Earthworms help against floodingJunior Professor Anke Hildebrand and Dr. Christine Fischer of Friedrich Schiller University in cooperation with the MPI for Biogeochemistry showed that the capacity for rainfall water uptake depends on the type of vegetation as well as on the presence of earthworms. Together with legumes, the earthworms allow an optimized pore structure which is crucial for water uptake in case of heavy rainfall.
The experimental study has been carried out at the Jena Experiment site in the floodplains of the Saale River which is technically serviced by the MPI for Biogeochemistry.
Fischer C et al. How do earthworms, soil texture and plant composition affect infiltration along an experimental plant diversity gradient in grassland? PLOS One 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098987