Mapping earthworm communities in Europe

Michiel Rutgers, A. Orgiazzi, C. Gardi, J. Rombke, S. Jänsch, A.M. Keith, R. Neilson, B. Boag, O. Schmidt, A.K. Murchie, R.P. Blackshaw, P. Rod, G. Pérès, D. Cluzeau, M. Guernion, M.J.I. Briones, J. Rodeiro, R. Pineiro, D.J. Diaz Cosin, Dolores TrigoPaulo J. Sousa, M. Suhadolc, I. Kos, Paul Henning Krogh, J.H. Faber, Christian Mulder, J.J. Bogte, H.J. van Wijnen, A.J. Schouten, D. de Zwart

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Existing data sets on earthworm communities in Europe were collected, harmonized and
modelled to illustrate our current knowledge on their European diversity and geographical
distribution. Digital Soil Mapping was applied using multiple regression techniques relating
relatively low density earthworm community data to soil characteristics, land use, vegetation
type and climate factors, that had a greater spatial resolution. Statistically significant
relationships were used to build habitat-response models to construct earthworm maps for
abundance, species richness, and diversity data. Although a number of environmental
predictors were significant in our multiple regressions, geographical factors alone were less
relevant than climatic factors. Despite differing earthworm sampling protocols, land use and
geological history were the main factors determining demography and diversity of the
earthworms across Europe. Case studies from country-specific data sets (France, Germany,
Ireland and The Netherlands) demonstrated the importance and efficiency of these large
databases for the detection of large spatial patterns that could be subsequently applied at
smaller (local) scales. Additional datasets have been later incorporated (e.g. Portugal, Italy,
England, Wales, Belgium, Finland, Austria and some countries from Eastern Europe) to
improve our predictions of earthworm geographical patterns. The improved maps will be
submitted for publication in the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2015
EventWageningen Soil Conference, Wageningen, the Netherlands -
Duration: 23 Aug 201527 Aug 2015


ConferenceWageningen Soil Conference, Wageningen, the Netherlands

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  • Cite this

    Rutgers, M., Orgiazzi, A., Gardi, C., Rombke, J., Jänsch, S., Keith, A. M., Neilson, R., Boag, B., Schmidt, O., Murchie, A. K., Blackshaw, R. P., Rod, P., Pérès, G., Cluzeau, D., Guernion, M., Briones, M. J. I., Rodeiro, J., Pineiro, R., Diaz Cosin, D. J., ... de Zwart, D. (2015). Mapping earthworm communities in Europe. 100-100. Abstract from Wageningen Soil Conference, Wageningen, the Netherlands, .