Differences in soil characteristics between field and forest may influence the distribution of an invasive earthworm
Abbreviated Journal Title
Appalachian Mountains; ecotone; leaf litter; Lumbricus terrestris; NORTHERN HARDWOOD FORESTS; EXOTIC EARTHWORM; LUMBRICUS-TERRESTRIS; NEW-YORK; USA; PATTERNS; MINNESOTA; MOUNTAINS; CHEMISTRY; AMERICA; Marine & Freshwater Biology; Zoology
In northern North America, invasive earthworms (including the nightcrawler Lumbricus terrestris) have been dispersing from points of introduction and dramatically affecting soil structure, soil food webs, and forest floor dynamics. However, little is known about the factors influencing the local distribution of invasive earthworms south of the Wisconsinan glaciation. Earthworms were sampled at suspected sites of introduction near Mountain Lake Biological Field Station, Virginia, USA. The density of invasive earthworms decreased as distance from suspected sites of introduction increased; native earthworms displayed the opposite relationship. However, the distance that L. terrestris was found into the forest was less than expected given dispersal rates calculated from more northern invasions. We also found correlations among population densities of L. terrestris and physical-chemical properties of the soil, and differences between field and forest soils in terms of temperature, moisture, and soil chemical properties. We conducted two experiments to analyze some factors possibly responsible for the observed distribution: (1) temperature and moisture, and (2) soil type (field vs. forest) and food resources. Our results suggest that L. terrestris may not disperse as far into forested habitats of the Southern Appalachians compared to northern forests due to local physical-chemical soil characteristics.
"Differences in soil characteristics between field and forest may influence the distribution of an invasive earthworm" (2015). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 6771.