Earthworms have many pertinent purposes. They are decomposers of dead organic matter that stimulate microbial acitivity through the high microorganism content in their feces, they mix and aggregate the soil, they increase filtration of the soil, they improve water holding capacity of the soil, they provide channels for roots allowing plants to grow and they bury and shed plant residue.
Earthworms’ ability to efficiently decompose organic material can prevent outbreaks of plant disease. For example, scientists have attributed the halt of scab fungus in apple trees to earthworms. The species L. terrestris can eat all of the scab fungus spores that fall to the ground within weeks, stopping the disease from being transferred back to the trees in the spring.
An additional benefit to plants growing out of soil with an abundance of earthworms is the high nitrogen content. The nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the gut of the earthworm and in the excrement can help plants attain more of this essential nutrient.
In all truth–to make little earthworms.
But then if the question is what benefits do the earthworms provide? An entirely different answer. Earthworms are the grand soil mixers and aerators, a job that they actually do 24/7 and loving every mintue of it. And as good as they are at helping fishermen to catch that tasy fish, They’re even more valuable in insuring and enhancing soil fertility.
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