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Dynamic Soil, Dynamic Plant  Volume 6 Special Issue 1 2012 Vermitechnology III

Dynamic Soil, Dynamic Plant Volume 6 Special Issue 1 2012 Vermitechnology III

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Global Science Books, Ltd. (Japón)

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978-4-903313-92-4

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How to reference: Hirano T, Tamae K (2012)The Utility of Earthworms as a Monitoring Organism for Soil Pollution. In: Natchimuthu Karmegam (Ed) Vermitechnology III. Dynamic Soil, Dynamic Plant 6 (Special Issue 1), 1-4

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Guest Editor: Natchimuthu Karmegam. 
Department of Botany, Government Arts College, Tamil Nadu, India

CONTENTS AND ABSTRACTS

 

Takeshi Hirano, Kazuyoshi Tamae (Japan) The Utility of Earthworms as a Monitoring Organism for Soil Pollution (pp 1-4)

 

ABSTRACT

Invited Mini-Review: To assess risks to human health from soil contamination, bio-monitoring systems are required. Earthworms are promising candidates as bio-monitoring organisms for soil contamination. However, there have been few studies concerning the utility of earthworms as bio-monitoring organisms. 8-Oxoguanine (8-oxo-Gua), a relatively abundant form of oxidative DNA damage, plays a critical role in carcinogenesis. In our previous study, we found that the levels of 8-oxo-Gua in DNA were increased in cadmium (Cd)-exposed earthworms, suggesting that the analysis of 8-oxo-Gua generated in the DNA of earthworms may be useful for monitoring metal polluted soil. In this review article, we discuss the utility of earthworms as a bio-monitoring organism for soil pollution, with reference to our recent study.

 

Mohammad Javad Zarea, Nasrin Karimi (Iran) Effect of Herbicides on Earthworms (pp 5-13)

 

ABSTRACT

Invited Review: Nature consistently integrates plants and animals into a diverse landscape as part of a major tenet of sustainable agriculture, which is to create and maintain diversity. Chemicals have become the weed control strategy employed most frequently, despite the fact that many important herbicides create water and environment pollution. Earthworms are an important component of the soil system. Earthworms are being increasingly threatened by the excessive application of herbicides to soils. Herbicides can influence earthworms’ function, growth, reproduction and health. The mortality of earthworms in soils and excessive use of herbicides is still vague. The mortality of earthworms depends on the kind and concentration of herbicide and the duration to which earthworms are exposed to the herbicide. The adoption of conservation tillage has increased worldwide over the past decades. Weeds may become a problem, both in no-tillage systems and in reduced tillage systems. The use of effective herbicides into no-tillage planting systems may provide a feasible option for enhancing weed control, which can become a toxicological risk for invertebrates such as earthworms. This review treats the role of herbicide on the behavior of earthworms. This review will outline the current state of knowledge about fate of earthworm under conservation tillage.

 

Fernando De León-González, Mariela Fuentes-Ponce, Fidel Payán-Zelaya (Mexico) Earthworms and Agricultural Systems Management:Emphasis on the Latin American Region (pp 14-25)

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ABSTRACT

Invited Review: The study of earthworms in Latin America is crucial for promoting the sustainability of this region. In the past 30 years, the tropical forests of Latin America have been exposed to deforestation rates greater than 100,000 ha yr-1 (in the case of Mexico), which will result in the loss of biodiversity of plant species and the micro- and macrofauna of the soil. By biomass, earthworms are the main macrofauna group in tropical forest soils. Although a significant amount of research has been conducted on the ecology of earthworms in the natural ecosystems of the region, there are still large geographical areas that lack adequate descriptions of the diversity of the endemic earthworms. Indeed, there has been an increase in research interest with regard to agricultural systems, specifically in relation to earthworm ecology and its connection with agricultural systems that are designed to reduce erosion, increase the organic matter content in the soil and ensure the reproduction of micro- and macro-fauna. However, in this topic the advances in research on earthworms in Latin America have been sporadic. Therefore, this field of research and agricultural development should be steadily promoted. In this review, we outline the further investigation that is required in Latin America with regard to the following topics: (a) the relationship between tillage and cropping systems and earthworm populations, (b) the cumulate effects of pesticides and heavy metals on the earthworm life cycle and (c) the linkage between the organic substrate quality and earthworm dynamics and processing of nutrients.

 

Leticia G. Rodríguez-Canché, Lina Cardoso-Vigueros (Mexico) Vermitechnology: Sustainable Practices in Mexico (pp 26-30)

 

ABSTRACT

Invited Mini-Review: Earthworms remain valid as an object of study and the information generated is diverse. This review summarizes the overall situation of vermitechnology in Mexico, gathering theories that have been offered and techniques that have been developed for urban waste management, agro-industry, manures, toxicity tests, removal of substances such as peptides and soil remediation, as well as other techniques, that show corrective, preventive or improvement actions with environmental, social and economic involvement, promoting sustainable development.

 

Mark Maboeta, Leon van Rensburg (South Africa) Vermicomposting of Industrial Organic Wastes and its Application in Mine Rehabilitation Strategies – An Overview from a South African Perspective (pp 31-37)

 

ABSTRACT

Invited Mini-Review: Large areas of land are needed to dispose of wastes produced by mining activities worldwide which poses a myriad of environmental hazards with regards to soil, water and air contamination. This is a problem, especially for a mining country like South Africa, where more than 1500 mines are registered which affects 0.2 million ha of land. Legislation in this country do, however, stipulate that disturbed land should be rehabilitated/revegetated but this is both difficult and expensive because of the unavailability of potential topsoil as well as deficiencies in organic matter, elemental imbalances, and absence of essential nutrients. The use of waste and residual organic matter in soil amendment strategies has been well documented with vermicomposting as a prime example of this. Waste woodchips produced by the platinum mining industry in South Africa have been identified as an organic ameliorant during the rehabilitation of platinum tailings. Based on this, several mines in South Africa, including diamond, iron and platinum, were identified where remediation had to be done on tailings dams. This paper gives an overview of the vermicomposting study undertaken and how successful the use of this product was in real world conditions on different rehabilitation strategies from a South African perspective. The presented studies aim to ascertain the feasibility of utilising vermicomposting of industrial organic wastes and its application in mine rehabilitation strategies under South African conditions. Specific objectives included the evaluating the efficiency of utilising vermicompost on platinum, diamond and iron ore tailings dams by determining rehabilitation success. The results presented in this review are based on these studies; some of which have been published already.

 

Kavitha Balakrishnan, Joseph D. Bagyaraj, Radha D. Kale (India) Microflora in Earthworm Burrow Walls (pp 38-42)

 

ABSTRACT

Invited Mini-Review: Earthworms as ecosystem engineers play an important role in soil ecosystems. The effects of earthworm activity on soil processes differ between ecological categories and species creating distinctive microhabitats for soil microorganisms and other invertebrates. Due to their relatively large size and characteristic feeding behaviour, certain species have a significant impact on soil structure, soil fertility, plant growth and crop yield. This role is achieved inside or in the vicinity of burrows. Since one half of the nitrogenous waste of an earthworm is excreted through the body surface, it presumably accumulates in the burrow walls and affects the soil microbial community in those areas. Moreover, earthworm burrow walls harbour distinctive communities of soil animals like protozoa, nematodes and microarthropods, which presumably control microbial activity in these microhabitats. It is proposed that the most important effect of earthworms on soils may be the stimulations of microbial activity that occurs in casts. This may be the case also with burrows since not all earthworms cast at the soil surface; most species that deposit casts do so in their own burrows. The microorganisms associated with the burrow walls are species specific, different in composition and function and significantly different from soil only a few millimeters away. The present review emphasizes the interaction of microbes and earthworms and the significance of earthworm burrow wall as a ‘hot spot’ of microbial activity. It elaborates on the types of burrow walls and the microbes associated with it. Further research can shed light on the diversity of microbial flora in the burrow wall and surrounding soil.

 

Wael M. Nada (Germany), Leon van Rensburg, Sarina Claassens (South Africa), Oswald Blumenstein (Germany)Vermicomposting as a Sustainable Procedure for the Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Emissions (pp 43-50)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: The burning of wood to dispose thereof generates large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the critical greenhouse gases. However, vermicomposting of woodchips is a desirable and safe disposal method that requires no combustion and has the additional benefit of being a potential organic ameliorant. This study evaluated the cumulative amount of CO2 produced during vermicomposting of Quercus rubra (QR)and Pinus sylvestris (PS) compared to the amount of CO2 that evolved from burning the wood. The experiment was conducted over a period of 100 days in plastic pots in a greenhouse. The compost temperature, COproduced, degree of biodegradation and ash content were measured during the composting period. Also, the amount of CO2 evolved by combustion of wood was determined. The results show that COproduced increased over the decomposition period. Higher cumulative amounts of CO2 were produced from QR compared to PS wood compost. The cumulative amount of CO2 produced for both types of wood over the composting period, was lower than that produced by combustion. Ash content, used as an indicator of compost stability, increased over the incubation period; this trend was more pronounced for the QR than the PS wood compost.

 

Prabhat Pramanik (Republic of South Korea) Effect of Composting and Vermicomposting on Recycling of Three Aquatic Weeds Treated with Rock Phosphate on P-dynamics, Phosphatase Activity and Biomass P (pp 51-56)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: In this experiment, three aquatic weeds viz., LemnaVallisneria and water hyacinth were mixed with two doses to rock phosphate (RP) i.e., P0 – control and P1 – 200 mg RP per kilogram of waste and these treatments were used for both compost and vermicompost preparation. Results suggested that vermicomposting was faster technique which produced organic amendment comparatively more nutrient enriched than traditional composts. Vermicomposting not only increased phosphorus content of organic substrates, but also increased phosphatase activities and microbial properties, which are responsible for solubilization of insoluble phosphorus. Addition of RP to aquatic weeds significantly (P < 0.05) increased total phosphorus (TP) content of final product. Both composting and vermicomposting increased microbial biomass P (MBP). In both the cases, addition of RP increased MBP content in final product, these along with enhanced phosphatase activity was possibly responsible for higher TP content in these treatments.

 

Natchimuthu Karmegam, Vijayan Karthikeyan, Dhevadhas Ambika (India) Vermicomposting of Sugarcane Trash and Leaf Litter in Combination with Pressmud Using the Earthworm, Perionyx ceylanensis (pp 57-64)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: In the present study, initial vermicomposting trials were conducted for 100 days using leaf litters ofPolyalthia longifolia (LPL) and sugarcane trash (SCT), each in combination with pressmud (PM) (i.e., 0:100, 25:75, 50:50, 75:25 and 100:0) by inoculating an epigeic earthworm, Perionyx ceylanensis. Based on C/N ratio, worm biomass and numbers recorded in vermicomposting trials, organic substrates + PM in 50:50 (1:1) proportion was selected for 60 days vermiconversion studies. Nutrient and microbiological changes during vermicomposting was studied with a special focus on the enzymes in the gut and vermicasts of P. ceylanensis. The NPK contents in worm worked substrates were higher than worm unworked LPL + PM and SCT + PM substrates. The C/N ratio of vermicompost showed decrease over compost (worm-unworked) and percent decrease observed was significant (P < 0.001). The total microbial population (bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes) present at the end of experiment (60th day) was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than the microbial population present at the start of the experiment in both the substrates. Amylase, cellulase, invertase, phosphatase and protease in fresh vermicasts of P. ceylanensis showed higher activities when reared in LPL + PM substrate. The activities of the enzymes cellulase, invertase and protease in vermicasts of P. ceylanensis were significantly higher in LPL + PM. The activity of these enzymes while ageing showed an increase up to 15-20 days and then declined. In the vermicasts recovered from LPL + PM and SCT + PM (1:1), cellulase showed highest activity at the end of 30 days. The present study reveals that the clitellate P. ceylanensis exhibit higher activity of amylase, cellulase, invertase, phosphatase and protease.

 

Keshav Singh, Rabish Chandra Shukla (India) Potential Utilization of Different Wastes through Vermicomposting in Agriculture (pp 65-72)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: Vermicomposting is an adequate technology for the biooxidation and stabilization of organic material relying on the joint action of earthworms and microorganisms in which organic wastes are converted into rich plant growth media. The aim of this study was to investigate the preparation and potential utilization of vermicomposts (VCs) of different animal dung, agriculture and kitchen wastes and their effect on the growth, flowering period and productivity of three crops namely rice (Oryza sativa), maize (Zea mays) andpearl millet (Pennisetum typhoides). The final VCs obtained from different combinations of three wastes by the help of earthworm Eisenia foetida showed a significant increase in total nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and calcium and a significant decreased in total organic carbon, the C:N ratio, pH and electrical conductivity in comparison with the initial feed mixture. Among all VCs tested, maximum growth of rice (101.50 cm) and maize (998.90 cm) crop was observed when cow dung + vegetable waste (1: 1, w/w) was used. However, maximum growth of millet (120.20 cm) was recorded in the VCs prepared from buffalo dung + vegetable waste (1: 1, w/w). Rice flowered early (62.76 days) when buffalo dung + gram bran (1: 1, w/w) VCs or the combination of horse dung + rice bran VCs for both maize (82.14 days) and millet (80.18 days) were used. The productivity of rice (0.880 kg/m2) and maize (0.896 kg/m2) was highest in the cow dung + gram bran and cow dung + vegetable waste VCs, respectively while the productivity of millet was highest (1.92 kg/m2) in buffalo dung + vegetable waste VCs. This study indicates that VCs based on animal dung, agro and kitchen wastes not only produce a value-added product but also act as a better nutrient source for plants.

 

Ishtiyaq Ahmed Najar, Anisa B. Khan (India) Vermicomposting of Fresh Water Macrophytes by Eisenia fetida (Savigny, 1826),Aporrectodea caliginosa trapezoides (Duges, 1828) and Aporrectodea rosea rosea (Savigny, 1826) (pp 73-77)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: A study was conducted to evaluate the efficiency of Eisenia fetidaAporrectodea caliginosa trapezoidesand Aporrectodea rosea rosea in recycling of macrophytes (fresh water weeds). E. fetida indicated 100%, A. c. trapezoides 53.66 ± 0.88% and Ar. rosea 33.66 ± 1% recycling potential at the end of a 60-day study period. A significant increase in number (285 ± 7.63%) and biomass (69.16 ± 2.06%) was exhibited by E. fetida compared to A. c. trapezoides (95 ± 7.63% and 11.95 ± 1.12%) and A. r. rosea (45 ± 3% and 8.82 ± 2.53%). Significant variation in cocoon production (P < 0.05) among these species was also observed. Vermicompost obtained by 60 days indicated an increase in potassium (19 ± 0.6 µg/g to 37.33 ± 0.90 µg/g), available phosphorous (324 ± 4.93 µg/g to 600 ± 7.93 µg/g) and organic nitrogen (5.53 ± 0.18 g/kg to 8.06 ± 0.17 g/kg), but a decline in organic carbon (576.66 ± 14.52 g/kg to 156.23 ± 8.51 g/kg) and mineralization (C:N ratio) (104.27 ± 5.58 to 19.38 ± 0.14) in the order: E. fetida A. c. trapezoides > A. r. rosea. Significant variation (< 0.05) in pH, organic carbon, organic nitrogen, C:N ratio were observed during the same time period. E. fetida hasa relatively higher potential of recycling macrophytes among the three earthworm species.

 

Thyagarajan Lakshmi Priya, Rontala Navakoti Uma (India), Subpiramaniyam Sivakumar (Republic of South Korea), Thirumoorthy Meenambal (India), Hyun-Keun Son (Republic of South Korea) Bioremediation of Pulp and Paper Industry Secondary Sludge Spiked with Cow Dung and Effective Microorganisms Using Epigeic Earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae (Kinberg)(pp 78-82)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: The aim of this study was to evaluate the vermicompost formed from three different mixing ratios (T1 (1:1), T2 (2:1), T3 (3:1)) of pulp and paper industry secondary sludge with a fixed quantity of saw dust used as a carbon source and spiked with cow dung and effective microorganisms (RhodopseudomonasLactobacillus and Saccharomyces spp.) by using it as an earthworm feed. The epigeic earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae (Kinberg) was used in this study to stabilise the waste under laboratory conditions. Efficacy of the resulting compost in supporting plant growth was also tested with tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum) F1 hybrid Ruchikar seeds. At the end of the vermicomposting process, the vermibeds showed a significant decrease in the total organic carbon (10 to 14%) content and increase in total nitrogen (51-68%), phosphorous (170-206%) and potassium (127-180%). The content of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Ni and Cu) was lower in the final product than in initial feed mixtures.Phytotoxicity tests like germination index and vigour index showed that the resulting composts were less phytotoxic. Among the three treatments, T2 (pulp and paper sludge mixed with sawdust in a ratio of 2:1 and spiked with cow dung and effective microorganisms) showed significantly higher (< 0.05) seed vigour and germination index than the other two treatments T1 (1:1 ratio) and T3 (3:1 ratio). The vigour index values were: T1 (1225), T2 (1714) and T3 (1228). The order of germination index among three treatments was T2 (77) > T3 (66.5) > T1 (60). Thus the epigeic earthworm E. eugeniae, along with inocula like cow dung and effective microorganisms, can easily degrade pulp and paper industry waste.

 

Muthukaruppan Gobi, Paramasamy Gunasekaran (India) Biomanagement of Sugar Factory Pressmud through Vermitechnology for the Growth and Yield of a Pulse Crop, Black Gram (Vigna mungo) (pp 83-88)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: Vermicompost (VC) of sugar factory pressmud (PM) using two different species of earthworms,Eudrilus eugeniae and Lampito mauritii was prepared. Plant nutrient contents of these VC and their effects on black gram (Vigna mungo L) growth in relation to the effects of sole soil were investigated. VC produced by the two species of earthworms differed in their nutrient concentrations. But possessed higher concentration of total N and Ca than that of the control. The results showed that effects of VC are more efficient for the vigorous production of black gram. VC had significant positive effects on flower number, leaf growth, shoot length, root length, number of leaves, leaf area index, wet weights and dry weights compared to control. It is also suggested that PM compost is more favorable for vigorous production of black gram and maintenance of soil environment but VC can be economically and environmentally suitable.

 

Kaviraj Singh, Satyawati Sharma (India), Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva (Japan), Santosh Satya, Kalpana Arora (India)Vermicomposting of Municipal Solid Waste Employing Eisenia fetida together with Penicillium spp. and AzotobacterBioinoculants (pp 89-95)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: In the present study, the use of bioinoculants (Azotobacter chroococcumPenicillium chrysogenumand P. funiculosum) in vermicomposting using an epigeic earthworm, Eisenia fetida, to transform the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW) into valuable vermicompost, was explored. The organic fraction of MSW, when mixed with leaf litter (4:1), was treated with bioinoculants and processed for use as a vermicompost. Various biochemical parameters such as total organic carbon (TOC), total Kjeldhal nitrogen (TKN), EC, pH, available phosphorus (P), available potassium (K), cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin were analyzed. The number of earthworms and the percentage nitrogen, P and K in vermicompost increased while pH and TOC declined as a function of the vermicomposting period. A 14-60% increase in TKN was observed in different microbial combinations at the end of the vermicomposting period. Available P increased 1.4- to 9.5-fold in different feed mixtures in comparison to the control. TOC was most reduced in the E. fetida treatment inoculated with a combination of Azotobacter chroococcum and Penicillium chrysogenum (37.2%) followed by A. chroococcum (36.1%) and A. chroococcum P. funiculosum(33.8%). Analysis of three enzymes (β-glucosidase, phosphatase and urease) also showed better results in the E. fetidatreatment together with all microbial combination than the control. β-glucosidase showed a significant increase (51%) while urease decreased sharply during the process. Vermicomposting using E. fetida + bioinoculants (A. chroococcum P. chrysogenum) is a suitable technology for the decomposition of different types of organic wastes (domestic and industrial) into value-added material.

 

Gorakh Nath, Keshav Singh (India) Combination of Vermiwash and Biopesticides against Aphid (Lipaphis erysimi) Infestation and their Effect on Growth and Yield of Mustard (Brassica campestris) (pp 96-102)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: Vermiwash (VW), singly and in combination with different biopesticides (BPs), was used in an agricultural field to control aphid (Lipaphis erysimi) infestation and to increase the growth and yield of mustard (Brassica campestris). A significant reduction in the aphid population was observed on mustard plants after spraying VW obtained from different combinations of animal dung and agro-wastes with 95% neem (Azadirachta indica) oil and 86% custard apple (Annona squamosa) leaves. The combination of garlic (Allium sativum) extract with different VWs could control 97% of the aphid population. VW obtained from animal dung + gram bran with neem oil was also very effective against aphids. A VW spray with BP increased the productivity of the mustard crop up to 3.5 times more than the control. These results clearly demonstrate that the use of VW with plant products is more beneficial for organic farming. It also compensates for deficiencies in essential nutrients, certain plant growth hormones, enzymes and vitamins. VW, singly and in combination with plant products, provides effective control against aphids, which are injurious to mustard plants.

 

Sohela Akhter, Ranjit Sen, Shahana Akter (Bangladesh), Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva (Japan)Azizul Haque, Shamsun Noor (Bangladesh) Efficacy of Vermicompost to Improve Soil Health, Yield and Nutrient Uptake of Cauliflower in Grey Terrace Soil of Bangladesh (pp 103-109)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: Vermicompost (VC) is a potential input for sustainable agriculture. This paper reports on the ability of VC to efficiently increase the growth, yield and nutrient uptake of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis) and to improve soil health. Field trials were conducted with cauliflower ‘Snow White’ during 2007-2008 in Grey Terrace Soil (Inceptisol) of Bangladesh, Agro Ecological Zone (AEZ)-28. There were 12 treatments replicated three times. The sources of VC were cowdung and kitchen wastes (3: 1) processed by epigeic earthworm Eisenia fetida. Leaf number, circumference and curd yield of cauliflower were significantly higher when NPKSZnB fertilizers (100% recommended dose of chemical fertilizer, RDCF) were used together with 1.5 t ha-1 VC but were statistically identical to 100% RDCF + 1.5 t ha-1 aerobic compost (AC), NPKSZnB (80% RDCF) + 3 t ha-1 VC and 80% RDCF + 3 t ha-1 AC. VC performed better than AC alone or in combination with chemical fertilizers. In this case, enhanced cauliflower yield was attributed to the elevated levels of NPKSZnB in VC. There was a considerable increase in nutrient uptake by VC-treated cauliflower. The residual effect of VC showed an increase in available nutrients in post-harvest soil. To improve and maintain soil health and crop production, chemical fertilizers need to be reduced. VC (1.5 t ha-1) + 100% RDCF favours higher curd yield of cauliflower but VC (3 t ha-1) + 80% RDCF may be economically and environmentally suitable since it contains 20% less chemical fertilizer and 1.5 t ha-1more organic manure. Hence, 3 t ha-1 VC + 80% RDCF is recommended for cauliflower cultivation in Grey Terrace Soils of Bangladesh.

 

Kulandaivelu Velmourougane, Kurian Raphael (India) Vermicomposting of Coffee Processing Wastes (pp 110-116)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: In India, nearly 80% of arabica and 20% of robusta coffee are prepared by wet method. One tonne of coffee pulp is generated for every tonne of clean coffee (coffee beans) processed. Coffee wastes are lignocellulosic enriched residues that can be used as soil fertilizers; however, the direct application of these residues to coffee plants can cause serious environmental problems. Therefore, it is necessary to find a suitable methodological alternative to reduce the environmental problems associated with their management. Considering the significance of the situation and shortage of organic manure in coffee plantations, a case study was conducted in Coorg District of Karnataka in three coffee growers farms to evaluate the efficiency of an exotic (Eudrilus eugeniae) and a native earthworm (Perionyx ceylanensis) for bioconversion of coffee pulp into valuable vermicompost. The analysis revealed that exotic earthworms were faster in degrading coffee pulp (112 days) as compared to the native worms (165 days). The vermicomposting efficiency (77.9%) and vermicom-post yield (389 kg) were found to significantly higher with native worms, while the multiplication rate of earthworms (280%) and worm yield (3.78 kg) recorded significantly higher with the exotic earthworms. The plant nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus content found to increase significantly in the vermicompost produced using native earthworms. Vermicompost and vermicasts from native earthworms recorded significantly higher functional microbial group’s population as compared to the exotic worms. The study reveals that coffee pulp can be very well used as substrate for vermicomposting using exotic (Eudrilus eugeniae) and native earthworm (Perionyx ceylanensis).

 

M. Vikram Reddy, Swati Pattnaik, Sushree Sangeeta (India) Microarthropod Diversity Associated with Vermicomposting Process and Vermicompost of Urban Waste Processed by Three Earthworm Species (pp 117-126)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: The present investigation assessed, for the first time, the species diversity of microarthropods associated with the vermicompost (VC) and compost (C) of the organic fraction of three types of urban wastes – municipal solid waste (MSW), vegetable market waste (MW) and flower waste (FW) – processed by three earthworm species, Eudrilus eugeniae,Eisenia fetida and Perionyx excavatus during the vermicomposting processThe data showed the diversity and abundance of different taxa of microarthropods – Acarina (mites) such as Mesostigmata, Prostigmata and Cryptostigmata, and Collembola (springtails) such as Isotomidae, Entomobryidae and Sminthuridae and other miscellaneous microarthropod taxa. Microarthropods were extracted from the VCs, Cs and the substrate samples, MSW, MW and FW using a Tullgren funnel. Dry funnel extractions were examined microscopically, revealing a total of 16 species and morpho-species of Acarina, 19 species of Collembola and 12 species of miscellaneous microarthropods. Collembola was the dominant group followed by Acarina. Among Collembola, Isotomidae dominated while Mesostigmata was the dominant group of Acarina. Species belonging to Formicidae in Hymenoptera were also found in good numbers. The biodiversity of microarthropods was significantly higher in the VCs of all three substrates produced by E. eugeniae followed by that of E. fetida and P. excavatus and that of Cs (P < 0.05). Positive and significant co-relationships were found between microarthropod densities and nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium of VCs (P < 0.05). Prostigmata and Mesostigmata densities showed positive and significant co-relationship with each other and with the densities of Collembola – Isotomidae, Entomobryidae and Sminthuridae (P < 0.05). Interestingly, there was no relationship with the densities of Cryptostigmata and miscellaneous groups.

 

Subhani Rath, M. Vikram Reddy (India) Disposal of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) of the Millennium City (Cuttack): Bioconversion to Nutrient-Rich Vermicompost (pp 127-130)

 

ABSTRACT

Original Research Paper: Vermicomposting is one of the effective ways of disposal and management of municipal organic solid waste (MOSW), and is a process of composting of organic waste by using either or both exotic and indigenous species of earthworms. These worms devour organic wastes rapidly and produce a good quality end-product called vermicompost that becomes enriched with various plant nutrients (available nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium), has more organic matter, and is more porous than soil. This paper deals with the disposal of MOSW of millennium city, Cuttack through vermicomposting using the exotic species Eisenia fetida. However, MOSW vermicompost possessed reduced concentrations of organic carbon, but a higher concentration of P, and K. Moreover, a comparative analysis was made between the major nutrients of the MOSW vermicompost and agricultural waste (AW). Vermicompost from AW was shown to be better than vermicompost from MOSW.

 

Debajyoti Chakrabarty, Sanjib Kumar Das (India) Dissolution of Phosphorus from Rock Phosphate using Earthworms (Eudrillus euginae) (pp 131-133)

 

ABSTRACT

Short Communication: Earthworms (Eudrillus euginae) were used to test their effects in the dissolution of phosphorus (P) from insoluble, naturally occurring, Purulia rock phosphate (PRP) through vermicomposting of two different substrates for 90 days. The same substrates (partially decomposed water hyacinth and cow dung with or without rock phosphate) were also allowed to decompose without earthworm (controls). The substrates were monitored for concentration of P, nitrogen and potash and changes in pH. The observations showed that the treatment combination with earthworm and rock phosphate (RP) was the best among four treatments employed in terms of P and N release. There were significant differences in concentration of available phosphorus among all the treatments and K concentration was not affected by the treatments. The findings suggest that the earthworms facilitated the dissolution of P from RP which affects mineralization of N in the substrates.

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