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:
TAG: Alien earthworms changing ecology Northeast forests

(Date:12/15/2014)... 12, 2014 Research and Markets ... the "Global Facial Recognition Market 2015-2019" ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769 Facial recognition is ... Facial recognition system measures the overall facial feature ... mouth, and the distance between eyes. Facial recognition ...
(Date:12/10/2014)... , Dec. 8, 2014 You,ve been here before: ... but can,t remember your password, site key or the answer ... your first grade teacher? Today, Hoyos ... app that will finally put an end to the ... 1U TM . 1U leverages a user,s smartphone to ...
(Date:12/10/2014)... , December 9, 2014 ... BCARD Platform   ... meeting scheduling solutions for business-to-business (B2B) events, today ... leader in mobile near-field communication (NFC), Bluetooth low ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140612/691055) , Jifflenow will ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Global Facial Recognition Market 2015-2019: Key Vendors are 3M Cogent, Cognitec Systems, NEC and Safran Group 2Global Facial Recognition Market 2015-2019: Key Vendors are 3M Cogent, Cognitec Systems, NEC and Safran Group 3The Password is Finally Dead: Launch of 1U Mobile App Eliminates Need for All Usernames and Passwords 2The Password is Finally Dead: Launch of 1U Mobile App Eliminates Need for All Usernames and Passwords 3Jifflenow And ITN International Bring Cutting-Edge Badge Scanning Technology To B2B Events 2Jifflenow And ITN International Bring Cutting-Edge Badge Scanning Technology To B2B Events 3
(Date:12/19/2014)... Ed Bilsky, Ph.D., vice president for Research and ... the Neurosciences (CEN), and professor of pharmacology at the ... member of the prestigious Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives ... receive this honor. , The Dana Alliance ... Foundation. Its mission is to advance public education ...
(Date:12/19/2014)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) December 18, 2014 ... a limited time special on Sartorius Biohit products ... Free on mLINE pipettes, Picus Electronic Pipette Trade-in Program, ... by Health and Safety officers around the world. They ... manual pipetting. Other features include:, ,     Full ...
(Date:12/17/2014)... York, NY (PRWEB) December 16, 2014 ... significant changes since 2013, which is why IBISWorld updated ... this industry continues to benefit from an intensified focus ... the proposal for new emission standards for power plants ... industry operators. According to IBISWorld Industry Analyst Sarah Kahn, ...
(Date:12/17/2014)... Once more, EMAAR has selected BioShaft ... water treatment plant to phase one of BayLaSun, a ... years ago Bioshaft successfully supplied and operated a packaged ... towers with an occupancy of 900 residences. The ... per day and was signed on September 16th, 2014, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:UNE's Ed Bilsky Named Member of Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives 2UNE's Ed Bilsky Named Member of Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives 3Major Pipette Distributor Pipette.com Announces Sartorius Year End Specials 2Activated Carbon Manufacturing in the US Industry Market Research Report Has Been Updated from IBISWorld 2Activated Carbon Manufacturing in the US Industry Market Research Report Has Been Updated from IBISWorld 3
Cached News: