Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 360

Full Length Research Paper

Earthworm population in relation to different land use and soil characteristics

Subin Kalu
  • Subin Kalu
  • Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu Nepal.
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Madan Koirala
  • Madan Koirala
  • Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu Nepal.
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Udhab Raj Khadaka
  • Udhab Raj Khadaka
  • Amrit Science Campus, Tribhuvan University, Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal.
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  •  Received: 07 March 2015
  •  Accepted: 10 April 2015
  •  Published: 08 May 2015

Abstract

Earthworms are regarded as the bio-indicators of soil quality. Also, due to several beneficial ecosystem services provided by earthworms, focus has been given to earthworms in agriculture management. So, there is need of knowing the distribution of earthworms, factors affecting their distribution and modification of soil environment due to them. With the aim of characterizing earthworm distribution in Panchase area, earthworms were sampled in different aspects, land use types, depth and altitude in June and October. Soil sample was also taken to characterize the habitat preference of the earthworms. The highest earthworm population density was found in forest followed by agriculture land and grassland in both months. Also, majority of earthworms were found in top 15 cm of soil. Moisture and organic matter content were found to be major determinants of earthworm population in Panchase area. Positive and significant correlation between earthworm population and available mineral nutrients (P and K) suggests that earthworms help in mineral nutrient availability to the plants.
 
Key words: Ash free dry mass, biomass, earthworm population density, Panchase area.