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:10/29/2014)... stem cell, those referred to as ,facultative, form part—together ... nothing that differentiates these cells from the others. However, ... the capacity to become stem cells again. This phenomenon ... that hosts cells that stimulate tissue growth, thus allowing ... a transplant. Knowledge of the underlying mechanism that ...
(Date:10/29/2014)... – Ghrelin is a hormone released by the stomach ... commonly viewed as a psychoactive substance that primarily affects ... food. , This knowledge, combined with findings from ... has the potential to stimulate alcohol craving. , Dr. ... and found that, as they had anticipated, alcohol craving ...
(Date:10/28/2014)... German . ... sufficient food when times are lean? By studying wild ... researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology ... great apes can acquire extra energy needed to maintain ... sleeping nests more en route to breakfast sites containing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):A mechanism that allows a differentiated cell to reactivate as a stem cell revealed 2Ghrelin stimulates an appetite for drinking alcohol 2The early chimp gets the fig 2The early chimp gets the fig 3
(Date:10/27/2014)... Cary, North Carolina (PRWEB) October 27, 2014 ... was invited earlier this month to sit down with Bryan ... Spencer from RPG Solutions to discuss talent in the Research ... the topics that were highlighted at the roundtable ... in the Triangle, the significance of work/life balance and the ...
(Date:10/27/2014)... Oct. 27, 2014 Kalorama Information says that ... concern in the United States ... healthcare market researcher said the FDA,s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) ... tests for the detection of the Ebola virus was ... Kalorama routinely assess the IVD industry and its biennial ...
(Date:10/27/2014)... 2014 The report “Smart Highway ... Management, Communication, Monitoring), and by Display (Variable Message ... segments the global market into various sub-segments with ... identifies the drivers and restraints for this market ... Browse 75 market tables and 37 figures spread ...
(Date:10/26/2014)... The report "Data Center Networking Market [Ethernet ... Optimization Appliances]: Global Advancements, Worldwide Forecasts & Analysis ... market into various segments with an in-depth analysis ... the factors driving this market, various restraints and ... future roadmaps. , Browse 106 market data tables ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Personify's Ryan Carfley Talks Recruiting with Triangle Business Journal, RPG Solutions 2Personify's Ryan Carfley Talks Recruiting with Triangle Business Journal, RPG Solutions 3Kalorama: PCR The Go-to Test in Ebola Fight 2Kalorama: PCR The Go-to Test in Ebola Fight 3Smart Highway Market by Technology, and Display Expected to Reach $27.992.0 Million by 2019- New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Smart Highway Market by Technology, and Display Expected to Reach $27.992.0 Million by 2019- New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Smart Highway Market by Technology, and Display Expected to Reach $27.992.0 Million by 2019- New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4Data Center Networking Market by Ethernet Switches, SAN & Routers Worth $21.85 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 2Data Center Networking Market by Ethernet Switches, SAN & Routers Worth $21.85 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 3Data Center Networking Market by Ethernet Switches, SAN & Routers Worth $21.85 Billion by 2018 - New Report by MarketsandMarkets 4
Cached News: