Assessment of Earthworm Community Structure in Industrial and Non-industrial Soils

Asian Journal of Biological and Life Sciences,2021,10,1,183-190.
Published:May 2021
Type:Research Article
Author(s) affiliations:

Falwinder Verma1,2, Sharanpreet Singh3, Jaswinder Singh4,*, Salwinder Singh Dhaliwal5, Chander Parkash1,6

1Department of Applied Sciences, I.K.G. Punjab Technical University, Kapurthala, Punjab, INDIA.

2Department of Zoology, Government College for Girls, Ludhiana, Punjab, INDIA.

3Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjab, INDIA.

4Department of Zoology, Khalsa College, Amritsar, Punjab, INDIA.

5Department of Soil Science, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab, INDIA.

6Department of Chemical Sciences, I.K.G. Punjab Technical University, Kapurthala, Punjab, INDIA.


The trend of industrialization in all over the world significantly altered the assemblages of species and their surrounding environments in the soil. In the present study, the earthworm community structures were assessed in the industrial and non-industrial soils. Total seven earthworm species i.e. Amynthas morrisi (Beddard), Lampito mauritii (Kinberg), Metaphire posthuma (Vaillant) and Polypheretima elongata (Perrier) belonging to family Megascolecidae while Eutyphoeus incommodus (Beddard), Eutyphoeus waltoni (Michaelsen) and Octochaetona beatrix (Beddard) belonging to family Octochaetidae were reported. It was also reported that the earthworm species, their abundance and biomass was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in non-industrial soils as compared to industrial soils. The Metaphire posthuma was reported as the most abundant earthworm species in both industrial and non-industrial soils. The diversity indices such as the Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Simpson index of diversity and species richness index were higher in non-industrial soils while the Simpson index and species evenness index were high in industrial soils. The soil properties such as pH, EC, TDS and heavy metals content were much higher in the industrial soils and significant negative correlation of above said soil properties with earthworm ecological characteristics. This study can be considered as indication that industrialization has much more negative effects on the earthworms and their community structures.