Earthworm Communities in the Waste Deposit Sites (Cowdung Heaps and Municipal Solid Wastes) of West Tripura, India

Susmita Debnath, Priyasankar Chaudhuri


Community characteristics of earthworms were studied in two waste deposit sites - the cow dung heaps and municipal solid wastes - in West Tripura, India. A total of eleven earthworm species belonging to four families and ten genera were collected. Sample based rarefaction curve, revealed almost completeness of inventory in the studied sites with eleven species in cow dung deposit sites and seven species in municipal solid wastes. Cow dung heaps had higher (p<0.05) earthworm density, biomass, diversity index, evenness, richness index and significantly lower index of dominance than the municipal solid wastes. Rank abundance curve showed dominance of Perionyx excavatus in cow dung and Lampito mauritii in the municipal solid wastes. Occurrence of five earthworm species namely, Lampito mauritii, Metaphire houlleti, Perionyx excavatus, Dichogaster bolaui and Metaphire posthuma in both cowdung and municipal solid wastes with wide range of tolerance to environmental parameters (euracious) indicates their usefulness in degradation of organic wastes. According to principal components analysis, soil organic matter, moisture, pH, bulk density, water holding capacity, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium were the most potent regulators of earthworm population density and biomass with highest positive loading scores.


Organic Wastes; Sample Based Rarefaction Curve; Rank Abundance Curve; Diversity; Dominance.


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