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

ll. Within a decade or two, the worms can essentially change the soil profile into something like the black mineral-rich soils that are found in many European forests."

Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Rhode Island Agricultural Experiment Station, Grres and Amador have set up study plots in local forests to evaluate the impact of the worms. They expect that over time the leaf litter and the duff layer in the protected plots will disappear because of the voracious worms. "At some point, the number of worms that can survive in a given area will be regulated by the amount of new leaf litter that falls," said Amador. "We'll also see a change in the plant and animal communities that live there."

The researchers are also trying to determine whether the worms are increasing the amount of carbon dioxide and methane going into the atmosphere. "The leaf litter and duff layers consist almost entirely of stored carbon, so when the worms eat and process the litter and duff, they release carbon dioxide and possibly methane in their burrows," Amador said. "We're not predicting catastrophe, of course, since the total amount of the gases they release is small. But it's a previously unaccounted potential source of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere."

All this is not to say that earthworms aren't beneficial. In fact, Amador believes that worms could be used in place of some of the fertilizers used in commercial agriculture.

"One of the tenets of organic agriculture is the reduction of inputs of synthetic fertilizers, and worms can help do this," he said. "We want to demonstrate to farmers that worms can provide a real benefit to crop production. Sustainable agriculture is all about soil quality. We want to come up with hard data about the contribution soil animals make to the quality of soil."

When worms eat the crop litter left from last year's harvest, they release nitrogen a major component of fertilizer -- from the dea
'"/>

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:6/23/2020)... ... June 23, 2020 , ... Kemp ... announced that the company has received ISO9001:2015 certification for the development and ... industries. The decision to pursue ISO9001 accreditation demonstrates Kemp’s commitment to a ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... ... June 23, 2020 , ... In its June 22 ... with Dr. James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., founder and director of stem cell ... announced on June 16 that starting July 5 it would begin offering ...
(Date:6/13/2020)... LORTON, Va. (PRWEB) , ... June 11, 2020 ... ... of forensic DNA services, announces a significant expansion of its forensic genealogy team. ... law enforcement and attorneys through proven forensic genealogy and DNA analysis methods. The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/11/2020)... ... June 08, 2020 , ... Greffex, ... through the use of proprietary clean viral vectors, recently announced a key manufacturing ... Greffex’s platform is the world’s most successful gene therapy delivery vehicle (vector) ...
(Date:6/2/2020)... , ... June 01, 2020 , ... ... to companies and encourage positive change in the world, enterprise security solutions provider ... , With more people working from home during self-quarantines and shelter-in-place orders, companies ...
(Date:5/26/2020)... , ... May 26, 2020 , ... Brilliant , ... recognized brand of smart garage door openers, announce a new integration to bring more ... enabled garage door openers powered by Aladdin Connect® can now be controlled from Brilliant’s ...
(Date:5/15/2020)... ... May 14, 2020 , ... RoosterBio ... banks and hMSC bioprocess systems, today announced the launch of its product ... vesicles (EVs). RoosterCollect™-EV-CC is the only system designed with hMSC-EV product developers ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: