Quantifying Asian worm population density and their impact on soil organic matter and turf cover
The investigation quantifies the change in organic matter, soil chemistry and turf quality in the presence of Asian worms. These worms degrade organic matter at a pace exceeding European worms or in landscapes devoid of worms and consume live plant material. Ammonium levels were found to be significantly lower when worms were present in the soil/container plots. Hardwood mulch plots with worms were significantly greener, likely due to the release of mulch’s nutrients during worm feeding. There was not a significant difference in root, clipping or thatch mass with and without worms in the three treatments (hardwood mulch, compost or control, no mulch). Significant unexplained reduction in Asian worm populations in landscapes during 2018 compared to recent years were observed in several areas of NYS.
NYS IPM Type: Project Report
New York State Integrated Pest Management Program
Community IPM; Turfgrass; Landscapes