Chr. Emmerling & H. Strunk


Christoph Emmerling PDF
Heiko Strunk University of Trier, FB VI- Department of Soil Science,
Campus II, Behringstraße, 54286 Trier, Germany;


Active dispersal of the endo-anecic earthworm Aporrectodea longa (Ude) in an experimental box


We investigated the potential of the horizontal dispersal of the endo-anecic earthworm Aporrectodea longa by using an experimental box of 0.7m3. Two treatments, one with and another without vegetation cover (Miscanthus x giganteus) were compared, each with three replicates and ten earthworm individuals for each replicate. Mean horizontal dispersal of A. longa was 7 cm day-1 in a range of 8 cm ( 3) day-1 in the presence of Miscanthus and 6 ( 2) without. We calculated that the horizontal dispersal per year was in the same range (6 to 8 m yr-1) that was within the typical range of several earthworm species from 2.5 to 14 m yr-1. These findings have significant relevance for studies of earthworm population spread and distribution, especially in light of modelling earthworm immigration potential and velocity, triggered for example through regional climate change.


Earthworms, Aporrectodea longa, horizontal movement, earthworm dispersal, experimental box, Miscanthus