ESB data contributes to science – 2018 papers

The Earthworm Society of Britain (ESB) is proud of its open data policy, allowing open access to its earthworm records with no constraints to the use of the data and ensuring records are available at the full resolution they are accepted at. But what happens to this data once it’s out there?

The hope was always for individuals and organisations to put the data to good use. From the NBN Atlas, the ESB data is forwarded on to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and when academics download data from GBIF, a reference is generated so that the data used in their study is traceable.  If they then reference this data download in their work, ESB gets to find out how its data has been used!

In 2018 ESB data formed part of the data used in two studies. What’s particularly interesting is that the use of ESB data extends beyond the boundaries of both UK-specific research and earthworm-specific research.

ESB is delighted that its data has been used in this way and can’t wait to see how its data is used in 2019.

Links to both of the scientific papers are below for those that wish to learn more about these studies.

Earthworms (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) of Interior Alaska 

Booysen, M. Sikes, D. Bowser, M. Andrews, R. (2018) Biodiversity Data Journal

Earthworms in the family Lumbricidae in Alaska, which are known from coastal regions, primarily in south-central and south-eastern Alaska, are thought to be entirely non-native and have been shown to negatively impact previously earthworm-free ecosystems in study regions outside of Alaska. Despite occasional collections by curious citizens, there had not been a standardised earthworm survey performed in Interior Alaska and no published records exist of earthworms species from this region. Mustard extraction was used to sample six locations that differed in elevation, mostly in the College region of Fairbanks, Alaska. Two of the six locations yielded earthworms. There was no relationship between earthworm abundance and elevation (p = 0.087), although our sample size was small. Our sampling, combined with specimens in the University of Alaska Museum, has documented four exotic species and one presumed native species of lumbricid earthworms in Interior Alaska.

Combined multi-gene backbone tree for the genus Coniochaeta with two new species from Uzbekistan


The genus Coniochaeta is an important ascomycete because its members live in diversified habitats and nutritional modes. In this study, two new species, C. acaciae and C. coluteae, are introduced from dead branches of Acacia sp. and Colutea paulsenii Freyn (both Fabaceae) respectively from Uzbekistan, based on morphological and phylogenetic studies. Analyses of combined ITS and LSU sequence data with Genealogical Concordance Phylogenetic Species Recognition (GCPSR) and comparison of similar taxa, provide evidences for placement of these new species in Coniochaeta, as distinct lineages.

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