Earthworm Invasion

12 September 2013

Beavers reshape landscapes with their dams. Wolves control elk populations. Sea otters protect kelp forests by eating sea urchins. These are what ecologists call "keystone" species: critters that control an ecosystem and have a disproportionate impact on other species. And in Vermont forests, what are the keystone species?

Put earthworms on the list.

Kudzu vines grow madly, covering power lines. Zebra mussels muscle-out native mussels in Lake Champlain. Burmese pythons devastate local wildlife in the Everglades. These are invasive species: non-native animals and plants, carried by people into new locations, that take hold, disrupting and reshaping local ecosystems. And in Vermont forests, what are the invasive species?

Read more from Phys.org here