An overview of some tillage impacts on earthworm population abundance and diversity -- implications for functioning in soils

  • 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 following.

Action Category

Reduce tillage

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Reduce tillage

    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.

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