Title: Relative efficacy of two species of earthworms in biodegradation of organic wastes under semi-arid subtropical conditions of North-West India

Authors: Vivek K. Saini, R.C. Sihag, R.C. Sharma, S.K. Gahlawat, R.K. Gupta

Addresses: Department of Zoology, K.M. Government College, Narwana 126116, India. ' Department of Zoology and Aquaculture, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar 125004, India. ' Department of Zoology, Meerut College, Meerut 250002, India. ' Department of Zoology and Aquaculture, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar 125004, India. ' Department of Zoology and Aquaculture, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar 125004, India

Abstract: The efficacy of two species of earthworms, Eudrilus eugeniae and Eisenia fetida, was compared for three seasons. The earthworms were cultured in the pits containing a mixture of fresh cow dung and wheat straw in 5 : 1 ratio. Eudrilus showed maximal increase in its population and biomass and minimal C : N ratio in its vermicompost in rainy season. Eisenia showed higher tolerance to temperature ranges and was able to perform better in winter and summer seasons. When compared for the whole year, Eisenia was found to be more suitable as a vermicomposting worm in subtropical areas of India.

Keywords: Eudrilus eugeniae; Eisenia fetida; carbon nitrogen ratio; biomass; population; seasons; solid waste management; worms; earthworms; India; organic waste; semi-arid conditions; subtropical conditions; cow dung; wheat straw; vermicomposting.

DOI: 10.1504/WRSTSD.2010.032528

World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, 2010 Vol.7 No.3, pp.259 - 270

Available online: 05 Apr 2010 *

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