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Faculty Mentor

Andrea Davalos

Creation Date



Invasive jumping worms significantly alter soil structure and chemical composition, thereby negatively affecting soil biota and plant performance. Mechanisms by which worms influence plants are not well understood but are likely related to disruption of mycorrhizal associations, and changes in water and nutrient availability. This study examines the ecological effects of invasive jumping worms on mycorrhizal associations and nutrient uptake in four native plant species within the Catskills Mountains. Our research focuses on red oak, bottle brush grass, zig-zag goldenrod, and lady fern transplanted across seven sites with varying worm populations in 2019. In the lab, we dissected, dried, and processed plant samples for nutrient analysis. We predict that the invasive jumping worms will affect each species differently, and have negative impacts on AMF associations as well as the concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, found in the leaves. These findings will guide land management strategies and conservation efforts going forward as these worms continue to spread.


Invasive jumping worms, conservation, native plant species, Catskill Mountains