Navigation Links
Forests under threat from exotic earthworm invasion
Date:9/1/2011

It is widely acknowledged that human beings are largely responsible for the widespread alteration of ecosystems on the planet. A recent study by Dara Seidl and Peter Klepeis of Colgate University in New York traces the ways in which humans are the principal agents of dispersal of exotic earthworms in the forests of Northern America. Their findings, published online in Springer's journal Human Ecology, suggest that humans spread earthworms both inadvertently via horticulture and land disturbance, in the tires and underbodies of vehicles, but also knowingly through composting and careless disposal of fish bait.

Non-native species of earthworms can have a detrimental effect on the flora and fauna of the forests. They can be responsible for accelerating the breakdown of the organic material on the surface of the forest floor, thereby reducing the habitat for the animals living there and possibly increasing soil erosion.

The researchers conducted a case study in Webb, NY, a large township in the Adirondack State Park, home to the largest unbroken temperate forest in the world. They first analyzed the environmental history of the area and followed this up with a mail survey of 150 Webb residents to assess their recreation and environmental practices related to earthworm dispersal.

The authors found that the introduction of exotic earthworm species can be traced as far back as European settlers arriving in North America and dumping ship ballast, a mixture of soil and gravel, onto the land. Today, the main culprits are recreational fishing, gardening, composting and the movement of egg cases on vehicles which are mostly to blame for their continued spread.

The authors conclude that even the most environmentally conscious individuals do not currently realize what a threat these earthworms pose. They suggest that, in particular, gardening clubs and convenience stores which sell worms to anglers should be targeted with information and that "the public needs to be empowered to implement behavior that helps mitigate the introduction of earthworms."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Lichens function as indicators of nitrogen pollution in forests
2. Earthworm activity can alter forests carbon-carrying capabilities
3. Living fossil tree contains genetic imprints of rain forests under climate change
4. Dried mushrooms slow climate warming in Northern forests
5. Wildfires result in loss of forests reserved by Northwest Forest Plan
6. Princeton-led team finds secret ingredient for the health of tropical rainforests
7. Scientists use lasers to measure changes to tropical forests
8. One-fifth of fossil-fuel emissions absorbed by threatened forests
9. Coffee cultivation good for diversity in agrarian settlements but not in forests
10. Cleaning the atmosphere of carbon: African forests out of balance
11. Tree species composition influences nitrogen loss from forests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2017)... VILNIUS, Lithuania , March 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... identification and object recognition technologies, today announced the ... development kit (SDK), which provides improved facial recognition ... safety cameras on a single computer. The new ... algorithms to improve accuracy, and it utilizes a ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... HANOVER, Germany , March 20, 2017 At ... Hamburg -based biometrics manufacturer DERMALOG. The Chancellor came to the ... Japan is this year,s CeBIT partner country. At the largest ... important biometrics in use: fingerprint, face and iris recognition as well as ... ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... enables to match face pictures against each other or against large databases. The ... ... fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the market. The speed is at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... Cybrexa Therapeutics, a start-up cancer ... financing in the amount of $6 million. An investment vehicle affiliated with HighCape ... , The Series B funding will enable Cybrexa to complete the build-out of ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... DuPont Industrial Biosciences (DuPont) ... speaking at Bloomberg’s 2017 Sustainable Business Summit: Seattle this Thursday, June ... officials on a panel titled “Developing a Corporate Renewables Strategy.” , “Consumers ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... ... June 14, 2017 , ... The Thailand Board of Investment ... they’re co-hosting a delegation from Thailand at BIO 2017 in San Diego, CA ... in the world, regroups more than 1,100 biotech companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... ... June 14, 2017 , ... Cynvenio ... today announced four new distribution agreements for Cynvenio’s ClearID line of blood tests that ... commercial agreements will make ClearID available immediately in Israel, Greece, Argentina, and South ...
Breaking Biology Technology: