Earthworm Engineering and Applications


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Series: Life Sciences Research and Development
BISAC: SCI070020; SCI011000

The importance of earthworms in the ecosystem was documented very early by Aristotle, the Greek philosopher who called them “intestines of the earth” and then in 1881 Charles Darwin highlighted their role in the breakdown of dead plants as well as animal matter. In 1994, Jones designated earthworms as ecosystem engineers, due to their important role in the development and maintenance of the physico-chemical properties of soil by converting biodegradable materials and organic wastes into nutrient-rich vermicast.

Earthworms enhance the incorporation of plant residue into soil aggregates, create soil porosity and stable aggregate through their burrowing, humus formation, and casting activities. The castings egested by earthworms have generally been assumed to be more stable than the parent soil aggregates and contain certain hormones, enzymes, microorganisms, inorganic and organic materials which it acquires during the passage of soil through the earthworm gut. A large number of plant hormones such as gibberellins, auxins and cytokinins are also present in vermicompost which promotes the growth of plants. Vermiwash is a clear, transparent, pale-yellow liquid obtained from the passage of water during vermiculture. Vermiwash provides nutrients to plants in easily available forms. In addition to vermicompost and vermiwash, the earthworm biomass can further be processed into earthworm meals having an important dietary and pharmaceutical application. The proteins from earthworms are rich in essential amino acids and the enzymes have been known to have anti-coagulating and fibrinolytic properties. Thus, worldwide scientists are working on earthworm biodiversity assessment and evaluation of their ecosystem services and value addition in other environmental management sectors.

Efforts have been made in this edited volume to compile the recent application of earthworms in different fields of environmental management and resource conservations. The book contains three sub-sections: earthworms’ role in agroecosystem and soil fertility management; vermifiltration; and industrial application of earthworm biomass. A total of 15 chapters are included in this edited volume. The first section compiles a total of nine chapters which mainly describe the role of earthworms in soil fertility maintenance, monitoring soil health and quality, pest management, and the response of agro-management practices on earthworm behaviour in soils. The second section is composed of the application of earthworm-based biofilter systems for wastewater treatment and use of vermi-wash as liquid fertilizer for plant growth promotions and suppression of soil-plant diseases and promoting stress tolerance in plants. The last section mainly describes the pharmaceutical importance of earthworm in disease management and producing some antimicrobial substances from it.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Earthworm and Soil Fertility
(Nazia Siddiqui, Pankaj Kumar Singh and Keshav Singh – Vermibiotechnology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, D.D.U. Gorakhpur University, U.P. India)

Chapter 2. Vermicompost: Enriching the Soil Fertility by Inviting the Beneficial Microbial Community
(Immanuel J. Suresh and Iswareya V. Lakshimi – PG Department of Microbiology, Service Learning Program – Solid Waste Management On Campus, The American College, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India)

Chapter 3. Efficacy of Vermicompost as a Plant Growth Promoter
(Rakesh Joshi, Bhawana Sohal, Rahil Dutta, Yadvinder Singh, and Rakesh Kumar – Department of Botany and Environmental Science, Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab, India, et al.)

Chapter 4. Ecological Role of Earthworms as Bioindicators of Soil Health
(Paulo Roger Lopes Alves, Felipe Ogliari Bandeira, Thuanne Braúlio Hennig – Federal University of FronteiraSul, Chapecó, SC, Brazil, et al.)

Chapter 5. Role of Earthworms in Agro-Industrial Waste Management and Sustainable Agriculture
Jahangeer Quadar, Anu Bala Cowdhary, Mohd Altaf Khan, Sharanpreet Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Jaswinder Singh – Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India, et al.)

Chapter 6. Vermicomposting: An Effective Alternative in Integrated Pest Management
(Raman Tikoria, Nandni Sharma, Sandeep Kour, Deepak Kumar, Puja Ohri – Nematology Lab, Department of Zoology, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India)

Chapter 7. Role of Earthworms in Plant Growth and Health Improvement for Sustainable Agriculture
(Ranjith Sellappan, Ananda kumar Selavaraj, Senthamilselvi Dhandapani, Akila Palanisamy and Kalaiselvi Thangavel – Department of Agricultural Microbiology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India)

Chapter 8. Earthworm (Eutyphoeus orientalis) Behavioral Response to Biopesticide (Quercetin/Azadirachtin) and Chemical Pesticide (Chlorpyriphos)
(Tuneera Bhadauria, Pradeep Kumar, Anil Kumar, Ashish Singh, Jagadish Mishra – Department of Zoology, Feroze Gandhi P.G. Degree College, RaeBareli, Uttar Pradesh, India, et al.)

Chapter 9. Earthworms: A Contrivance to Ameliorate Water Infiltration Rates and Water Holding Capacity in Agroecosystem
(Nalini Tiwaria, Azhar Rashid Lonea, Samrendra Singh Thakurb, Shweta Yadav – Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, Faculty of Science, Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria, et al.)

Chapter 10. Effects of Vermicompost and Vermiwash on the Growth of Crops
(Yunita Arjune and Abdullah Adil Ansari – Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana, South America)

Chapter 11. Use of Vermicompost and Vermicompost Leachate in Enhancing Stress Tolerance and Agriculture Production
(Amandeep Kaur, Ankeet Bhagat and Arvinder Kaur – Department of Zoology, DAV, University, Jalandhar, India, et al.)

Chapter 12. The Combination of Liquid Biofertilizer Vermiwash with Biopesticides – Boon for Control of Pest Infestation and Crop Productivity
(Nishat Fatima and Keshav Singh – Vermibiotechnology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, D. D. U. Gorakhpur University, U. P. India)

Chapter 13. Earthworms Assisted Remediation of Wastewater through Vermifiltration
(Adarsh Pal Vig, Sartaj Ahmad Bhat, Fusheng Li – Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India, et al.)

Chapter 14. Earthworm as a Potential Antimicrobial Source
(Soubam Indrakumar Singh, Namita Khanna, Jayalaxmi Wangkheimayum, Amitabha Bhattacharjee – Department of Botanical and Environmental Science, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, India, et al.)

Chapter 15. Significance and Importance of Earthworm as Potential Biopharmaceutical Source
(Ankush Sharma, Younis Ahmad Hajam and Rajesh Kumar – Department of Zoology, Sri Sai University, Kangra (H.P.), India, et al.)


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