Invasive species of earth worms have made their way north in the United States and are doing their job too well! They’ve moved into formerly worm-free forests, which rely on undecayed leaf matter. When worms decompose that leaf layer, the ecology may shift, making it uninhabitable for certain species of trees, ferns and wildflowers. It’s of particular concern in the Great Lakes region when anglers simply dump their bait worms back into the soil, creating a difficult environment for old growth sugar maples, and other plants and animals. With support from the National Science Foundation, students from the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota, Duluth have launched a public education campaign. They’re interacting with anglers, urging them to put unused bait worms into special containers rather than just dumping them in the dirt. The hard part is convincing folks these worms are a problem!
This video is courtesy of the Internet Archive and can be found at this location: