SwissBOL project CSCF "Earthworm diversity in Switzerland"
Responsable du projet Renée Claire Le Bayon
Enrique Lara

David Singer
Résumé The main aim of this project is i) to improve knowledge on earthworm biodiversity in Switzerland at different spatial scales (ecosystems, phytocenose) and functional levels (community, species), to ii) reinforce and validate identifications that have been previously performed on the Swiss Plateau (Cuendet et al., 1997), in floodplains (Salomé et al., 2011; Bullinger-Weber et al.,. 2012; Fournier et al., 2012) and in urban areas (Amossé et al., in prep.) thus revising preliminary results with our new barcoding tools and, iii) to validate the reference library initiated 2 years ago and documenting the occurrence of different earthworm species in soil types (partnership with the CSCF and the OFEV).
In this context, three approaches will be led:
- a global one, with an earthworm sampling over several ecosystems (forests, agricultural fields, permanent pastures, urban areas) in accordance with NABODAT database; this will allow a general overview of earthworm species in Switzerland and their direct link to soil taxonomy.
- a focus on floodplains will be made. Floodplains are indeed known to be areas of high biodiversity and complex mosaic of habitats, strongly reorganized after flood events and thus providing ecological niches to earthworms. Many data exist on birds, plants and fishes; however less is known on earthworms despite the fact that 2/3 of the Swiss earthworm species were recovered in floodplains (Salomé et al., 2011). Moreover, earthworms may be a good indicator of restoration success in a context of river restoration. Hence, a comparison between semi-natural and restored systems will be helpful to describe and better understand environment colonization by earthworm species.
- Three species will be sampled more intensively because of their environmental relevance, their supposed ubiquity which we suspect to be due to the existence of several cryptic species potentially occupying different niches. The anecic Aporrectodea nocturna, the endogeic Allolobophora chlorotica and the epigeic Lumbricus rubellus will be chosen. The anecic A. nocturna is widely recovered in Switzerland in several ecosystems and very active regarding cast emission; this worm is indeed known to have negative effects in some alpine pastures due to strong surface-casts production (Cuendet and Lorez, 2001). The endogeic A. chlorotica reflects disturbed ecosystems such reworked soils due to anthropic activities (reconstituted soils, alluvial and mining soils). Moreover, the taxonomic status of A. chlorotica is still the subject of considerable discussion because of two regularly observed color morphs pink and green (Dupont et al., 2011). Finally, the epigeic L. rubellus is usually highlighted as a pioneer species of disturbed soils (Salomé et al., 2011)and a good bioindicator of decomposed soil litter (Zenkova, 2010). All data will be encoded in the faunal database of the CSCF and will be made available to the OFEV for a potential improvement of the NABODAT. Moreover, an aliquot of the DNA will be stored in the -80°C freezer at the Laboratory of Soil Biology (UniNE) and voucher specimens will be deposited in the MHNC (Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de la Chaux-de-Fonds, which has already gave his agreement).
Mots-clés earthworm; DNA bar-coding; cryptic species.
Type de projet Recherche fondamentale
Domaine de recherche Biologie
Etat Terminé
Début de projet 1-1-2013
Fin du projet 31-12-2013
Budget alloué CHF 3000
Contact Renée-Claire Le Bayon