photo of earthworm

Earthworm Invasion in Northern Forest Ecosystems

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Eden Prairie Community Center
16700 Valley View Rd,, Eden Prairie

Earthworm Invasion in Northern Forest Ecosystems

Prairie Edge Chapter Meeting

The northern forests from Minnesota to New England have no native earthworms. European earthworms have invaded many of these forests, where they transform soil structure by consuming the organic horizon (aka duff layer) and compacting the A horizon. These changes in soil structure lead to alterations in nutrient and water cycles within the soil. There are many important ecological cascades emanating from these invasions, including concerns for conservation of native plant and wildlife species, losses of forest and crop productivity, facilitation of invasive plant species such as buckthorn and garlic mustard, and soil and water quality.​ Lee E. Frelich is Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology. He received a Ph.D. in Forest Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1986. Frelich teaches courses in Forest Fire Ecology and Landscape Ecology on St.Paul Campus, and has advised 23 graduate students. Frelich has authored more than 110 publications with 90 coauthors from 14 countries, including major works for Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press. He is listed among the top 1% of all scientists in the world in the Thompson-Reuters Essential Science Indicators, Ecology and Environment Category. Current research interests include fire and wind in boreal forests, old-growth hemlock and maple forests, invasive earthworms in forests, deer and moose browsing, patterns of tree height, and impacts of climate change.