Digging in on invasive earthworms

June 06, 2022
A photo of a small bird eating a worm in the grass.
Photo of a bird with a worm by hedera baltica.

Earthworms may seem like a natural part of Minnesota’s forests and fields, but Professor Kyungsoo Yoo and graduate students Sara DeLaurentis and Tyler Baumann are finding these little creatures impact the state’s ecosystems in big ways. As exotic and invasive species, they trigger a loss of biodiversity, accelerate soil erosion, deplete nutrients, and cause trees to become moisture-stressed. “Basically, earthworms completely redesigned the soils in which Minnesota's forests put their roots,” says Yoo. Read the full story.