Individual study: The effect of conservation farming on the abundance of earthworms on eroded soils
Kinderienė I. (2006) The effect of conservation farming on the abundance of earthworms on eroded soils. Zemdirbyste/Agriculture, Mokslo Darbai, 93, 96-105
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A replicated, controlled, randomized study of cultivation techniques at the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture (Kinderienė 2006) found that earthworm (Lumbricidae) abundance tended to be higher under reduced tillage than deep ploughing. In 2000, the number of earthworms was higher in plots with reduced tillage (42-97 m²) than ploughed plots (with and without straw; 38-80/m²), there was no difference in 2001. Compared to deep ploughing, earthworm population density increased through soil conservation technology using several measures (straw disced-in, catch crop, not ploughed) by 53/m² (141%) in wheat stubble and 40/m² (103%) in oat stubble, there was no effect in barley stubble. Earthworm numbers in ploughed soil with straw incorporated and a catch crop were significantly larger (by 28/m²) in one of the three years. Intensive soil tillage (straw, shallow discing, herbicide, deep ploughing) did not affect earthworm density. There were four replicates of eight treatments: conventional and conservation soil tillage in combination with chopped straw mulch (wheat or barley), catch crop (white mustard Sinapis alba) and herbicide (Roundup; 3 l/ha) application. Earthworms were counted in four replications (0.25 m², depth 25 cm) in three locations in each plot in April 2000-2002.