Investigation Into the Effects of Lumbricus rubellus on Soil pH
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Since the end of the last ice age, there have been no native earthworms in the northern United States. Lumbricus rubellus is a common invasive which was introduced to North America form Europe for farming purposes. From these farm plots several earthworm species have moved into new habitats (Marinissen and Bosch, 1990). Although earthworms are commonly known as beneficial, recent studies have found that their activities in forested plots can alter the native ecosystem (Hale, 2005). The full extent of these damages are unknown. Many studies have determined pH to be one of the major factors in determining earthworm distributions (Edwards, 1998). However, the possibility that L. rubellus is effecting pH rather than being effected by it, has not been explored. By determining if L. rubellus can in fact change the pH of its environment we can further our understanding of how invasive earthworms effect non-agricultural plots.