BIO-CONVERSION OF SELECTED LEAF LITTERS USING AN AFRICAN EPIGEIC EARTHWORM, EUDRILUS EUGENIAEThilagavathy Daniel and N. Karmegam
Pre-decomposed (15 days) leaf litters of Aladiraehta indica, Ceiba pentandra and Morinda tinctoria were mixed with cow dung (1 : 1) and subjected to vermioomposting (60 days) using an African epigeic earthworm. Eudrilus eugeniae. The same substrates were kept without earthworms as control. Worm-worked (vermicompost) and worm-unworked substrates were separately analysed for electrical conductivity (E.C.), NPK, organic carbon. C/N ratio and colony forming units (CFU) of bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes. The final number of various age groups of earthworms such as newly hatched (NM. first juveniles (FJ), second _juveniles (SJ). sub-adults (SA). clitellate adults (CA) and cocoons (CO) were sorted out and weighed separately. The worm-worked substrates showed an increase in E.G. NpK and microbial CFU than the worm-unworked substrates in all the three leaf mixtures. C/N ratio of 9.01 was observed in the vermicompost of C. pentandra+ cow dung mixture while it was 27.46 in the worm-unworked material. Growth and reproductive performance of E. eugeniae were equally good in all the substrates used.
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