Friday, April 13, 2007

Leaves, Flooding, Worms

From Cleveland's last year, a perceptive post about the intertwining of leaf deposits, worms, flooding and lawn care. The nub:

Leaves feed worms, but lawn owners often pay gardeners to remove the leaves with noisy, carbon-emitting blowers. Stripped earth soon erodes and flows into nearby streams. The worm s dwindle, meaning fewer wormholes, less porosity, and still more rain runoff. The poster, Jeff Buster says, "More runoff means more flood infrastructure – pipes, culverts, storage, treatment needs to be built - requiring spending of millions of dollars of precious tax money - when worms will handle the water for free."

Historical adaptation note: Charles Darwin's paper on the the effect of earthworms in aerating the soil is a classic of biology.

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