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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: A review of the effects of tillage practice on earthworm populations: no-tillage systems increase earthworm populations

Published source details

Chan K.Y. (2001) An overview of some tillage impacts on earthworm population abundance and diversity -- implications for functioning in soils. Soil and Tillage Research, 57, 179-191


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Reduce tillage Farmland Conservation

A 2001 review of published literature (Chan 2001) found seven studies showing higher earthworm (Lumbricidae) populations under conservation tillage, with two to nine times more earthworms than under conventional tillage. Three of these studies were European studies considered above (Barnes & Ellis 1979, Gerard & Hay 1979, Edwards & Lofty 1982), one was in Australia, two in the USA and one in the tropics. Two studies in the UK and one in Switzerland (Gerard & Hay 1979, Edwards & Lofty 1982, Wyss & Glasstetter 1992), found more large-bodied deep-burrowing earthworms under no-tillage, and similar numbers or fewer smaller-bodied, not deep burrowing worms under no-tillage compared with conventional ploughing.