Earthworm Communities under Pasture Ecosystems in Tripura, India

Biplab Debbarma, Priyasankar Chaudhuri


Studies on earthworm community characteristics under pasture ecosystems revealed a total of 11 earthworm species. Among them 4 earthworm species belonged to the family Octochaetidae [Eutyphoeus assamensis Stephenson, Eutyphoeus comillahnus Michaelsen, Octochaetona beatrix (Beddard), Dichogaster bolaui (Michaelsen)], 3 species to the family Megascolecidae [Lampito mauritii (Kinberg), Metaphire houlleti (Perrier), Kanchuria sp.], 2 species to the family Moniligastridae (Drawida assamensis Gates, Drawida papillifer papillifer Stephenson) and 1 earthworm species each to the family Glossoscolecidae [Pontoscolex corethrurus (Muller)] and Almidae (Glyphidrilus sp.). L. mauritii was eudominant on the basis of its relative abundance (34.14%) and shared the same habitat with 2 dominant earthworm species, D. assamensis and P. corethrurus. Out of 11 earthworm species 7 species were endogeic, 3 species were anecic and 1 species of the epigeic category. E. comillahnus showed restricted distribution in Tripura, India and hence considered to be endemic to Tripura. Native earthworm species were found to be dominant (78.82%) in the pasture soils. In the pasture ecosystem earthworms had a mean density of 128.94±4.11 ind. m-2 and mean biomass of 63.76±2.22 g m-2. Earthworms in general occurred in the soils of pasture with a mean soil temperature of 27.36°C, pH 5.44, moisture 14.97%, organic matter 1.17 g % and bulk density of 1.05 g cm-3. In pasture Shannon’s diversity (Ĥ), Simpson’s index of dominance (D), Menhinick species richness index (R) and Species evenness (J') were 1.51, 0.30, 0.37 and 0.55 respectively.


Tropical Earthworms; Density; Biomass; Dominance; Diversity Index


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