by Brooks Hays
Vigo, Spain (UPI) Feb 24, 2016
Earthworms are tremendously abundant, but they are too often absent from scientific journals.
Researchers in Europe hope a new map will spark a greater scientific interest in the humble worm and its role in shaping soil-based ecosystems.
"In 2015, several initiatives were organized with the aim of bringing some justice to this system -- edaphic environments -- that we step on every day and feed on, and that makes it possible for the forests, meadows and crop fields, among others, to function properly," Maria Jesus Iglesias Briones, a researcher at the University of Vigo, told Spain's state news agency SINC.
To get a better sense of the biodiversity and distribution of earthworms across Europe, Briones and her colleagues analyzed earthworm records from 3,838 locations across eight European countries.
The results, published in the journal Applied Soil Ecology, feature the first European earthworm map -- showcasing the range and densities of common species like Aporrectodea caliginosa and Lumbricus terrestris.
"The study is the first step to creating a database of European earthworms, which needs to be improved on," the study's authors wrote.
Of the surveyed countries, France, Ireland and Germany boasted the most extensive earthworm records, while Spain's data sets left something to be desired.
Researchers hope their map will encourage scientists in Spain and elsewhere to explore earthworm biodiversity in their home countries.
"We hope that studies such as this one put a greater weight on the need to understand the diversity of these invertebrates that are so important to the proper functioning of soils," concluded Briones.
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|