Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Jennifer Dechainea; Honghua Ruanb; Yaniria Sanchez-de Leon; Xiaoming Zou
    Date: 2005
    Source: Pedobiologia 49 :601—607
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (251 B)

    Description

    Earthworms are recognized to play an important role in the decomposition of organic materials. To test the use of earthworms as an indicator of plant litter decomposition, we examined the abundance and biomass of earthworms in relation to plant litter decomposition in a tropical wet forest of Puerto Rico. We collected earthworms at 0–0.1m and 0.1–0.25m soil depths from upland and riparian sites that represent the natural variation in soils and decomposition rates within the forest. Earthworms were hand-sorted and weighed for both fresh and dry biomass. Earthworms were dominated by the exotic endogeic species Pontoscolex corethrurus Mu¨ller; they were more abundant, and had higher biomasses in the upland than in riparian sites of the forest. Plant leaf litter decomposed faster in the upland than riparian sites. We found that earthworm abundance in the upper 0.1m of the soil profile positively correlated with decomposition rate of plant leaf litter. Ground litter removal had no effect on the abundance or biomass of endogeic earthworms. Our data suggest that earthworms can be used to predict decomposition rates of plant litter in the tropical wet forest, and that the decomposition of aboveground plant litter has little influence on the abundance and biomass of endogeic earthworms.

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Dechainea, Jennifer; Ruanb, Honghua; Sanchez-de Leon, Yaniria; Zou, Xiaoming. 2005. Correlation between earthworms and plant litter decomposition in a tropical wet forest of Puerto Rico. Pedobiologia 49 :601—607

    Keywords

    Earthworm abundance, Plant litter decomposition, Puerto Rico, Tropical wet forest

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/30091