Problems caused by invasive earthworms
because we have native earthworms, though, doesn't mean that the
invasives aren't a problem. We've introduced species from
elsewhere for bait, vermicomposting (gulp!), and accidentally in plant
The biggest problems from these invasive earthworms is occurring in
previously glaciated areas where native earthworms don't occur.
There, invasive earthworms are totally changing soil dynamics by eating
up the duff (leaf litter) on the forest floor, which in turn affects
the trees and wildflowers which grow there.
Even down here in the South, we have invasive earthworms. When
competing with native earthworms, invasives tend to gain a foothold in
disturbed and fragmented forests. Scientists are beginning to
realize that invasive earthworms down here may be linked to the spread
of invasive plants like the extremely troublesome Japanese Stiltgrass
and might also compete with our forest salamanders.
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