Author(s): Suthar S
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Abstract Potential of an oriental composting earthworm: Perionyx excavatus (Perrier) to decompose waste resources generated from agricultural practices (crop residues, farm yard manure, and cattle dung) was studied for 150days under laboratory conditions. At the end of experiment, all vermibeds showed significant decrease in their organic C content ( approximately 21-29\%), while increase in total N ( approximately 91-144\%), available P ( approximately 63-105\%), and exchangeable K ( approximately 45-90\%). P. excavatus showed maximum individual live weight (662.05mg) after 120days in MIXED (mixed crop residues+cow dung in 1:1) substrate. The maximum growth rate (mg worm(-1)day(-1)) was between 3.79+/-0.08 and 2.35+/-0.16 on different substrates. The mean number of cocoon production was between 394.3+/-23.2 and 690.7+/-23.2 for different experimental beddings. MIXED bedding showed maximum reproduction rate (0.23+/-0.004 cocoons worm(-1) day(-1)), whereas farmyard manure bedding (FYM) showed least value (0.15+/-0.002 cocoons worm(-1)day(-1)). During vermicomposting, the total mortality in worms' population was recorded between 0\% (in MIXED) and 21.7\% (in Jowar straw (Sorghum vulgare)+millet straw (Pennisenum typhoides)+sheep manure in 1:1:2 ratio (JMS)). The waste decomposition and earthworm production was associated strongly with the quality of the substrate, especially with their chemical as well as biological composition.
This article was published in Bioresour Technol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation