Population dynamics of Earthworms and their activity in forest ecosystems of North-East India

Bhadauria, Tuneera ; Ramakrishnan, P. S. (1991) Population dynamics of Earthworms and their activity in forest ecosystems of North-East India Journal of Tropical Ecology, 7 (3). pp. 305-318. ISSN 0266-4674

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Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0266467400005575


A comparative analysis of earthworm populations in seral Khasi pine forest represented by Pinus kesiya 5- and 35-year old stands, and a climax broad-leaved mixed forest represented by a sacred grove was done at altitudes of 1500 m in Meghalaya in north-east India. Tonoscolax horaii occurred under all forest types whereas Amynthas diffringens and Eulyphoeus feslivus were confined to pine forest stands only. Perionyx sp. and Drawida assamensis were restricted to the sacred grove. T. horaii had larger numbers in all three different forest types. This species offers possibilities of vermicullurc for biologically improving soil fertility in manmade ecosystems because of its wide range of tolerance. Generally earthworm populations were more active during the monsoon season; A. diffringens was however, more active during the winter, thereby conferring an advantage on this species as it was enabled to avoid competition during the monsoon season when other species dominate. Earthworm activity was generally higher in the sacred grove than in the pine forest stands. Population size was significantly correlated with soil moisture, temperature and pH. Wormcasts had a higher pH and nutrient status than the soil. In the highly leached soils of the humid tropics where there is a large concentration of fine root biomass in the surface soil layers, earthworm activity is beneficial because it helps incorporate detritus into the mineral soil rapidly and locally concentrates nutrients in the surface layers.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Cambridge University Press.
Keywords:Annelida; Earthworms; Forest Ecosystems; India; Nutrient Cycling; Pinus; Sacred Groves
ID Code:56729
Deposited On:25 Aug 2011 10:18
Last Modified:25 Aug 2011 10:18

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