Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.25674/so91iss3pp114
Title (Primary) Climate change effects on earthworms - a review
Author Singh, J.; Sch├Ądler, M.; Demetrio, W.; Brown, G.G.; Eisenhauer, N.
Journal Soil Organisms
Year 2019
Department BZF; iDiv
Volume 91
Issue 3
Page From 114
Page To 138
Language englisch
Keywords Biodiversity; Climate change; Climate drivers; Cocoons; Earthworm invasions; Soil organisms
Abstract Climate change can have a plethora of effects on organisms above and below the ground in terrestrial ecosystems. Given the tremendous biodiversity in the soil and the many ecosystem functions governed by soil organisms, the drivers of soil biodiversity have received increasing attention. Various climatic factors like temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, as well as extreme climate events like drought and flood have been shown to alter the composition and functioning of communities in the soil. Earthworms are important ecosystem engineers in the soils of temperate and tropical climates and play crucial roles for many ecosystem services, including decomposition, nutrient cycling, and crop yield. Here, we review the published literature on climate change effects on earthworm communities and activity. In general, we find highly species- and ecological group-specific responses to climate change, which are likely to result in altered earthworm community composition in future ecosystems. Earthworm activity, abundance, and biomass tend to increase with increasing temperature at sufficiently high soil water content, while climate extremes like drought and flooding have deleterious effects. Changing climate conditions may facilitate the invasion of earthworms at higher latitudes and altitudes, while dryer and warmer conditions may limit earthworm performance in other regions of the world. The present summary of available information provides a first baseline for predictions of future earthworm distribution. It also reveals the shortage of studies on interacting effects of multiple global change effects on earthworms, such as potential context-dependent effects of climate change at different soil pollution levels and across ecosystem types.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Singh, J., Sch├Ądler, M., Demetrio, W., Brown, G.G., Eisenhauer, N. (2019):
Climate change effects on earthworms - a review
Soil Organisms 91 (3), 114 - 138