14 May 2007

New World Worms

Only two genera of Lumbricid earthworms are indigenous to North America whereas introduced genera have invaded areas where earthworms did not formerly exist, especially in the north. Here forest development relies on a large amount of undecayed leaf matter. Where worms decompose that leaf layer, the ecology may shift making the habitat unsurvivable for certain species of trees, ferns and wildflowers.

From here (for a more scholarly source see here; hat tip to a fellow soccer dad who cited National Geographic as a source).


Anonymous said...

Andrew: It appears both your links are to the same Wikipedia page.

I, too, have been reading the National Geo article on Jamestown. Earthworms and European honeybees were among the first foreign species introduced.

Also noted a recent post elsewhere that beekeepers using organic practices have seen little of the "Colony Collapse Disorder" that appears to be wreaking havoc with commercial hives which are chemically dusted and being trucked around great distances for pollination purposes.

So many linkages...


Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Damn. I had a journal article, but apparently didn't do the cut paste thing right. Ah, to have a copy editor.

CCD is pretty worrisome all right.

Off Colfax said...

Andrew, have I mentioned yet that my father is a vermiculturist in San Diego County?

Just in case you might be interested in that odd bit of errata.