostics, has launched the ... to uncover the underlying biological meaning of epigenetic data and other data ...
(Date:8/29/2019)... ... August 29, 2019 , ... ... in the Sustainable Medicines in Africa program, which includes a master’s degree in ... Arusha, Tanzania September 2nd through 13th, 2019. Topics to be addressed include ...
(Date:8/25/2019)... VEGAS (PRWEB) , ... August 23, 2019 , ... ... with International No. 1 best-selling status for the scientific research book “Impact of ... in the cosmetic and perfume industry as Patchouli. , The book garnered ...
(Date:8/15/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... August 15, 2019 , ... ... Scientific Advisory Board. Mr. Lawrence is a member of the Institute of Food ... Safety and Health (IFSH) Advisory Board, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: