g i d a k i i m a n a a n i w i g a m i g


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niibin 2009 travelled north to the Red Lake Nation. Interns working on the GEMscholars Program from the Red Lake Nations attending Bemidji College and Purdue University were working on a study of earthworms. Earthworms are not indiginous to North America. Red Lake’s study is looking at the forest ecosystem and the potential impacts of invasive earthworms.Results of their study pointed out the losses of native under story plant species and tree seedlings, changes in soil structure and chemistry, nutrient availability decreases, and the potential impacts on small animal populations. Earthworms, specifically the endogeic type (octolasion sp), were found in 2 of the 3 sites and the more mature sites with little or no earthworms had a high abundance of a thick duff layer and an overall greater litter mass.  Another indicator of few earthworms was the wetter soils found in recently logged areas. The importance of this study was the concern about Red Lake’s forests and how the earthworm impacts will affect surrounding ecosystems.  This research project was made possible through Purdue University, Bemidji State University, and Red Lake Nation College.