Jumping worms in soil

Jumping worms in granular soil that indicates their presence.

The Arboretum is launching a community-based research study and outreach project, called “Building and sharing collective knowledge about the impacts of an invasive species new to Wisconsin,” in summer 2021.

The study will crowdsource information and experience about jumping worms. The goal is to learn more about the impact of non-native invasive jumping worms on the health of native and ornamental plants that are commonly used in home landscapes. From the information collected, Arboretum staff plan to create outreach materials to share what was learned with the public. This project is supported by a Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Seed Project Grant.

The study begins with an online survey to collect observations and experiences of jumping worms from gardeners, land managers, community members, and professionals in the green industry. Anyone may participate in this research by taking the survey.

If you would like to participate, please follow this link to the UW–Madison Arboretum 2021 Community Survey on Jumping Worms. The link will take you to a page with more information about the study and a consent form. If you consent to participate in the study, you will then be directed to the survey. You could also have the option to participate in a virtual focus group to learn more specifics about your observations and experiences with jumping worms.

Arboretum project staff will compile, analyze, and interpret the data with the goal of creating outreach materials that can be distributed to inform gardeners, landowners, and green industry  professionals about which plants or plant families are and are not affected by jumping worms.

The Arboretum hopes this initial grant-funded project can lead to further research and outreach with gardeners, the green industryland managers, and community members interested in jumping worms.

Project leads:

Brad Herrick, Arboretum ecologist
Susan Carpenter, native plant garden curator
Susan Day, communications manager

If you have questions or comments, please email jumping.worms@arboretum.wisc.edu.