Jumping worms in Minnesota
Lee Frelich, Forest Resources
Jumping worms are a group of invasive earthworms (Amynthas spp.) known for their leaping, snake-like movement. They live and feed in the upper leaf litter layer of soil, often dramatically damaging its quality and nutrient content. For this reason, jumping worms can trigger erosion, threaten plant growth and decrease soil community biodiversity.
Jumping worms have made their way across North America through composting, the fishing bait trade and by movement of potted plants and mulch. Minnesota is still in the early stages of invasion. This project will enlist citizen scientists in the Duluth, Rochester and Twin Cities metro areas to learn how jumping worms are spreading in our region and how they might best be controlled. Researchers will create a Best Management Practice guide for jumping worm infestations in Minnesota.
How do jumping worms spread in Minnesota?
Does temperature limit where jumping worms could spread in Minnesota?
Is commercial earthworm treatment effective for jumping worms?
What are the best management practices for jumping worms in Minnesota?
The results of this work will help state regulators develop best practices to prevent the wider spread of jumping worms in Minnesota. Best management practices will also inform major industry partners like the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association
Lee Frelich, principal investigator, Department of Forest Resources
Kyungsoo Yoo, co-principal investigator, Department of Soil, Water and Climate
Ryan Hueffmeier, co-principal investigator, Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center at UMD
Stephan Carlson, co-principal investigator, Department of Forest Resources
Related News & Publications
- "Invasive earthworms are burrowing into boreal forests worldwide" Popular Science. (Dec 2019)
- ''Earthworm dilemma' has climate scientists racing to catch up' New York Times. (May 2019)
- 'U of M researchers find earthworms are threatening Minnesota's state flower' KSTP. (July 2019)