Effect of earthworms on nutrients dynamics in soil and growth of crop

Srinithi Mayilswami, Brian Reid

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Effects of earthworms especially with Lumbricus terrestris on nutrients dynamics and on plant growth were studied in the laboratory. Soil was amended with varied levels of compost and earthworms were introduced: 60.9 g soil alone, 60.9 g soil + 20.78 g compost (60:40), 60.9 g soil + 41.57g compost alone (80:20) and 41.57 g compost alone. The ion chromatography data showed there was significant variation in the nutrient status mainly nitrite, nitrate, ammonium and phosphate between the treatments (with worms) and control (devoid of worms). The significant variation in nitrite concentration was observed in treatment containing 60.9 g soil+ 20.78 g compost which was around 6.32 (mg/kg ). Phosphate concentration was predominant in treatment having 41.57 g compost alone with 23.855 mg/kg concentration. The amount of ammonium varied slightly, though major concentration around 6.90 mg/kg was observed in treatment with 41.57 g compost alone. The difference in nutrient status appeared to be due to the variations in nutrient cycling probably ascribable to the earthworm's activities. Pot experiment showed that the mustard plant growth was stimulated by earthworms digging capacity. The germination percentage, shoot length, root length and fresh biomass were determined. The variations between treatments and controls were measured. The average germination percentage in treatment containing 60.9 g soil + 20.78 g compost was 75.83 which was more significant. The total fresh biomass was measured to be 1.96 g more suggestive compared to controls. These modifications emerged due to the active participation of earthworms in stirring of soil.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-44
Number of pages6
JournalResearch Journal of Chemistry and Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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