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{ 8 }  SNJ Today  |  AUGUST 4, 2021                                                                                AUGUST 4, 2021  |   { 9 }
                                                                                 Public & Private School Shoe
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     Great Lakes Worm Watch aims to raise awareness about invasive earthworms with informa-
     tion that’s true for the Lakes region as well as the Northeast and most of North America.
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     water-quality problems in gardens or in   lawn creates an artificial habitat that sup-
     agricultural systems because earthworms   ports a glut of these members of the thrush
     are accelerating the way water and nutri-  family. Although they are native, in dispro-
     ents move through the system.” Regarding   portionate numbers they too cause imbal-
     decompaction of soils Groffman offered,   ances in the natural world.
     “Yes, they do [aerate soils]. But the soil’s   So what about areas south of the Great
     probably pretty well aerated anyway.   Ice Age’s movement some 2.6 million years
     Certainly if we have soils that are com-  ago? Are there indigenous worms there?
     pacted, say, that have seen a lot of traffic,   Groffman says they see very few native spe-
     people walking on them or driving on them.   cies because they have been outcompeted
     [In] compacted soils, earthworms can have   by those from Europe and Asia.
                                                                                                     vailable • Gif
                                                                                                                           t C
     a very beneficial effect by aerating the soil.”   Worms do have great value in the com-  Layaway Available • Gift Certificates
        But his real concern is for forests where   post pile in breaking down organics that are
                                                                                              We Carry Men’s Sizes 5–17
     soils are naturally well-aerated and worms   placed there. And when soils are compacted   W e C  arry Men’     s Sizes 5–17
     are playing an adverse role in the ecosys-  they surely play a role. Additionally there   Women’s Sizes 4–13 • Children’s Sizes 0 & up
                                                                                             s Sizes 4–13 • Childr
                                                                                                                               s Sizes 0 & up
     tem. When water is moving more swiftly   is a commercial industry in worms for bait
                                                                                                                            epair • Shoe Dyeing
                                                                                Orthopedic & Diabetic Shoes • Shoe R
 earthworms north of the glacial bound-  through the soil profile into our aquifer   and farming purposes. You can find reams   Orthopedic & Diabetic Shoes • Shoe Repair • Shoe Dyeing
 ary are undoubtedly exotic. Soil scientists  without the slower filtration necessary to   of information on their beneficial uses espe-
                                                                                CLIP & SAVE         COUPON        CLIP & SAVE        COUPON        CLIP & SAVE
 hypothesize that native species were   reduce pollutants, then our drinking water   cially in supporting the exotic food that we   CLIP & SA VE         C OUPON        CLIP & SA VE        C OUPON        CLIP & SA VE
 extirpated during the glacial period. The   quality can be negatively affected. And   grow. But our point here is that the prolifer-
 glaciers’ southern boundary was in central  important moisture is not retained in the   ation of exotic worms is wreaking havoc on   $  00
 New Jersey and the sands of the coastal   duff layer.  our forest and prairie ecosystems. And sci-  10
 plain where we live in southern New   Groffman continued to explain that   entists are debating whether the role they   OFF
 Jersey are the scourings of the glacial front.  forests without worms have very thick   have played in gardening is as beneficial as
 Most of the worms we are familiar with in  layers of organic material that support   was once believed.  $100 or more
 our gardens—primarily night crawlers, or  native plants like spring beauty, trillium,   So let’s bring this topic full circle: The
 Lumbricus terrestris—were never found nat- and trout lily, and an animal community   moles that Americans think of as little ter-  Not to be combined with any other offer. Expires 9/1/21.
 urally in North America. They are invasive  of salamanders, beetles and insects. But   rorists are eating worms that are a scourge
 species, introduced by European settlers.   where earthworms are present these spe-  to our ecosystems. Possibly an attitude   $  00
 Farmers and the U.S. Department of   cies disappeared, a process that took place   adjustment is in order as we reevaluate our   5
 Agriculture actively dispense information  in as little as three to five years! Worms   ideas about both moles and worms. Which   OFF
 about the virtues of earthworms in the   also caused changes to the forest’s version   is really the evildoer?  n
 agriculture system because their burrowing  of the world wide web—the mycorrhizal                                 $25 or more
 creates holes that accelerate the movement  fungi layer beneath the forest floor, which   To gain a greater understanding of worms   Not to be combined with any other offer. Expires 9/1/21.
 of water in soils and help with aeration   enables chemical communications between   and forest health visit the University of
 and decompaction of soils. They are major  trees and plants.  Minnesota’s Natural Resources Research
 decomposers of organic matter, deriving   At CU Maurice River we take field trips   Institute, Great Lake Worm Watch’s website
 nutrition from fungi and bacteria present   to see the spring ephemerals in Maryland   as well as the following sources:
 on the leaf litter. However forest ecologists  and Pennsylvania and we are not the only
 have a very different view of our wiggly   group to make this trek. People are in awe   Science Friday - Talk of the Nation,
 subterranean denizens.   of these lovely blooms. Forests without the   Interview with Peter M. Groffman
 Peter M. Groffman, a senior scientist   early spring appearance of native plants   Natural Resources Conservation Service
 at the Institute of Ecosystem Studies,   would be heart-wrenching.   – earthworm and soil, Clive Edwards, Ohio
 Millbrook, NY, explained to Ira Flatow on   On the other hand some animals, like   State University  639 Landis Ave. • Vineland
 National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation,  robins, are thought to be more abundant   U.S. Department of Agriculture fact sheets
 “Sometimes we might find actually more   because of earthworms. The American   Research University of Minnesota   856-691-1180 •
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