A study of the effects of ph on earthworms

Weyers and Kurt A. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution Licensewhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

A study of the effects of ph on earthworms

To view a copy of this license, visit http: Abstract Herbicide use is increasing worldwide both in agriculture and private gardens. However, our knowledge of potential side-effects on non-target soil organisms, even on such eminent ones as earthworms, is still very scarce.

In a greenhouse experiment, we assessed the impact of the most widely used glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup on two earthworm species with different feeding strategies. We demonstrate, that the surface casting activity of vertically burrowing earthworms Lumbricus terrestris almost ceased three weeks after herbicide application, while the activity of soil dwelling earthworms Aporrectodea caliginosa was not affected.

These sizeable herbicide-induced impacts on agroecosystems are particularly worrisome because these herbicides have been globally used for decades.

As a consequence, the intensity of agricultural production has increased dramatically including the use of pesticides.


Among pesticides, glyphosate-based herbicides are most widely used - hardly available data state a global usage of abouttons 3 at sales worth about 6. Glyphosate-based herbicides have been so widely used because they are very effective, acting non-selectively on plants by inhibiting the shikimic acid metabolic pathway found exclusively in plants and some microorganisms 5.

Hence, animals should theoretically not be affected by the application of glyphosate. Moreover, glyphosate is considered environmentally friendly due to its fast degradation 5 and strong adsorption to soil particles that should reduce leaching losses from the soil profile 6.

Nevertheless, evidence that glyphosate-based herbicides can harm non-target organisms, particularly amphibians 78symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi or earthworms continues to mount 9 Earthworms constitute a majority of soil faunal biomass in many temperate agroecosystems, with up to individuals and g of biomass in each square meter of land They act as ecosystem engineers 12 by physically shredding plant litter, mineralizing it in their guts along with soil organic matterand enhancing soil nutrient availability through the production of up to 40 tons of casts per hectare annually 13 that can promote plant productivity 1415 Earthworm burrowing also enhances soil root penetration and water infiltration by constructing up to km of belowground channels per hectare Thus, earthworms strongly modulate agroecosystem function and services and any factor that may harm earthworms will impact ecosystem function, including plant growth and productivity 1418 Most studies that have examined the effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on the activity and reproduction of temperate earthworms have been conducted under laboratory conditions using compost worms Eisenia species that commonly do not inhabit agroecosystems 2021222324 Here, we present results of a greenhouse experiment testing the effects of a glyphosate-based herbicide on two earthworm species that are indeed frequently found in agroecosystems: We hypothesized that herbicide application would stimulate earthworm activity and reproduction due to the increased availability of dead plant material that earthworms can use as food source.

A study of the effects of ph on earthworms

As a knock-on effect, we expected that herbicide application via its effects on earthworms would also alter water infiltration, soil nutrient availability, and decomposition. To test these hypotheses, we established weed communities comprising of a grass, a leguminous herb and a non-leguminous herb species commonly occurring in arable agroecosystems or garden beds.

To these weed communities we added vertically burrowing or horizontally burrowing earthworm species. Eight weeks after planting, the vegetation in half of the mesocosms was treated with a lower-than-recommended dose of glyphosate-based herbicide.

Results and Discussion Herbicide application initially stimulated surface casting activity of L.

However, it is not known if earthworms physiologically cannot tolerate low pH or if low pH soils lack nutrients (e.g., calcium) that are necessary for earthworm survival. To determine the effects of pH, moisture, and calcium levels on earthworm distribution, soil samples were taken at four separate sites, and the pH, moisture, and calcium levels of each . The objective of the present work is to carry out a statistical study in truffière soils to determine the carbonate, pH and organic carbon imbalances in earthworm casts compared to the soils from which the casts were produced. A study of the effects of ph on earthworms October 6, by Leave a Comment Were: pH 5 Impacts of earthworms on appreciating the value of time in every second soil components and dynamics A review; Impacts of earthworms on soil components and Earthworms effects on carbon and nitrogen. however.

Compared to non-herbicide treated mesocosms, cumulative cast mass produced by L. Surface casting activity and cast mass production of the soil-dwelling earthworm species, A. Although the studied earthworm species differ in their feeding behavior, both have been shown to cast on the soil surface when foraging for leaf litter and other organic material 27 The peak in surface casting activity observed after herbicide application was therefore likely the consequence of an increased availability of dead leaf material.

Since we provided extra food for earthworms in all treatments i. Another explanation for the reduced surface casting activity after herbicide treatment might also be that L. As a consequence these earthworms might have lived in deeper soil horizons and avoided surface foraging and casting.

This might also suggest the — albeit not significant — higher water infiltration in mesocosms with this species when exposed to the herbicides see below. Overall, at the end of the experiment we retrieved The earthworms were recovered from the frames and weighed, and the soil was used for chemical analysis after drying and sieving .

To study the effects of earthworms and pH on soil nematode and enchytraeid communities, a factorially designed experiment was conducted with Lumbricus rubellus and/or Aporrectodea caliginosa. Earthworms were added to "mesocosms" containing unlimed (pH ) or limed (pH ) coniferous mor humus with their natural biota of .

The aims of the present study were to investigate the possible reasons why heavy metals in soils are readily available to plants in the presence of earthworms.

Impact of Biochar on Earthworm Populations: A Review

We investigated the effects of earthworm inoculation on soil pH, dissolved organic C (DOC), microbial populations in soil, metal fraction distribution, and the bioavailability of metals in soil to wheat roots and shoots.

The effects of pesticides on earthworms depend on the type of pesticide and its rate of application, earthworm species and age, and environmental conditions.

Appendix 1 . Affects of PH on Earthworms Introduction: Earthworms are made up of segmented bodies, which pull and contract to help them move around and have a closed circulatory system (Fonte). Earthworms also utilize diffusion, which occurs through their skin to intake oxygen (Shan).

A study of the effects of ph on earthworms October 6, by Leave a Comment Were: pH 5 Impacts of earthworms on appreciating the value of time in every second soil components and dynamics A review; Impacts of earthworms on soil components and Earthworms effects on carbon and nitrogen.


A study of the effects of ph on earthworms
Soil and Environment: Earthworms: the most important soil and ecosystem engineers