Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 475–485 | Cite as

Mapping of earthworm distribution for the British Isles and Eire highlights the under-recording of an ecologically important group

  • Daniel Carpenter
  • Emma Sherlock
  • David T. Jones
  • Jim Chiminoides
  • Thomas Writer
  • Roy Neilson
  • Brian Boag
  • Aidan M. Keith
  • Paul Eggleton
Original Paper

Abstract

Earthworms are important soil organisms yet we have limited knowledge on the geographical distribution of species. Using data from a variety of sources representing a total of 3,941 locality records we have produced the first distribution maps of earthworm species in the British Isles The maps highlight the paucity of knowledge on this ecologically important group. A systematic approach needs to be taken to bring earthworm species data to a level comparable with other important invertebrate groups such as nematodes and isopods. Through the recent establishment of an earthworm recording scheme, the Earthworm Society of Britain, working with the Biological Records Centre and earthworm researchers across the British Isles, aim to build comprehensive distribution information for future monitoring and research purposes.

Keywords

Distribution Earthworms Maps Recording 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Madeleine Malgram, Edison Hynch, and Louise Berridge for help with collections data compilation. Thanks also to Edward Mills for his help with GIS mapping.

Supplementary material

10531_2011_194_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 17 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Carpenter
    • 1
  • Emma Sherlock
    • 2
  • David T. Jones
    • 1
  • Jim Chiminoides
    • 2
  • Thomas Writer
    • 2
  • Roy Neilson
    • 3
  • Brian Boag
    • 3
  • Aidan M. Keith
    • 4
    • 5
  • Paul Eggleton
    • 1
  1. 1.Soil Biodiversity Group, Department of EntomologyThe Natural History MuseumLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyThe Natural History MuseumLondonUK
  3. 3.The James Hutton InstituteInvergowrieDundeeUK
  4. 4.Centre for Ecology & HydrologyLancaster Environment CentreBailrigg, LancasterUK
  5. 5.School of Biology & Environmental ScienceUniversity College DublinDublinIreland

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