No damage to vegetation by jumping worms shown yet, but invasion is still new

UW–Madison Arboretum ecologist Brad Herrick displays several jumping worms. Photo: Eric Hamilton

UW–Madison Arboretum ecologist Brad Herrick displays several jumping worms. Photo: Eric Hamilton

There’s no known way to eradicate the invasive species called “jumping worms” when they make their way into a large area, a UW–Madison Arboretum ecologist said, but there also isn’t definitive proof that the worms would harm local vegetation.

For two years, Arboretum ecologist Brad Herrick, along with Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies master’s student Katie Laushman and botany professor Sara Hotchkiss, studied the effects of the jumping worms, a species of earthworm from Asia that was first identified in the Arboretum in 2013. Their study was published in the Dec. 21 issue of Biological Invasions.

Read the full Wisconsin State Journal story by Shelley K. Mesch, January 15, 2018

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