EARTHWORMS AS BIOINDICATOR OF LAND USE IN AGROECOSYSTEMS
Published: 28 May 2015
Abstract: Earthworms are important soil organisms influencing many soil properties. We observed earthworm abundance and fresh body biomass in relation to abiotic parameters at 6 study sites, each of them with two different land use categories (arable land and permanent grasslands) located in various natural conditions of Slovakia. Unexpectedly, the maximum number of earthworm individuals (majority of them were immatures) was recorded in arable land (139.9 per 1 m2). We explain this extreme as a consequence of erosion process. The situation in the other 5 study sites was in line with literature sources, and the earthworm body biomass and density were lower in the arable lands than in the permanent grasslands. At permanent grasslands with higher earthworm abundance we measured better oxic conditions in the soils. This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency (APVV-0098-12).
Keywords: earthworm, land use, body biomass, oxidation reduction potential, penetration resistance, soil moisture
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