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Global Warming Forces French Worms to Migrate to Ireland

Jul 29, 2012 11:32 AM EDT
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Global warming has even forced worms to make adjustments. 

A group of French earthworms have migrated to Ireland owing to the rise in global temperatures, according to a new study published in the RoyalSociety Journal Biology Letters.

While working in a Dublin farm last year, researchers from the University College Dublin found that a species of worms native to France in Southern Europe traveled hundreds of miles to Ireland in Northern Europe.

The scientists believe that the worms may have moved due to the rise in soil temperatures caused by climate change. It is not yet known how these worms migrated but the researchers predict that the worms may have moved by hiding themselves in the roots of a batch of plants sent through some way, Agence France-Presse reported.

"The surprising aspects are that we found worms doing so well far away from their native range and that they have become established at all here in spite of the different climate and the fact that we already have lots of earthworm species," study co-author Olaf Schmidt of University College Dublin told AFP. "It is tempting to speculate that such a southern species can only survive farther north since the climate is changing,"

The worms are said to be have been living on Ireland's farms for the past several years. These worms that are more common in France's Aquitaine region have spread across various areas of the Irish farms. They consumed different food from the soil as against the Ireland worm species.  

Though the worms may possibly contribute to soil structure, there is still a concern that these worms will release carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while they consume organic matter from the soil, wherein carbon is the key ingredient.

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