Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Susceptibility of a Northern Hardwood Forest to Exotic Earthworm Invasion

Buy Article:

$52.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:  Numerous exotic earthworm species are colonizing northern hardwood forests of North America, where no native earthworms exist. Upon invasion, earthworms have been shown to alter the surface soil environment and plant populations and communities. We sought to identify land‐use factors in the Ottawa National Forest (ONF), Michigan (U.S.A.), that contribute to earthworm invasion in forest dominated by sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) so that the susceptibility to additional colonization could be evaluated. We sampled earthworm communities in Sylvania Wilderness Area, a unique old‐growth hardwood forest, and nonwilderness sites influenced by recreational fishing, recent timber harvesting, or roads. All the nonwilderness sites contained one to five species of exotic earthworms. In contrast, only 50% of wilderness sites contained exotic earthworms, all of a single species. Nonwilderness sites also had thinner litter and duff layers, higher soil C and N content, and higher nitrogen mineralization potentials than Sylvania sites. Two central differences between Sylvania and nonwilderness sites were that all nonwilderness sites were in close contact with roads and had a history of timber harvest, whereas these factors were not present in Sylvania Wilderness Area. Using average rates of colonization, we constructed two geographic information system models to estimate the percentage of sugar maple on the ONF falling within a theoretical 100‐year invasion distance of roads and of second‐growth sugar maple as relative indices of susceptibility to invasion. Both models indicated high susceptibility to invasion, with 91.7% and 98.9% of sugar maple habitat falling within a theoretical 100‐year invasion distance of roads or historical harvests, respectively.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, University of Montana, 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT 59812, U.S.A.

Publication date: August 1, 2005

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more