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Szlavecz K.,Johns Hopkins University | McCormick M.,Smithsonian Environmental Research Center | Xia L.,Johns Hopkins University | Saunders J.,Smithsonian Environmental Research Center | And 5 more authors.
Biological Invasions | Year: 2011

In many mid-Atlantic forests where both native and non-native earthworms exist, it is the non-native species that are the dominant component of the soil macrofauna. Few earthworm ecology studies, however, focus attention on these forest systems in order to determine the relative ecological roles and potential interactions of the native and non-native earthworms. In a series of field samplings and experimental manipulations we collected data on the effects of earthworms on below-and aboveground ecosystem processes. Earthworm abundance and the ecological processes measured were dynamic in space and time across the range of study sites. Leaf litter decay rates doubled at sites that had abundant non-native earthworms. Earthworms also altered the abundance of soil fungi, the activity of extracellular enzymes, soil respiration, and the growth of tree seedlings but the effects varied among sites depending on differences in land-use history and forest age. Red oak seedling growth was less at sites that had abundant earthworms but tulip poplar and red maple seedlings grew equally well with and without abundant earthworms. These preliminary results suggest that non-native earthworms have significant ecosystem effects, even in forests where native earthworms still occur. Land use history, however, plays an important role in determining what those effects will be, and these effects are likely to be dynamic, depending on the abundance of non-native earthworms. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Ayuke F.O.,Wageningen University | Ayuke F.O.,Tropical Soil Biology And Fertility Institute of CIAT | Pulleman M.M.,Wageningen University | Vanlauwe B.,Tropical Soil Biology And Fertility Institute of CIAT | And 4 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2011

Earthworm and termite diversity were studied in 12 long-term agricultural field trials across the sub-humid to semi-arid tropical zones of Eastern and Western Africa. In each trial, treatments with high and low soil organic C were chosen to represent contrasts in long-term soil management effects, including tillage intensity, organic matter and nutrient management and crop rotations. For each trial, a fallow representing a relatively undisturbed reference was also sampled. Earthworm taxonomic richness decreased in the direction fallow > high-C soil > low-C soil and earthworm abundance was higher in fallow than under continuous crop production. Termite abundance was not significantly different between fallow and high and low-C treatments and termite taxonomic richness was higher in fallow soil than in the two cropping systems. We concluded that fewer species of earthworms and termites were favored under agricultural management that led to lower soil C. Results indicated that the soil disturbance induced by continuous crop production was more detrimental to earthworms than to termites, when compared to the fallow. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Norgrove L.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture | Csuzdi C.,Systematic Zoology Research group of HAS | Hauser S.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture
Applied Soil Ecology | Year: 2011

Earthworms can have positive effects upon crop growth in the tropics. If soils are to be managed sustainably, then more attention should be paid to the effects of cultivation and cropping practices upon earthworms. When forest vegetation is cleared, slashed, burned and land is tilled and cultivated, earthworm abundance, diversity and activity are reduced. Conversely, retaining trees in agroecosystems may maintain earthworm populations during the cropping phase.Here, we assessed the impact on earthworm species diversity and densities of crop cultivation in the understorey of timber plantations thinned to two tree densities and compared these with uncropped, undisturbed timber plantation controls. The plots were reassessed after two and a half years of fallow to see whether populations had recovered. The experiment was in central Cameroon.Seventeen earthworm species were recorded from Eudrilidae subfamilies Eudrilinae and Pareudrilinae, Ocnerodrilidae and Acanthodrilidae, most of which were endemics. This included two new species from two new genera from the sub-family Pareudrilinae, one new species from one new genus of Ocnerodrilidae, two new species of Dichogaster and one new species of Legonodrilus. Ten species were epigeic, six were endogeic and one was anecic.Generally, earthworm densities were lower in cropped plots than in the undisturbed plantation control. The most abundant species was a Legonodrilus sp. nov. with average densities of 49individualsm-2 in the crop phase and 80ind.m-2 in the fallow phase. By the fallow phase, densities in the low tree density (120ind.m-2) were higher than in the high density (40ind.m-2). The densities of the epigeic Acanthodrilidae were significantly reduced to 7ind.m-2 in the cropped plots compared with 42ind.m-2 in the control plots. The effects of cropping were thus species-specific and more work is required to identify which of these endemics are the ecosystem engineers in the system. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Sherlock E.,Natural History Museum in London | Lee S.,Society for Environmental Exploration | Mcphee S.,Society for Environmental Exploration | Steer M.,Society for Environmental Exploration | And 2 more authors.
Zootaxa | Year: 2011

In August 2009 the Natural History Museum London, Hungarian Natural History Museum and Systematic Zoology Research group, Entomological Museum in Leon and The Society for Environmental Exploration, mounted the first earthworm collection expedition to Nicaragua. No native earthworm species had previously been recorded for this country. This paper lists 18 new species records for the Country with the description of two new taxa to science: Eutrigaster (Graffia) azul sp. n. and Eutrigaster (Graffia) nicaraoi sp. n. New data on the species Eutrigaster (Eutrigaster) oraedivitis Cognetti, 1904 is also presented here. Copyright © 2011 Magnolia Press.


Pop V.V.,Romanian National Institute for Research and Development for Biological Sciences | Pop A.A.,St. Stephansweg 1. | Csuzdi C.,Systematic Zoology Research Group of HAS
Zoology in the Middle East | Year: 2012

This paper updates POP's (1938-1964) checklists of Romanian Lumbricidae with the taxa newly described, relocated or modified since then. It comprises a comparative outlook which briefly reflects also the history of the lumbricid systematics during the last seven decades. The checklist is based on a thoroughly re-examined material kept in the Zoological Museum of the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, and in the Biological Research Institute in Cluj-Napoca. A comparative table shows the taxa accepted by POP, an up-dated list of the recently described species, and some dubious specie either relocated or eliminated. The earthworm fauna of Romania is quite well known; in the last 45 years, the list was augmented to 71 taxa. As compared with the fauna of the surrounding countries, the lumbricid earthworm fauna of Romania is very rich in number of species and especially in number of endemic elements. The 71 earthworm species found in Romania can be assigned to 12 zoogeographic categories dominated by the Dacian (29%) and Carpathian (14%) endemics. © Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg.


Csuzdi C.,Systematic Zoology Research Group of HAS | Pavlicek T.,Haifa University
Zootaxa | Year: 2011

The genus Martiodrilus is native to South America, with two species, Martiodrilus tenkatei (Horst, 1887) and Martiodrilus duodenarius (Michaelsen, 1918), previously recorded from French Guiana. In this paper we verified the presence of both species in French Guiana and provided a new record, Martiodrilus (Botaria) helleri (Michaelsen, 1918). Furthermore, two new species were described: Martiodrilus (Botaria) dewynteri sp. nov. and Martiodrilus (Maipure) gaucherie sp. nov. The subgeneric division of the genus Martiodrilus is briefly discussed. Copyright © 2011 · Magnolia Press.

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