Earthworm Species Inventory and Forest Cover Type Associations

A totalof the 14 earthworm species were detected during the 2014 survey at White Memorial Foundation.  We randomly selected 82 plots throughout the property and collected 993 specimens.  Juvenile or non-clitellate individuals for Megascolecidae family and certain Lumbricid genus are impossible to identify to species using external and internal characters with currently developed keys.  Some cover types were sampled more than others, nevertheless random sampling insured that the frequency distribution reflects the actual proportion of cover type at White Memorial.  The native species Eisenoides lonnbergi was found in only two cover types, oak and mixed conifer, specifically in plots located near wetlands.  The remaining species have exotic origins and were detected in many cover types.  Intially, it appears that the hardwood cover types more species of earthworms than the conifer stands.  Conifer stands tend to have lower soil pH than hardwood cover types, which could influence the species that inhabit the stands.

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