For a wriggling and slimy invertebrate, earthworms have a good reputation. Most people recognise that earthworms are important, but few understand the true power of these ecosystem engineers or even that not all earthworms are the same.
The humble earthworm is valued by farmers and gardeners alike for its contribution to healthy soils.
If you dig two holes in a field, you can find earthworms in the soil from one hole but not the other. What controls the distribution of earthworms has remained a poorly understood question since the time of Darwin.
In this talk, we’ll discuss whether finding earthworms in soil is a good indicator of healthy soil, what factors control the presence of earthworms in soil and how many holes you have to dig to find an earthworm.