Earthworm Communities in Previously Glaciated and Unglaciated Eastern Deciduous Forests

  title={Earthworm Communities in Previously Glaciated and Unglaciated Eastern Deciduous Forests},
  author={K. N. Hopfensperger and S. Hamilton},
Abstract Native earthworms were removed from forested ecosystems during the last glacial advance and have since been replaced with nonnative earthworm species. Nonnative earthworms can cause major changes in microbial and plant communities and nutrient cycling. In this study, we sought to compare the earthworm communities north and south of the last glacial terminus, and to examine correlations between plant communities and soil characteristics. In summer 2011, we measured the earthworm… Expand
Ecological Predictors and Consequences of Non-Native Earthworms in Kennebec County, Maine
Abstract Non-native earthworms are found throughout much of the United States and southern Canada in areas glaciated during the most recent glaciation. Following invasion, these earthworms alteredExpand
Campsites, forest fires, and entry point distance affect earthworm abundance in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Campsite presence was the single most important factor affecting sampled earthworm communities; density, biomass and species richness were all higher on islands having campsites, and fire was associated with reduced earthworm density, but had no direct effects on earthworm biomass or species richness. Expand


Earthworm invasion into previously earthworm-free temperate and boreal forests
The invasion of European earthworms into previously earthworm-free temperate and boreal forests of North America dominated by Acer, Quercus, Betula, Pinus and Populus has provided ample opportunity to observe how earthworms engineer ecosystems. Expand
Changes in hardwood forest understory plant communities in response to European earthworm invasions.
Evidence from these forest sites suggests that earthworm invasion can lead to dramatic changes in the understory community and that the nature of these changes is influenced by the species composition of the invading earthworm community. Expand
Influence of Invasive Earthworms on Above and Belowground Vegetation in a Northern Hardwood Forest
Abstract Scientists are beginning to have a firm grasp on the dramatic influence invasive earthworms can have on nutrient cycling in northern hardwood forests, yet a concrete understanding of theirExpand
Effects of earthworm invasion on plant species richness in northern hardwood forests.
Regional evidence is provided that invasion by Lumbricus species may be an important mechanism in reduced plant-species richness and changes in plant communities in mature forests dominated by sugar maples. Expand
Exotic Earthworm Invasion and Microbial Biomass in Temperate Forest Soils
Invasion of north temperate forest soils by exotic earthworms has the potential to alter microbial biomass and activity over large areas of North America. We measured the distribution and activity ofExpand
Non‐native invasive earthworms as agents of change in northern temperate forests
Soils of north temperate forests harbor a tremendous diversity of microorganisms and invertebrates, whose distribution and abundance can be substantially altered by earthworm invasion, and invasive earthworms can affect understory plant communities, raising concerns over the loss of rare native herbs. Expand
Earthworms increase the ratio of bacteria to fungi in northern hardwood forest soils, primarily by eliminating the organic horizon
It is suggested that the exotic earthworm invasion in these northern hardwood forests markedly increased the ratio of bacteria to fungi by eliminating the fungal-rich organic horizon, and was associated localized increases in bacterial vs. fungal abundance in mineral soil, setting the stage for future research into linkages. Expand
Invasion of exotic earthworms into ecosystems inhabited by native earthworms
Exotic earthworms do invade ecosystems inhabited by indigenous earthworms, even in the absence of obvious disturbance, and resistance to exotic earthworm invasions, if it occurs, may be more a function of physical and chemical characteristics of a habitat than of biological interactions between native and exotic earthworms. Expand
A succession of earth- worm species across the visible leading edge due to different patterns of colonization by different earthworm species is found, including Lumbricus rubellus which led to the most rapid removal of forest floor material during initial invasion. Expand
Influence of exotic earthworm invasion on soil organic matter, microbial biomass and denitrification potential in forest soils of the northeastern United States
Formerly glaciated regions of the northeastern United States have few native earthworm species and the region is dominated by exotic earthworms from Europe and Asia. Earthworms of the AsianExpand