In order to describe the number and nature of earthworms in the Silesian Beskid Mountains, the researchers from the Jagiellonian University and Wolf Association for Nature examined approximately 500 soil samples taken from forests and highland meadows. The researchers noticed that the increase in altitude resulted in the deterioration of climate conditions. When the climate grew colder, the soil became shallower and contained more pebbles.
“The results were extremely interesting,” said dr Mysłajek. “It turned out that meadow soil covered with grass is richer in earthworms than forest soil. Whereas every square meter of meadow soil was inhabited by 132 earthworms, we found only 24 animals in forest soil,” concluded the researcher.
The greater the altitude, the poorer the representation of earthworms in terms of number and species. According to the researchers, earthworms prefer meadows not only due to lower altitude but also due to the nature of spruce forests, which are more likely to create unfavourable acidic soil conditions.
Source: Jagiellonian University