Ecologists consider earthworms “keystone species” because of how much they influence the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil.
Earthworms are recyclers. They play a crucial role in breaking down organic matter and fertilising the soil, simply through their constant eating and pooping (about 1.5 times their body weight a day).
As they move through the soil, earthworms loosen and mix it up, helping to aerate and drain it. This brings nutrients to the surface, making the soil more fertile, and helps prevent flooding and erosion.
Earthworms can help repair damaged soil and may provide solutions to man-made problems.
So, earthworms are our underground allies – if we treat them right. Earthworms make it possible for us to live on the planet, simply by eating and pooping, and ploughing up, ventilating and fertilising the soil along the way.
Arguably without earthworms in our soils, life could vanish pretty quickly. We would have less food, more pollution, and more flooding.
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