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Field, Lab, Earth

Earthworms and the Ozark Highlands with Dr. Kristofor Brye


“Earthworm density differences over time among a native tallgrass prairie and chronosequence of tallgrass prairie restorations in the Ozark Highlands” and “Seasonal earthworm density differences among mound positions and soil moisture regimes in native tallgrass prairies in the Ozark Highlands” with Dr. Kristofor Brye

Earthworms are praised as environmental engineers and their health can be tightly linked with both soil health and soil benefits like carbon sequestration, attributes which are of crucial importance when taking on projects like prairie restoration. It is therefore key to understand the soil properties and environments which are most beneficial to earthworm health. In this episode, Kris will walk us through his research, including how he got started in prairie restoration, the role of earthworms in soil health, and just what kinds of conditions these underground allies crave.

Tune in to learn:

  • What it’s like working in a tallgrass prairie
  • How to distinguish between adult and juvenile earthworms
  • If worms show preferences between mound and inter-mound areas
  • How earthworms react to various soil conditions

If you would like more information about this topic, this episode’s papers are available here: https://doi.org/10.1002/agg2.20136 and https://doi.org/10.1002/agg2.20150.

These papers are always freely available.

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Contact us at podcast@sciencesocieties.org or on Twitter @FieldLabEarth if you have comments, questions, or suggestions for show topics, and if you want more content like this don’t forget to subscribe.

If you would like to reach out to Kristofor, you can find him here:


CEU Quiz: https://www.certifiedcropadviser.org/education/classroom/classes/994

Audubon Society: https://www.audubon.org/

The Nature Conservancy: https://www.nature.org/

Co-Op Research and Extension Services: https://www.usda.gov/topics/rural/cooperative-research-and-extension-services

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission: https://www.arkansasheritage.com/arkansas-natural-heritage/anhc-home

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Field, Lab, Earth is copyrighted to the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.


Episode 59