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November 2 2013

Earthworms Trap Carbon, But Do They Influence Climate Change?


Earthworms have long been the organic gardener's friend. They aerate soil as they burrow into the earth and release nutrients as soil passes through their digestive systems. In their tubular, segmented bodies, nutrients are transformed into a form that plants can consume. Their influence on the environment has interested scientists since Charles Darwin.

So it came as a shock earlier this year when researchers reported in Nature Climate Change that earthworms contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

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