Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Well, it turns out, that our friendly Earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, is a newcomer to the North American ecology as well! The same National Geographic article which credits European colonists with introducing the Honeybee to America claims the Earthworm came to America as a stowaway on ships, probably in root balls of fruit trees and other plants. America had no great garden cultivator worm to compare with this guy. The American forests are still adapting to the impact of having their fall foliage drop disappear from the ground almost instantly as Earthworms devour it and turn it into humus.
Once again I am amazed that members of the ecosystem which we have presumed have "always" been here are "invasive" species. The ecosystem is never static, it seems to be ever changing as climate and populations change.