The use of fire in the control of invasive, epigeic earthworm species in the southeastern United States
Blackmon, James Hines
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Invasive species have become one of the largest problems in the field of ecology in the past few decades. Invasive earthworms have recently gained attention in North America where they have become a growing problem. Invasive earthworm species have been shown to have severe impacts on many ecosystem level properties such as community structure and nutrient cycling. In order to fully understand the invasive success of the exotic, invasive species Amynthas agrestis we tested temperatures as an environmental clue for cocoon hatching and determined 10ºC was the optimal temperature for emergence. We then tested whether or not fire, either directly or indirectly, impacts invasive earthworm survival and demonstrated that survival is diminished indirectly post-fire. These results will help in future control of the spread of invasive earthworm species in the southeastern United States.