Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Get off our duff!

Earthworms are causing problems in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to this report in The Daily Times. A species of earthworm, suspected to be native to Asia, cleared all the duff - the layer of decomposing plant material just below leaf litter - from a section of forest. A lack of duff can mean less nutrients in the soil, and damage to the root systems of plants in the herbaceous understory. A similar problem, but with European earthworms, was reported about a year ago in Minnesota.

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