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Invasive earthworms in New England forests, their damage and spread

Wednesday December 9, 2020 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Forests of New England are under pressure from shifting climates, introduced species, and human uses for fuel and wood products. One largely understudied biological pressure are invasive earthworms, such as the ‘crazy snake worms’ of the Megascolecidae family from asia. New England forests largely developed without native earthworms due to the last major glaciation. Since international boat travel, New England forests experienced a wave of European earthworms, and now are being invaded by worms such as Amynthas agrestis. Here, I will discuss their impacts on forests, where they have been observed, some measures to prevent their spread, and potential control mechanisms.

Amynthas agrestis

Dr. Justin B. Richardson is an assistant professor of geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research focuses on forest soils and how humans alter the physical, chemical, and biological nature. His current research focuses on nutrient cycling in perturbed soils, toxic metal transport in New England watersheds, and urban forests. Dr. Richardson is southern California native and completed a B.S. in Soil Science at the University of California Riverside. He then moved to New England and completed his PhD in Earth Sciences on lead and mercury pollution at Dartmouth College in 2015. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Cornell University, he joined the UMass Amherst faculty in 2018.

Justin Richardson

To Register for this Program: Please register below for the link to this live lecture, hosted on Zoom. You must have a free Zoom account to attend. Instructions on accessing the lecture will be included in your confirmation email.

This program is funded by a Community Development Block Grant. The demographic information collected in this registration form will be used only to help us report back regarding our community impact and for no other purpose. Additional support has been provided through NEH CARES Act funding granted by Mass Humanities.

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