Next Article in Journal
Effect of Biochar Application Rates on the Hydraulic Properties of an Agricultural-Use Boreal Podzol
Previous Article in Journal
Integrating Soil Compaction Impacts of Tramlines Into Soil Erosion Modelling: A Field-Scale Approach
Open AccessArticle

Physical Properties of Soils Altered by Invasive Pheretimoid Earthworms: Does Their Casting Layer Create Thermal Refuges?

1
Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05478, USA
2
Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Namık Kemal University, Tekirdağ 59030, Turkey
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soil Syst. 2019, 3(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems3030052
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 28 July 2019 / Accepted: 13 August 2019 / Published: 15 August 2019
Pheretimoid earthworms are invasive in hardwood forests of formerly glaciated regions in the USA. They alter the forest floor structure by creating an extensive, several cm-deep casting layer comprising loose macro-aggregates. Little is known about the physical properties of the casting layer and how they relate to earthworm ecology. Here, thermal and macropore properties of three forest soil textures (clay, silt, and sandy soils, with and without pheretimoids) were measured and compared to explore the possible relationships to their ecology. Thermal properties were significantly different between the casting layer (CAST) and original soil (NOCAST). Results indicate that CAST soils dampen temperature fluctuations occurring at the surface more than NOCAST soil. The increased dampening may be of particular importance to pheretimoid survival in forest fires and during spring when surface fluctuations could expose the hatchlings to fatal temperatures. Macropore volume, an indicator of ease of movement of pheretimoids, was significantly greater in CAST than NOCAST soil. Together, the ease of movement and greater temperature dampening of CAST soils may provide thermal refuges to pheretimoids from temperature variations outside the optimal range. This may improve their chances of survival in newly colonized areas where the climate differs from the original range. View Full-Text
Keywords: Amynthas agrestis; Amynthas tokioensis; casting layer; inter-aggregate pores; thermal properties; dampening depth; earthworm invasion Amynthas agrestis; Amynthas tokioensis; casting layer; inter-aggregate pores; thermal properties; dampening depth; earthworm invasion
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Görres, J.H.; Martin, C.; Nouri-Aiin, M.; Bellitürk, K. Physical Properties of Soils Altered by Invasive Pheretimoid Earthworms: Does Their Casting Layer Create Thermal Refuges? Soil Syst. 2019, 3, 52. https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems3030052

AMA Style

Görres JH, Martin C, Nouri-Aiin M, Bellitürk K. Physical Properties of Soils Altered by Invasive Pheretimoid Earthworms: Does Their Casting Layer Create Thermal Refuges? Soil Systems. 2019; 3(3):52. https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems3030052

Chicago/Turabian Style

Görres, Josef H.; Martin, Christina; Nouri-Aiin, Maryam; Bellitürk, Korkmaz. 2019. "Physical Properties of Soils Altered by Invasive Pheretimoid Earthworms: Does Their Casting Layer Create Thermal Refuges?" Soil Syst. 3, no. 3: 52. https://doi.org/10.3390/soilsystems3030052

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop