Forest Vegetation Strongly Related to the Earthworm Biomass

Vegetation and earthworm biomass scatterplot.

I investigated the relationship between vegetation and introduced earthworms on the property.  Several important relationships were observed.  Herbaceous vegetation data was collected at 25 randomly selected points on the property within one square meter quadrats.  Native vegetation including tree seedlings in the herbacous layer were negatively correlated with the amount of earthworms in the soil.  Invasive plants were positively correlated with earthworm biomass.  The relative strength of each of these relationships varied.  Invasive plants and  total native plants were the strongests correlations, while native tree seedlings were not as strong.  Tree seedling cover can be influenced by several factors including herbivory, seed production, acid precipitation, as well as many other disturbances.  Neverthess, this data suggests that introduced earthworms are one more important factor that influences our forest ecosystems.

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