The topic this month is, "Earthworm Invasion in Northern Forest Ecosystems"
"The northern forests from Minnesota to New England have no native earthworms. European earthworms have invaded many of these forests, where they transform soil structure by consuming the organic horizon (aka duff layer) and compacting the A horizon. These changes in soil structure lead to alterations in nutrient and water cycles within the soil. There are many important ecological cascades emanating from these invasions, including concerns for conservation of native plant and wildlife species, losses of forest and crop productivity, facilitation of invasive plant species such as buckthorn and garlic mustard, and soil and water quality."
Our guest is Lee E. Frelich, Director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Forest Ecology:
"Lee E. Frelich received a Ph.D. in Forest Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1986. He has authored more than 160 publications with 230 coauthors from 23 countries, including major works for Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press. His research has been featured in the news media over 450 times, including such venues as The New York Times, Newsweek, CBS Radio Osgood Files, and National Geographic. Frelich has provided consulting services on forest management for The U.S. Army, Air Force, National Forest Service, and National Park Service. Current research interests include large-scale fire and wind, earthworm invasion, effects of deer and moose browsing, and climate change."
Our moderator will be Lisa Brush, Executive Director of The Stewardship Network:
"Lisa has worked in the environmental field in Michigan for the last fifteen years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Stewardship Network and has been involved with the Network since its inception more than 10 years ago. She has a wealth of experience helping non-scientific people understand scientific issues. For over nine years, as she has built and coordinated The Stewardship Network, she has emphasized effective and meaningful stakeholder involvement in developing and implementing all aspects of this program. She has a M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and a B.A. (Science in Society) from Wesleyan University."