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Earthworm burrowing modes and rates depend on earthworm species and soil mechanical resistance

Arrazola Vasquez, Elsa and Larsbo, Mats and Capowiez, Yvan and Taylor, Astrid and Sandin, Maria and Iseskog, Daniel and Keller, Thomas (2022). Earthworm burrowing modes and rates depend on earthworm species and soil mechanical resistance. Applied Soil Ecology. 178 , 104568
[Research article]

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Abstract

Earthworms drive multiple soil processes, but their specific impact on soil functions differs between earthworm species and ecological categories. A key challenge in modern agriculture is soil compaction due to heavy ma-chinery, but we have limited quantitative knowledge about how the burrowing activity of different earthworm species is affected by compaction. Here, we address this question in a laboratory experiment with 2-D terraria, where we used Aporrectodea caliginosa (Savigny, 1826) and Aporrectodea longa (Ude, 1885) as representatives of two different ecological categories. We exposed both species to four different soil mechanical resistance levels and monitored their burrowing activity for three days. We quantified burrowing rates and cast production, assessed the burrowing mode, and estimated energy requirements as a function of soil mechanical resistance. The results showed that the burrowing rates of both earthworm species significantly decreased with increasing soil mechanical resistance, but that the impact was species-dependent and lower for A. longa. Earthworms changed their burrowing mode towards ingestion when soil mechanical resistance increased, and this shift was more prominent for A. caliginosa that primarily burrowed via cavity expansion (i.e. by pushing soil aside) at low soil mechanical resistance. We further show that energy requirement and cast produced per unit burrow length increased with soil mechanical resistance. Our study revealed significant and species-dependent adverse effects of soil mechanical resistance on earthworm burrowing, which in turn has consequences for many soil processes mediated by earthworms, such as water infiltration, soil aeration, nutrient cycling and soil organic matter turnover.

Authors/Creators:Arrazola Vasquez, Elsa and Larsbo, Mats and Capowiez, Yvan and Taylor, Astrid and Sandin, Maria and Iseskog, Daniel and Keller, Thomas
Title:Earthworm burrowing modes and rates depend on earthworm species and soil mechanical resistance
Series Name/Journal:Applied Soil Ecology
Year of publishing :2022
Volume:178
Article number:104568
Number of Pages:9
Publisher:ELSEVIER
ISSN:0929-1393
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Soil Science
Keywords:Anecic, Bioturbation, Endogeic, Soil organic carbon, Soil structure
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-118729
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-118729
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1016/j.apsoil.2022.104568
Web of Science (WoS)000835659700013
ID Code:28774
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
(S) > Dept. of Soil and Environment

(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:05 Sep 2022 10:26
Metadata Last Modified:05 Sep 2022 10:31

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