Project

EWINA: Biogeography of Native and Exotic Earthworm Species across North America

Goal: We aim at making a synthesis of the spatial distribution of native and exotic earthworm species across North America.

We want to tackle questions like :
How many native and exotic species are there in NA?
Where are the native and exotic species? Do they occupy the same ecological niches?
How, when and where did exotic species landed in North America?

Date: 1 January 2018

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Project log

Jérôme Mathieu
added a research item
Human activities cause major ecological changes by reshuffling the spatial distribution of species. The extent to which this process affects belowground biota is a critical issue because soil organisms play a key role in ecosystem functioning and maintenance. However, the magnitude of the reshuffling of soil species remains unknown so far because of the lack of a historic baseline. Here, we begin to fill this gap with the largest spatiotemporal database of native and alien earthworms in North America. Our results reveal that the entire continent is being invaded by non-native earthworms through a variety of pathways. We show that these aliens bring novel ecological functions in most regions and thus represent a major threat to native ecosystems. Our findings demonstrate that earthworms, and most likely other soil organisms, represent a major but overlooked pool of invasive species with strong ecological impact. They need to be better integrated in control and mitigation strategies.
John Warren Reynolds
added a research item
Canadian forests cover 43% of its landmass, which represent 10% of the world's overall forested areas and 30% of the world's boreal forests. There are eight forest regions in Canada plus grassland and tundra. Each forest region is represented by a description, map, earthworm diversity and function. Four appendices summarize: the distribution and diversity earthworms in Canadian forests according to dominant tree species and the Canadian and American soil type systems; earthworms recorded from the eight Canadian forest regions; earthworms recorded from the 10 dominant forest soils; and descriptions of the soil type profiles in Canada from which earthworms have been recorded. A map of the soil orders in Canada is presented. A table summarizes the mean values for morpho-anatomical traits characterizing the most frequent ecological categories with which earthworms are associated. The discussion considers arctic earthworm migration and climate change. Key words: Canada, Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae, Megascolecidae, forest regions, earthworms, distribution, soils, Arctic migration, climate change.
Jérôme Mathieu
added an update
The database is now in good shape with over 50K records over 2500 geographic regions. We are still retrieving old data but any new data is more than welcome.
Stay tuned for the first results!
 
Jérôme Mathieu
added a project goal
We aim at making a synthesis of the spatial distribution of native and exotic earthworm species across North America.
We want to tackle questions like :
How many native and exotic species are there in NA?
Where are the native and exotic species? Do they occupy the same ecological niches?
How, when and where did exotic species landed in North America?