Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (422 KB)

Title: Predicting exotic earthworm distribution in the northern Great Lakes region

Author: Shartell, Lindsey M.; Lilleskov, Erik A.; Storer, Andrew J.;

Date: 2013

Source: Biological Invasions. 15(8): 1665-1675.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Identifying influences of earthworm invasion and distribution in the northern Great Lakes is an important step in predicting the potential extent and impact of earthworms across the region. The occurrence of earthworm signs, indicating presence in general, and middens, indicating presence of Lumbricus terrestris exclusively, in the Huron Mountains located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan were modeled using generalized linear models and stepwise regression to identify important environmental variables. Models were then applied to earthworm occurrence data from Seney National Wildlife Refuge, also located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to validate results. Occurrence of earthworm signs was associated with high soil pH, high basal area of earthworm preferred overstory species, and north facing aspects. Middens of L. terrestris were associated with high soil pH, high basal area of preferred species, and close proximity to roads. The resulting model for L. terrestris was incorporated into a geographic information system (GIS) to map the expected distribution, both current and potential, across the study area. Results indicate that L. terrestris has not yet fully saturated its potential habitat, as it is currently found close to roads and has yet to establish in most interior forests sampled. Comparing field measured data to GIS layers revealed limitations in the precision of publicly available spatial data layers that should be addressed in future attempts to predict the extent of earthworm invasion across the larger Great Lakes region. However, within the Huron Mountains, it is predicted that the distribution of L. terrestris will cover, at minimum, 41 % of the area.

Keywords: Distribution prediction, European earthworms, Great Lakes, Lumbricus terrestris, Spatial modeling

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.



Shartell, Lindsey M.; Lilleskov, Erik A.; Storer, Andrew J. 2013. Predicting exotic earthworm distribution in the northern Great Lakes region. Biological Invasions. 15(8): 1665-1675.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.