In recent years much has been learned about the incredible diversity of soil microbes. This is right and good, but it overlooks the still undocumented diversity of larger organisms living in soil, which are known to interact with and influence microbial communities. In fact – amazingly – a systematic effort to understand the diversity and distribution of earthworms native to North America has not yet been possible. However, direct experience teaches that almost every time we look in previously unsampled places, we uncover (using shovels) undescribed native species and/or undocumented exotic species. We therefore recommend further shoveling in interesting places.
Callaham, M.A., Jr., R. Carrera-Martínez, S.W. James, B.A. Snyder, and M.K. Taylor (2018): The shovel – a surprisingly effective, but often overlooked tool for soil biodiversity discovery. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, August 5-10, 2018, New Orleans, Louisiana.
This Paper/Book acknowledges NSF CZO grant support.