A1 Journal article (refereed)
Global distribution of earthworm diversity (2019)

Phillips, H. R. P., Guerra, C. A., Bartz, M. L. C., Briones, M. J. I., Brown, G., Crowther, T. W., Ferlian, O., Gongalsky, K. B., van den Hoogen, J., Krebs, J., Orgiazzi, A., Routh, D., Schwarz, B., Bach, E. M., Bennett, J., Brose, U., Decaëns, T., König-Ries, B., Loreau, M., . . . Eisenhauer, N. (2019). Global distribution of earthworm diversity. Science, 366(6464), 480-485. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aax4851

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Phillips, Helen R. P.; Guerra, Carlos A.; Bartz, Marie L. C.; Briones, Maria J. I.; Brown, George; Crowther, Thomas W.; Ferlian, Olga; Gongalsky, Konstantin B.; van den Hoogen, Johan; Krebs, Julia; et al.

Journal or series: Science

ISSN: 0036-8075

eISSN: 1095-9203

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 366

Issue number: 6464

Pages range: 480-485

Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aax4851

Research data link: https://doi.org/10.25829/idiv.1804-5-2593

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


Soil organisms, including earthworms, are a key component of terrestrial ecosystems. However, little is known about their diversity, their distribution, and the threats affecting them. We compiled a global dataset of sampled earthworm communities from 6928 sites in 57 countries as a basis for predicting patterns in earthworm diversity, abundance, and biomass. We found that local species richness and abundance typically peaked at higher latitudes, displaying patterns opposite to those observed in aboveground organisms. However, high species dissimilarity across tropical locations may cause diversity across the entirety of the tropics to be higher than elsewhere. Climate variables were found to be more important in shaping earthworm communities than soil properties or habitat cover. These findings suggest that climate change may have serious implications for earthworm communities and for the functions they provide.

Keywords: Lumbricidae; distribution; biotic communities; biodiversity; species survey

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2022-19-08 at 19:55