“Gardeners tend to look at earthworms as good helpers that break down fallen leaves and other organic matter into nutrients plants can use.
“But not all earthworms do the same work in the soil. New research from the University of Wisconsin–Madison shows that Asian jumping worms, an invasive species first found in Wisconsin in 2013, may do their work too well, speeding up the exit of nutrients from the soil before plants can process them.
“‘Earthworms are the kind of organisms we call ecosystem engineers. They change the physical and chemical properties of the ecosystem as they dig and feed,’ says Monica Turner, a UW–Madison professor of zoology. ‘But nobody really understood if these Asian worms would have the same effect as the European worms we have had here for many years.'”
Read the full UW News story by Chris Barncard, September 8, 2016