EFFECTS OF UREA AND ADULT PALM FERTILIZER MIXTURE ON THE SURVIVAL AND BODY WALL TISSUES OF THE EARTHWORM, Pheretima hawaya...
Introduction <ul><li>Inorganic fertilizers are used to enhance crop production. </li></ul><ul><li>In Sri Lanka, urea and A...
Introduction cont’d… <ul><li>Earthworms are ecologically important soil organisms.  </li></ul><ul><li>The Inorganic fertil...
<ul><li>A field survey in different agricultural sites to see whether the abundance of earthworms decreased with the addit...
Field survey; Study area
Study sites Site A – Home garden  Site B – Banana plantation
Study sites cont’d… Site C– Coconut plantation Site D – Pineapple plantation
Field survey cont’d… <ul><li>Earthworms in four randomly selected 1m 2  areas in each site were collected. </li></ul><ul><...
Results of the  Field Survey Variation of the abundance of  Notoscolex  spp between the four study sites Abundance of  Not...
Field survey cont’d… <ul><li>Soil pH, moisture content, organic matter content and temperature were measured in all sites....
Results of the  Field Survey  cont’d… Variation of soil pH between the four field study sites
Laboratory Experiment <ul><li>Earthworm  Pheretima hawayana  were collected from the wild and used for the experiment. </l...
Laboratory Experiment cont’d… <ul><li>Batches of 15 earthworms were introduced to each container and acclimatized under la...
Group of replicate Urea treatment C1 (n=4) 1.5g of urea per container(30 g m -2 ) C2 (n=4 ) 0.1g of urea per container(1.9...
Laboratory Experiment cont’d… <ul><li>Live earthworms present in each replicate container were counted weekly. </li></ul><...
<ul><li>Results of The Laboratory Experiment </li></ul>first week (  ), second week (  ) and third week (  ) % Survival of...
Laboratory Experiment cont’d… <ul><li>The experimentation repeated with the APM fertilizer mixture. </li></ul><ul><li>APM ...
Group of replicate APM fertilizer treatment C1 (n=4) 2.2 g of fertilizer per container (43.2 g m -2 ) C2 (n=4 ) 1.0 g of f...
first week (  ), second week (  ), third week (  ) and fourth week (  )  % Survival of  P. hawayana  ± SE Applied APM fert...
Results of The Laboratory Experiment cont’d… <ul><li>Soil pH in urea or APM added treatments was high after the first week...
Histological experiment <ul><li>Healthy earthworms were exposed into  </li></ul><ul><li>1. A container with no fertilizer ...
Histological experiment cont’d… Control Urea added APM fertilizer added CU EL EL CM CM EL CM CM - circular muscle layer  C...
Conclusions <ul><li>Abundance of earthworm  Notoscolex  spp was significantly lower in the crop fields than in the home ga...
<ul><li>The % survival of earthworms including  P.hawayana   could be  extremely low around crop plants in the field, but ...
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Effects of urea and adult palm fertilizer mixture on the survival and body wall tissues of earthworms

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W. U. Chandrasekera and
O. K. I. De SILVA
Department of Zoology, University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya 11600, Sri Lanka

Presented at International Forestry and Environment Symposium 2009 at Department of Forestry and Environment Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka from 18 – 19 December 2009 (Session 7- Biodiversity)

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Effects of urea and adult palm fertilizer mixture on the survival and body wall tissues of earthworms

  1. 1. EFFECTS OF UREA AND ADULT PALM FERTILIZER MIXTURE ON THE SURVIVAL AND BODY WALL TISSUES OF THE EARTHWORM, Pheretima hawayana O. K. C. DE SILVA Department of Zoology University of Kelaniya
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Inorganic fertilizers are used to enhance crop production. </li></ul><ul><li>In Sri Lanka, urea and Adult Palm fertilizer Mixture are widely used. </li></ul><ul><li>They may negatively affect soil organisms including earthworms. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction cont’d… <ul><li>Earthworms are ecologically important soil organisms. </li></ul><ul><li>The Inorganic fertilizers such as urea and APM fertilizers affect the abundance, species richness, species heterogeneity, and body wall tissues of earthworms. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>A field survey in different agricultural sites to see whether the abundance of earthworms decreased with the addition of urea and APM fertilizer. </li></ul><ul><li>Laboratory experimentation to find out how the survival is reduced and </li></ul><ul><li>Find out the impacts earthworm’s body wall tissues by the fertilizers. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Field survey; Study area
  6. 6. Study sites Site A – Home garden Site B – Banana plantation
  7. 7. Study sites cont’d… Site C– Coconut plantation Site D – Pineapple plantation
  8. 8. Field survey cont’d… <ul><li>Earthworms in four randomly selected 1m 2 areas in each site were collected. </li></ul><ul><li>Body colour recorded and earthworms preserved in 5% formalin. </li></ul><ul><li>Earthworms found could be classified to the genus Notoscolex and their abundance was recorded. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Results of the Field Survey Variation of the abundance of Notoscolex spp between the four study sites Abundance of Notoscolex spp ± SE
  10. 10. Field survey cont’d… <ul><li>Soil pH, moisture content, organic matter content and temperature were measured in all sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Soil organic matter content and pH– </li></ul><ul><li>significantly different between sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Soil moisture content and the temperature - remained unchanged between sites. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Results of the Field Survey cont’d… Variation of soil pH between the four field study sites
  12. 12. Laboratory Experiment <ul><li>Earthworm Pheretima hawayana were collected from the wild and used for the experiment. </li></ul>Pheretima hawayana
  13. 13. Laboratory Experiment cont’d… <ul><li>Batches of 15 earthworms were introduced to each container and acclimatized under laboratory conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended urea amount for brinjal (300 kg ha -1 year -1 ) was selected as the reference fertilizer amount. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Group of replicate Urea treatment C1 (n=4) 1.5g of urea per container(30 g m -2 ) C2 (n=4 ) 0.1g of urea per container(1.96 g m -2 ) C3 (n=4 ) 3.0g of urea per container(58.8 g m -2 ) C4 (n=4 ) C0 (n=4 ) 16.2g of urea per container(317.6 g m -2 ) Control treatment
  15. 15. Laboratory Experiment cont’d… <ul><li>Live earthworms present in each replicate container were counted weekly. </li></ul><ul><li>Soil pH, % of moisture content, % of organic matter content and soil temperature were also measured weekly. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Results of The Laboratory Experiment </li></ul>first week ( ), second week ( ) and third week ( ) % Survival of P. hawayana ± SE
  17. 17. Laboratory Experiment cont’d… <ul><li>The experimentation repeated with the APM fertilizer mixture. </li></ul><ul><li>APM fertilizer amount recommended for coconut (3 kg plant -1 year -1 ) was selected as the reference fertilizer amount. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Group of replicate APM fertilizer treatment C1 (n=4) 2.2 g of fertilizer per container (43.2 g m -2 ) C2 (n=4 ) 1.0 g of fertilizer per container (19.6 g m -2 ) C3 (n=4 ) 5.0 g of fertilizer per container (98.0 g m -2 ) C4 (n=4 ) C0 (n=4 ) 21.6 g of fertilizer per container (424.3 g m -2 ) Control treatment
  19. 19. first week ( ), second week ( ), third week ( ) and fourth week ( ) % Survival of P. hawayana ± SE Applied APM fertilizer amount (g m -2 ) Variation of the % survival of P. hawayana in different APM fertilizer treatments
  20. 20. Results of The Laboratory Experiment cont’d… <ul><li>Soil pH in urea or APM added treatments was high after the first week of exposure and it gradually decreased </li></ul><ul><li>But the soil moisture content, soil organic matter content and temperature remained unchanged. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Histological experiment <ul><li>Healthy earthworms were exposed into </li></ul><ul><li>1. A container with no fertilizer (i.e. control) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2. A container with 58.8 g m -2 of urea </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3. A container with 424.3 g m -2 of APM fertilizer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Kept for a week. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Histological experiment cont’d… Control Urea added APM fertilizer added CU EL EL CM CM EL CM CM - circular muscle layer CU - cuticle EL - epithelial layer
  23. 23. Conclusions <ul><li>Abundance of earthworm Notoscolex spp was significantly lower in the crop fields than in the home garden probably due to urea and APM fertilizers. </li></ul><ul><li>The % survival of P. hawayana decreased with the increasing urea and APM concentrations and with the exposure period. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>The % survival of earthworms including P.hawayana could be extremely low around crop plants in the field, but not in the areas between them. </li></ul><ul><li>Both urea and APM fertilizers reduce the survival of earthworms by damaging the body wall tissues. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Thank You

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