French earthworms warm to our rising temperatures
MEDITERRANEAN natives have migrated from the south of France to Ireland to enjoy rising temperatures.
A species of earthworm native to southwestern France has been found thriving in Dublin, UCD scientists report.
A sample of the earthworm found on a Dublin farm has been placed in London's Natural History Museum to mark its discovery hundreds of miles from home.
The find has been linked to rising soil temperatures as a result of climate change in the journal 'Biology Letters', published today.
The earthworm is normally found in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France, said Dr Olaf Schmidt from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science.
"Now we have discovered a thriving population in Ireland, about 1,000km north of its native habitat," he said.
It is believed the worms became established in Dublin because city farms tend to have higher temperatures than rural ones.