Capitol Hill Blue
‘Earthworm Dilemma’ Has Climate Scientists Racing to Keep Up

Not since 1541 has the Diet of Worms caused more worry and threat to Northern Europe, and now North North America!

Invasive worms feed, and release into the atmosphere much of the carbon stored in the forest floor. Climate scientists are worried.

“Earthworms are yet another factor that can affect the carbon balance. His fear is that the growing incursion of earthworms — not just in North America, but also in northern Europe and Russia — could convert the boreal forest, now a powerful global carbon sponge, into a carbon spout.


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Cindy Shaw, a carbon-research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, studies the boreal forest — the world’s most northerly forest, which circles the top of the globe like a ring of hair around a balding head.

A few years ago, while conducting a study in northern Alberta to see how the forest floor was recovering after oil and gas activity, she saw something she had never seen there before: earthworms.

“I was amazed,” she said. “At the very first plot, there was a lot of evidence of earthworm activity.”

Native earthworms disappeared from most of northern North America 10,000 years ago, during the ice age. Now invasive earthworm species from southern Europe — survivors of that frozen epoch, and introduced to this continent by European settlers centuries ago — are making their way through northern forests, their spread hastened by roads, timber and petroleum activity, tire treads, boats, anglers and even gardeners.

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As the worms feed, they release into the atmosphere much of the carbon stored in the forest floor. Climate scientists are worried.

“Earthworms are yet another factor that can affect the carbon balance,” Werner Kurz, a researcher with the Canadian Forest Service in Victoria, British Columbia, wrote in an email. His fear is that the growing incursion of earthworms — not just in North America, but also in northern Europe and Russia — could convert the boreal forest, now a powerful global carbon sponge, into a carbon spout.
I always knew those guys were way too squiggly and slimy. I just didn’t realize they were focused on a plot to heat the planet!
They can worm their way into all kinds of trouble.
Yeah, those pesky slimy, slutherians destroyed the Holy Rollers, and the Papissists have never been the same!
Originally Posted By: logtroll
They can worm their way into all kinds of trouble.


Mod notified of lamest limpest pun, in weeks of terrible examples sick

Sauce for the tiger, is sauce for the troller! grin
Death-Cap Mushrooms Are Spreading Across North America
Deathcaps in your yard

[Linked Image from pocket-image-cache.com]

First it was the invasion of the earthworms, undoubtably related to climate change, and now Deathcaps appear to have found new ways to expand to new locations. Very sneaky fungi live for many years in various hardwood trees and only when the tree becomes mature, do the fungi spring forth as fruiting bodies to poison dogs and humans.
Most of this invasion happen in the soil, and predictably grows in specific well groomed neighborhoods, at least in the Vancouver area. How much of these new methods of spreading are related to human induced changes in the soil biosphere from herbicides and pesticides? We cant even rule out a role for phosphorus deficiency! We dont know as it has taken 25 years for it to become something that people study, and only because of outbreaks of Amanita phalloides poisoning.

Unfortunately these mushrooms are quite tasty, and dont give any early warning symptoms. Maybe the earthworms will eat them before dogs or human get to them.

Time to have a chat with Fido about eating dead things or schrooms in the yard. You would never have to warn a cat about this!

TAT
The puppy I transported to my niece's family in Boston had to have his stomach pumped at the Vet ER from eating mushrooms. They said it was quite common around there. All of our (many) Vet ER visits have involved rattlesnake antivenon.
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