Relationships between casts of geophagous earthworms (Lumbricidae, Oligochaeta) and matric potential - II. Clay dispersion from casts

R. P. Hindell (Lead / Corresponding author), B. M. McKenzie, M. J. Silvapulle, J. M. Tisdall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A laboratory study was conducted to determine the effects of matric potentials between -25.4 and-2.0 kPa on the mechanical dispersion of fresh and aged casts produced by Aporrectodea caliginosa, A. rosea, and A. trapezoides. We also examined the effects on dispersion of the matric potential at which the air-dried casts were rewetted. Dispersion from subsurface casts up to 6 days old and uningested aggregates was influenced, but dispersion from fresh casts was not influenced, by the matric potential of the soil core from which the samples were collected. Dispersion from subsurface casts and uningested aggregates increased as the matric potential of the soil core increased from -25.4 to -2.0 kPa. Cast dispersion was not influenced by the earthworm species which produced the cast. Little or no clay was mechanically dispersed after the casts had been air-dried and rewetted, and the matric potential at which casts were rewetted had little influence on dispersion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-131
Number of pages5
JournalBiology and Fertility of Soils
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1994

Keywords

  • Aporrectodea spp
  • Dispersion
  • Earthworm cast
  • Matric potential
  • Water stability

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