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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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        Abstract - Issue Apr 2006, 27 (2)                                                                                                             Back


Aging of pressmud vermicasts of Lampito mauritii (Kinberg) and Eudrilus eugeniae (Kinberg) - Reduction in microbial population and activity

K. Parthasarathi

Division of Vermibiotechnology, Department of Zoology, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar - 608 002, India.

(Received: 17 April, 2004 ; Accepted: 20 September, 2004)


Abstract: Total microbial population (including fungi, bacteria and actinomycetes) and activity (dehydrogenase) in the pressmud vermicasts of Lampito mauritii and Eudrilus eugeniae (fresh, 15 and 30 days old) have been determined. The fresh pressmud vermicasts of both worms show relatively higher microbial population and activity than uningested pressmud. This enrichment are due to nutrient rich substrate concentration, optimal moisture, germination or multiplication of microbes after passing through the gut and large surface area of vermicasts. Increased microbial activity results in increased mineralization of micro and macro nutrients in the casts. But in 15 days old casts of both the worms there is a relatively reduced microbial population and activity and significantly in 30 days old casts (p<0.05). Such reduced microbial population and activity in aged casts are due to reduced moisture, nutrient content due to depletion, leaching and immobilization and inactivation of microorganisms. Therefore, the application of fresh pressmud vermicasts with increased microbial population and activity to the soil support better improvement of soil fertility.


Key words: Pressmud, Microbes, Dehydrogenase, Aging, Casts.




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