Looking for Earthworms in Deadwood

Ashwood, Frank, Vanguelova, Elena I., Benham, Sue and Butt, Kevin Richard orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0886-7795 (2020) Looking for Earthworms in Deadwood. Frontiers for Young Minds, 8 . p. 547465. ISSN 2296-6846

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/frym.2020.547465


Fallen branches, logs, and tree stumps are a valuable habitat in forests, giving food and shelter to many organisms, including earthworms. Unfortunately, deadwood is often removed from forests because its value is not fully appreciated. We wanted to overcome this by developing a sampling method for earthworms living in deadwood in forests. By testing our new sampling method in oak forests, we found that including deadwood in earthworm surveys improves our knowledge of forest earthworm populations. We also found a greater number of young earthworms in deadwood, where conditions were warmer and moister than in the soil. By surveying deadwood for invertebrates, such as earthworms, we can better understand the important role that deadwood in forests plays in maintaining biodiversity.

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