DECOMPOSITION OF PINE NEEDLES BY THE EARTHWORM DRAWIDA PAPILLIFER PAPILLIFER IN LABORATORY CONDITIONDARISUK N DKHAR AND M.S. DKHAR
Considering the importance of earthworms in the breakdown of litter and recycling of nutrients, it was thought desirable to study the role of earthworms in decomposition of pine (pin us kesiya) needles in laboratory condition. The percentage weight remaining of the litter in the sets treated with the earthworm Drawida papillifer papillifer steph. was slightly less as compared to that in the control set. The decay constant (K) was calculated using Olson's decay model (1963). The rate of decay of pine litter was faster in the set treated with earthworms than in the control set. pH, total N and PO43--P from the leachates were determined. The casts contained higher organic C, N and available P as compared to mineral soil and the humus. Total N and available P in the mineral soil and humus were recorded to be higher in the treated set than in the control set. The carbon dioxide evolution. It was found to be higher in treated set than in the control set. The organic C content of the mineral soil was negatively correlated between the treatments (r =-0.610 P < 0.05). The N content of mineral soil and the humus was positively correlated between the treatments (r=0.526 and r=0.529, P<0.05).
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