Population collapse of Lumbricus terrestris in conventional arable cultivations and response to straw applications

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Stroud, J. L., Irons, D. E., Watts, C. W., White, R. P., McGrath, S. P. and Whitmore, A. P. 2016. Population collapse of Lumbricus terrestris in conventional arable cultivations and response to straw applications. Applied Soil Ecology. 108 (December), pp. 72-75.

AuthorsStroud, J. L., Irons, D. E., Watts, C. W., White, R. P., McGrath, S. P. and Whitmore, A. P.
Abstract

This work assessed populations of the anecic, deep burrowing earthworm Lumbricus terrestris on two recently established (3 years) and two long running (20–170 years) organic matter amended, conventionally managed arable field trials in SE England. Validated midden counts and DNA analyses were used to estimate L. terrestris populations and check species identity (>98% match, n = 10). Population estimates ranged between 0 and 1.3 L. terrestris middens per m2 on conventionally (inorganic fertiliser only) managed plots. Surface wheat straw applications (p ≤ 0.05) or wastes mixed with barley straw (p ≤ 0.05) enhanced L. terrestris midden abundances. However, these were very low at <4.6 L. terrestris middens per m2 and a population collapse was recorded under oat cropping. We found a residual population ranging between 0.1–3.6 L. terrestris middens per m2 on the long running field trials. Further investigations are needed to identify if L. terrestris is functionally extinct at these densities.

Keywordsearthworm; biosolids; tillage; anecic; midden
Year of Publication2016
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Journal citation108 (December), pp. 72-75
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.apsoil.2016.08.002
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Funder project or codeSustainability
Roots of Decline? Assembly and Function of the Rhizosphere Microbiome in Relation to Crop Yield
Improvement of soil structure and crop yield by adding organic matter to soil
Improving yield through management of soil organisms under cropping
Optimisation of nutrients in soil-plant systems: Determining how phosphorus availability is regulated in soils
Quantifying Sustainable Systems
Publisher's version
Copyright license
CC BY
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online06 Aug 2016
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Aug 2016
PublisherElsevier Science Bv
ISSN0929-1393

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