French worms wriggle as far north as Ireland
July 26, 2012, 12:13 am TWN
PARIS--A community of French earthworms has been discovered stealthily colonising a farm in Ireland, possibly aided by global warming to thrive so far north of their natural habitat, a study said.
No clash seems to be looming as the French worms prefer to eat a different part of the soil as their Irish cousins, according to a report Wednesday in the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters.
But their picky palate may hold another danger — possibly unleashing Earth-warming carbon dioxide left hitherto undisturbed by the native worms.
Scientists studying earthworms on a farm in Dublin last year, discovered "abundant populations" of a species endemic to France's Aquitaine region more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) to the south.
Some also live naturally in northern Spain, Sardinia and parts of northern Africa.