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General Technical Report
Title: Native and introduced earthworms from selected chaparral, woodland, and riparian zones in southern California
Author: Wood, Hulton B.; James, Samuel W.
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-142. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 20 p
Station ID: GTR-PSW-142
Description: Relatively little is known about the earthworm fauna of southern California. Some 20 different species of earthworms were collected and identified in a survey of various southern California wildland habitats. The ecology and biology of earthworms are outlined, and the results of the survey are documented. Introduced species belonging to the Lumbricidae family were encountered most often; however, native species, primarily of genera Argilophilus and Diplocardia, are widely distributed. Several of the natives collected are believed to be new species. Habitats for both the native and introduced species ranged from riparian zones to relatively dry chaparral sites. Preference of earth-worms for certain types of plant communities began to emerge even in this somewhat limited survey: oak and grass being the most preferred, and conifers the least. Geographical separation of the two principal native genera occurs at about 34°N. Further research is needed relative to earthworm ecology, impacts on soils, ecosystem dynamics, and fire. An appendix includes all collection records by location, and vegetation and soil type.
Key Words: Earthworms, Mediterranean ecosystems, southern California, new species, Lumbricidae, Megascolecidae, Acanthodrilinae, Ocnerodrilinae, Sparganophilidae, soil, habitat, chaparral, grassland, woodland, riparian, aquatic
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Wood, Hulton B.; James, Samuel W. 1993. Native and introduced earthworms from selected chaparral, woodland, and riparian zones in southern California Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-142. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 20 p.