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Why Molehills? The Ecological Importance of Mole Activity in Soil Health

Uncategorized By May 16, 2023

Moles create molehills whilst excavating tunnels to find food. These molehills break up the soil, enabling air and water to reach roots and organisms. Moles mix the soil as they move through it, redistributing important nutrients and maintaining healthy soil that is crucial to agriculture and the environment. By breaking up compacted soil, rainwater can penetrate more deeply, reducing surface runoff and soil erosion. Though they may create an unsightly tripping hazard, moles are not harmful and play an important role in maintaining soil health, supporting plant growth and controlling soil erosion.

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Why Molehills?

The Ecological Importance of Mole Activity in Soil Health

Moles are small burrowing mammals that are known for creating molehills or small mounds of earth in gardens or fields. While many see these hills as a nuisance, they actually play an important role in the ecology of soil. This article will explain the importance of mole activity in soil health.

Molehills are created when moles excavate tunnels in search of food such as insects, earthworms, and other invertebrates. These tunnels break up the soil and create pockets of space where air and water can easily reach roots and other organisms living within the soil. This creates a more porous soil structure which is essential to the growth of plants.

Additionally, moles also mix the soil as they move through it. By moving soil from the lower layers to the surface, they redistribute important nutrients that may have become concentrated in one area, making them available to plants that need them in other areas. This helps maintain healthy soil that is crucial to agriculture and the environment.

Mole activity also helps control soil erosion and maintain soil moisture. By breaking up compacted soil, rainwater can penetrate more deeply, reducing surface runoff and soil erosion. The tunnels created by moles also help to retain moisture in the soil, providing a continuous supply of water for plants to access.

FAQs:

1. Do moles harm plants?
No, moles do not harm plants. In fact, they may help plants by improving soil health, which is essential to plant growth.

2. What do moles eat?
Moles primarily eat insects and earthworms. They occasionally eat small vertebrates such as mice, shrews, and voles.

3. Are molehills harmful?
Molehills do not pose a direct threat to plants or animals. However, they may be unsightly and create a tripping hazard for humans.

4. How can mole activity be controlled?
Mole activity can be controlled through trapping or the use of repellents. However, it is important to consider the ecological impact of such measures as moles play an important role in maintaining soil health.

Overall, moles and their activities are an important part of maintaining healthy soil and supporting plant growth. While molehills may be seen as a nuisance to some, it is important to understand their ecological importance and consider alternative measures to control mole activity if necessary.

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