Earthworms are not universally 'good for the soil'. In northern North America, they are invasive and degrading the ecosystem.
"[N]atural habitats like the hardwood forests of the Northeast and Upper Midwest, which regenerated after the last ice age as earthworm-free ecosystems, historically rely on fungi, bacteria and other less-aggressive leaf-litter feeders, or detritivores, to recycle slowly."
@sohkamyung Things change in the global biome.
I didn't hit the link, b/c I hate to support the nyt, but I do know earthworms are invasive in north america. Like honey bees and some other things.
Some things we humans do on purpose like deer on haida gwaii or cane toads in hawaii. Some we just screwed up like zebra mussels or gold fish.
Going waaay back we had monster insects, because we had ++ oxygen and nothing to breakdown dead trees...
@gemlog If you prefer, you can read what Wikipedia has to say about it.
@sohkamyung Thank you. As I mentioned, I'm familiar already - I live here :-)
@sohkamyung And across a few mountain ranges, introduced species -- humans, earthworms -- are probably driving the giant albino earthworm of the Palouse to extinction.
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