Current and Potential Roles of Soil Macroinvertebrates (Earthworms, Millipedes, and Isopods) in Ecological Restoration


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Soil macroinvertebrates have a considerable impact on soil functions important to the restoration process, such as decomposition; yet, soil organisms have received relatively little attention in restoration ecology in terms of their applicability as agents of restoration. Here, we review how large obligate detritivores (earthworms, millipedes, and isopods) have been used to accomplish restoration goals, assess restoration progress, and function as bioindicators. Patterns of detritivore community succession and how these communities are themselves restored during restoration of perturbed ecosystems are also discussed. We conclude with a discussion of increased utilization of these taxa in future and ongoing restoration projects as well as the outreach activities that should be associated with use of these organisms.