Bart Muys - Earthworms and their Role in Forest Ecosystems

Bart Muys – Earthworms and their Role in Forest Ecosystems



my name is Bart mice professor forest ecology and management at the University of Leuven in Belgium my research team is responsible for the study of the soil biological activity in the fund of Europe Network and particularly we are looking at the activity of earthworms microorganisms and the humans type Charles Darwin is known by many of you for his evolution theory but few people know that he was also a earthworm researcher a first earthworm researcher who published his last book on the formation of vegetable mould to the action of warms he observed in his own garden that earthworms are very important for soul work for bioturbation and today we know that earthworms are worldwide ecosystem engineers which provides very important ecosystem services like water drainage in salt profile erosion control and nutrient or now we're in European forests there's not so many diversity of earthworm species but in all the forests we have three important ecological categories we have epic Jake earthworms endo Jake earthworms and an easy earth worms epic Jake earthworms live in the litter and feet on this litter while energetic earthworms they live in the soil and make burrows to eat soil organic matter and then here and easy coat worms they make vertical burrows where they live in and during the night they come at the surface to feed on the litter since quite a long time we know that earthworms are influenced by tree species so there's a very important species identity effect on earthworms for example tree species with palatable litter like lime trees or ash trees they have a favorable effect on our own populations while a tree species which have acidifying later like spruce or beech have a negative effect on earthworm populations but as to tree diversity the effect of tree diversity on soul biological activity is much less known and is quite unsure for the moment we know for example that a monoculture beech forest can have a very high diversity in Seoul mic micro out pots and that is probably due to the fact that the thick little layer and the beech creates a large structural diversity of habitats our observations in the fund of Europe project show that there might be a slight positive effects of three diversity on earthworm populations and that could be may be explained by a larger variety in food availability

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One thought on “Bart Muys – Earthworms and their Role in Forest Ecosystems

  1. Thank you very much. Why there is less earthworm in forest ecosystem compared to other terrestrial ecosystem like meadow or even garden?

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