The Ohio State University via EurekAlert:
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COLUMBUS, Ohio–An international research team is bringing a new weapon to bear against invasive earthworms.
The ongoing research project at The Ohio State University, the University of Alberta and Simon Fraser University uses statistical analysis to forecast one worm species’ spread, in hopes of finding ways to curtail it.
Most recently, they’ve focused on the boreal forest of northern Alberta. No native worms live in the forest whatsoever; the region had been worm-free since the last ice age 11,000 years ago, until invasive European species began working their way across the United States and Canada. The worms have only recently invaded Alberta.
In the journal Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, the researchers project that by 2056, one of those invasive species–Dendrobaena octaedra, sometimes called the octagonal-tail worm–will expand its territory from 3 percent of the Alberta boreal forest to 39 percent.