In the ecosystems of the humid tropics, earthworms are often the major component of soil macrofauna. In these systems, earthworm effects on physical and chemical soil properties are important. They affect soil porosity and structural stability as well as soil organic matter dynamics and nutrient release. Land managements used in tropical areas lead to a dramatic decrease of both density and biomass of earthworms and at short term, soil degradation by overmineralization and erosion. The management of earthworms in order to restore properties of soils degraded by successive crops or to sustain fertility of low-input agricultural systems is discussed.


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