Acta zoológica mexicana
versión impresa ISSN 0065-1737
HUERTA, Esperanza; VALIER, Olivia; ROMERO, Day y JARQUIN, Aaron. Effect off three earthworm species on soil fertility and the growth of maize (Zea mays) seedlings. Acta Zool. Mex [online]. 2010, vol.26, n.spe2, pp. 219-226. ISSN 0065-1737.
In the present experiment, we evaluated the effect of three earthworm species on soil fertility and seedling growth of maize (Zea mays), a food plant of great importance in Mexico. One individual of each species (Balanteodrilus pearsei and Lavellodrilus bonampakensis, two native species and Pontoscolex corethrurus, an exotic), were used in the germination and initial maize growth experiment (vegetative phase v6), with four replicates per treatment and 9 seeds per pot, with 4 kg of soil each. Organic matter contents, total nitrogen and available phosphorus in the soil and in the maize leaves were determined at the end of the experiment. L. bonampakensis significantly increased foliar and root biomass, B. pearsei increased only shoot biomass and P. corethrurus decreased root biomass in relation to the control. Soil organic matter content increased significantly with earthworms, but for the remaining parameters, no significant differences were found between treatments with and without earthworms. Earthworm presence can affect soil fertility and initial maize growth positively, negatively or not at all, depending on the species involved. However, further research is necessary to better understand the relationships between native and exotic tropical earthworm species, plants and the soil.
Palabras llave : Earthworms; soil fertility; plant growth.