Impact of Invasive Earthworms on Forest Soil Microbial Communities in Vermont

Abstract

Earthworms enjoy a positive popular reputation earned by their effects in agricultural systems. However, earthworms are non-native invasives in formerly glaciated North American forests. North American forests were initially invaded by European lumbricid species that arrived with the European colonists, and now are experiencing a “second wave” of earthworm invasion by species from Asia. As “ecosystem engineers,” earthworms have dramatic effects on forested landscapes. Our understanding of these effects is developing. This study used a community-level physiological profiling (CLPP) technique to look at the differences in soil microbial communities invaded by lumbricid and pheretimoid species in northern Vermont, USA.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Josef Gorres

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Second Student College

Honors College

Program/Major

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Second Program/Major

Plant and Soil Science

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Secondary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

Abstract only.

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Impact of Invasive Earthworms on Forest Soil Microbial Communities in Vermont

Earthworms enjoy a positive popular reputation earned by their effects in agricultural systems. However, earthworms are non-native invasives in formerly glaciated North American forests. North American forests were initially invaded by European lumbricid species that arrived with the European colonists, and now are experiencing a “second wave” of earthworm invasion by species from Asia. As “ecosystem engineers,” earthworms have dramatic effects on forested landscapes. Our understanding of these effects is developing. This study used a community-level physiological profiling (CLPP) technique to look at the differences in soil microbial communities invaded by lumbricid and pheretimoid species in northern Vermont, USA.