EARTHWORM POPULATION DENSITY AND DIVERSITY WITH RESPECT TO SOIL PHYSICO CHEMICAL PROPERTIES, MICROBIAL POPULATION AND EXOENZYME DYNAMICS IN TWO AGROCLIMATIC ZONES OF ODISHA, INDIAPratik Acharya and C.S.K. Mishra
Earthworms perform vital ecological functions in soil contributing significantly to the decomposition of organics and facilitating availability of nutrients. Thus the population of earthworms modulates soil microbiota and their functional attributes. The density and diversity of the earthworms are influenced by soil physicochemical properties. This study reports the seasonal variation in certain edaphic factors, population density and diversity of earthworms and microbiota in two sub tropical agroclimatic zones located at Balasore and Sambalpur districts of Odisha state, India. A total of ten different species of earthworms were identified. The population of earthworms indicated significant variation between wet and dry seasons. Significant positive correlation was observed between the earthworm population with clay percentage, moisture, organic carbon, bacterial, fungal populations and exoenzyme activities. Population density indicated significant negative correlation with temperature.