|PONDER JR, FELIX|
Submitted to: Soil Ecology Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/30/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The effects of organic matter and soil compaction on earthworm populations and microbial activity were measured in a central hardwood forest in Missouri. Earthworm and soil samples were collected in the spring and fall of 1995. Ten subsamples of earthworms (hand sorting) and soil were collected from each of 12 plots in the A horizon. Diplocardia ornata was identified as a dominant native species. Spring and fall measurements showed that soil compaction significantly decreased earthworm populations and biomass. Soil microbial biomass C and N had a negative correlation with earthworms in both spring and fall sampling. However, a positive correlation was shown between earthworm populations and inorganic N. This may be due to excreta or cast material produced by Diplocardia. Soil moisture and earthworm populations were positively correlated in spring and fall. Soil moisture is an important factor in earthworm survival and reproduction. Organic matter was not a significant detectable factor affecting earthworm populations or microbial activity in this one year field study. Compaction can significantly affect earthworm population and activity; however, earthworms in turn may significantly affect microbial populations.