By co-producing research with land managers, Dr. Andrea Dávalos ties her research on invasive species and associated stressors with management.
JWORM Working Group
Jumping Worm Outreach, Research, & Management
NYISRI frequently works in a “connector” capacity, bringing together researchers, managers, and other professionals to create working groups on priority topics. When it came to jumping worms– invasive earthworms from Asia that threaten forest structure and lawns alike by consuming soil organic matter, disrupting soil structure and nutrient cycling– we jumped at the chance to create a working group centered on Jumping Worm Outreach, Research, and Management (JWORM). With our stakeholder’s high interest in this topic, we brought together researchers from the Northeast and Midwest.
With much unknown about these species, the group is currently working to identify knowledge gaps and set priorities for future research projects. Ideas include understanding how these worms disperse to new locations, and the impacts that they have once they establish. Further study is particularly needed to understand if certain plants are resilient to jumping worm presence, and how jumping worm impacts soil carbon storage and turfgrass growth. Once priorities are identified, the group plans to work together to seek funding to conduct this research.
The group is also working to raise awareness of the invasive jumping worm (Amynthas & Metaphire sp.) to homeowners, garden clubs, and the horticulture trade. Since there are no current effective control measures for jumping worms once established, the group emphasizes the need to prevent introductions. Creating checklists outlining preventative actions (cleaning garden tools, heating soil, etc.) to empower gardeners and other stakeholders to reduce their spread is one important initiative of the group.
The JWORM Working Group:
- Annise Dobson, Postdoctoral Researcher, Yale University
- Andrea Davalos, Assistant Professor, SUNY Cortland
- Brad Herrick, Ecologist & Research Program Manager, UW Madison Arboretum
- Timothy McCay, Professor, Colgate University
- Kyle Wickings, Associate Professor, Cornell University
- Carrie Brown-Lima, Director, NYISRI
- Audrey Bowe, Project Coordinator, NYISRI