The Department of Geography, Environment, and Society is hosting a coffee hour on Friday, September 20th in Blegen Hall 445 beginning at 3:30 pm. Dr. Lee E. Frelich Director of The University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology will give a talk titled "Earthworm invasion from seed to ecosystem."
Minnesota has no native earthworms. Several invasive earthworm species are producing profound impacts in Minnesota forests. Earthworms are ecosystem engineers, and as an invasive species group they change soil structure and ecological processes such as decomposition, and hydrological and nutrient cycles. These changes lead to cascading impacts including a different suite of native plant species that are successful after worms invade, facilitation of invasive plant species, invasional meltdown, changing wildlife habitat and water quality. Invasive earthworms also interact with other agents of change including herbivory by deer and climate change.
Complimentary refreshments and coffee will be served at 3:15 pm.