Summer at Duck Pond, White Memorial Foundation

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Relationship Between Forest Soil pH and Earthworm Biomass

Scatterplot of soil pH and earthworm abundance in quadrats sampled at White Memorial.
I examined the relationship between forest soil O-Horizon pH and earthworm biomass at 70 randomly selected plots at White Memorial from July - September 2014.  Southern New England soils are acidic primarily due to the bedrock that occurs in this region.  You can observe the bedrock on the property as you walk the trails.  Most of the bedrock outcrops consist of granite gneiss, mica schitz, and quartz crystals.  The surface soils are subsequently acidic.  A positive relationship was observed between earthworm abundance and soil pH.  As soils become more neutral, more nutrients could be made available for plants.  Earthworm abundance could also remediate the effects of acid precipitation as well as other factors that disturb forest soils.  I will present further data that shows relationships between earthworms and forest plants in subsequent blog posts.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Wamogo A.P. Environmental Science Class Earthworm and Invasive Plant Project Part 3

Comparisons of earthworm biomass under invasive plants versus invasive-free (control) and p-values of paired t-test.
The Wamago AP Environmental Science Class observed some important patterns of the amount of biomass of earthworms associated with invasive plants.  In previous posts, more worms were observed living in invasive plants (Japanese Knotweed, Japanese Barberry, and Goutweed) versus outside of the plant incursion.  Once exception was in Autumn Olive, there were more worms observed outside of the invasive plant rather than in the incusion.  The earthworm biomass was not significantly different under the Autumn Olive.  The biomass patterns further suggested that there significant differences under the Japanese Knotweed, Japanese Barberry, and Goutweed.  The amount of variability was greatest under the Japanese Knotweed and Japanese Goutweed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wamogo H.S. Environmental Science Class Earthworm and Invasive Plant Project Continued part 2

Average body length (mm) for earthworms collected living under
 invasive plants versus paired samples without the plants (Control).
Previous posts demonstrated that the Wamogo's Environmental H.S. students observed significantly more earthworms amongst invasive plants versus areas outside of the plant incursion.  The students did not observe any significant differences in the average body length of the worms under any of the invasive plant incursions sampled.  The greatest variation in body length was observed under the Autumn Olive which could be caused the diversity of earthworm species detected associated with the incursion and the controls.

Future posts will include statistical comparisons of earthworm biomass and earthworm species composition in each invasive plant incursion.