Ajay Kumar Harit
Department of Zoology, Kalinga University, Naya Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India-492101
Earthworms are one among the “Ecosystem Engineers” (the other two are termites and ants) and performed a significant role in nutrients and soil dynamics in the soil ecosystem. The terrestrial ecosystem is also considered an important organism, which plays a vital role in the decomposition of organic matter, particularly in the forest ecosystem. In a natural forest ecosystem, a huge quantity of organic residues is available in the form of plant litter like leaves litter, barks, twigs, logs, flowers, and fruits, which are the foremost sources of soil organic matter (SOM) to a forest. This SOM. The SOM also includes roots, microbes, and soil animals. Nevertheless, no threshold level has yet been defined for forest soils. For agricultural soil, the threshold value for organic matter is 2 percent by weight, beyond which soil quality cannot be sustainable. Forest mineral soils typically include 1–5% weighted organic matter.
Due to the nature and function of earthworms and their crucial role in soil and nutrient mineralization, especially in the agriculture sector, it recognized the True Friends of Farmers, globally. which enhances the soil quality as well as soil health by improving the moisture content of the soil, porosity, water holding capacity, and bioturbation. Worm castings also increase the organic matter in the soil.
Earthworms also contribute to one of the bioprocessing technologies, known as Vermicomposting. Through this technic, earthworms convert waste organic matter into highly nutritive manures, which play a significant role to keep soil healthy and also increasing the biodiversity of soil micro and macro-organisms. Vermicomposting procedures black, nutrient-rich soil from kitchen garbage and other green waste. It keeps the soil in good health because of the microorganisms that are there. Vermicomposting is an environmentally friendly bioprocessing technique for turning organic waste into compost and generating beneficial nutrients. Indeed, it is a proven method to keep mother earth healthy in a sustainable manner.
Kalinga Plus is an initiative by Kalinga University, Raipur. The main objective of this to disseminate knowledge and guide students & working professionals.
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