The Rogue Devourers of Ecosystems

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A photo of my group and I collecting worms for our experiment in Field Science class.

A large worm squirms around close to the surface of the uneven layer of soil while tall, bright green spires of grass reach high, obscuring the surfacing invertebrate from view. Many people can recall seeing something like this. Most would also say that these slimy organisms are key decomposers to an ecosystem, offering vital nutrients to the soil that help support the autotrophs that live within it, but not all is as it appears. As a matter of fact, foreign earthworms may be as harmful to an ecosystem as its relative, the tapeworm, is harmful to our body. Continue reading