Earthworm diversity linked to latitude and isolation

Earthworms don’t get enough attention, according to USDA Forest Service research ecologist Mac Callaham. “Earthworms have profound influences on soil habitat and other soil animals,” says Callaham. “They’re called ecosystem engineers. Their behavior and influence can help us understand how the systems are functioning and how we can best manage natural resources.” But until we…  More 

Elevation and Invasion

When humans wander the planet, they carry their plants along, often inadvertently. For example, Plantago major earned the common name ‘white man’s footprint,’ because it hitchhiked to the U.S. with European settlers and began growing along trails and roads. It is a very common species in the Southeast and has naturalized all over the globe.…  More 

Restoration in the Understory

Some plants are homebodies and refuse to thrive in new areas. “Plants have unique abilities to thrive where they grow but moving plants outside their genetically adapted environment might cause them not to grow as well,” says Joan Walker, SRS research plant ecologist. The U.S. Forest Service, led by Walker, is partnering with federal and state…  More