EFFECT OF EARTHWORM METAPHIRE POSTHUMA (MEGASCOLECIDAE) IN NUTRIENT DYNAMICS AND GROWTH OF CROP

EFFECT OF EARTHWORM METAPHIRE POSTHUMA (MEGASCOLECIDAE) IN NUTRIENT DYNAMICS AND GROWTH OF CROP

Nirupama Dalakoti* and B. R. Kaushal
Department of Zoology, DSB Campus, Kumaun University, Nainital, Uttarakhand. 263002, India
[Corresponding author E-mail*: nirupamadalakoti@gmail.com]
Received: 31-08-2015 Revised: 13-10-2015 Accepted: 14-11-2015
Abstract:
Effect of earthworm, Metaphire posthuma on nutrient dynamics and plant growth was studied in the laboratory. Two treatments were applied: “a control treatment” without earthworms and “an earthworm + soil treatment” were selected for wheat and maize crop with five individuals of M. posthuma. The experiment was run in five replicates in earthen pots filled with 2 kg of wet field soil. Significant variation in the nutrient status between treatments (with worms) and control (Devoid of worms) was recorded. The average root length and average shoot length (in cm) of wheat plants in “soil + earthworm” habitat showed an increase of 44% and 12%, respectively compared to root and shoot of control pot. Similarly, the average root length and average shoot length (in cm) of maize plants in “soil + earthworm” habitat showed an increase of 42% and 27%, respectively compared to root and shoot length measured from control pot. The weight and length of wheat pod and maize fruit also showed an increase compared to control experiment. This experiment evidently proves that the plant growth is significantly affected by introduction of earthworms

Keywords:  Earthworm, Nutrient dynamics, growth, soil, crop

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