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Stability of Aggregates Made by Earthworms in Soils with Organic Additives

Department of Soil Science and Agrophysics, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Al. Mickiewicza 21, 30-120 Krakow, Poland
Institute of Agrophysics PAS, Doświadczalna 4, 20-290 Lublin, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Diego Pizzeghello
Agronomy 2021, 11(3), 421;
Received: 2 February 2021 / Revised: 17 February 2021 / Accepted: 20 February 2021 / Published: 25 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
Earthworm activity is a key factor in creating soil aggregates, but introduced organic matter and abiotic factors are also equally important. The purpose of this study was to investigate the stability of aggregates made by earthworms in soils with organic additives. Additionally, the two aggregate stability measurement methods were compared: (i) the wet-sieve method and (ii) the laser diffraction method. A six-month container experiment containing sixteen treatments and controls were made. Each treatment included one of four types of soil texture: sand, loam, silty loam and clay, and one of four additives: straw, peat, compost and compost with added microorganisms. To each treatment, six earthworms were added, two each of species commonly occurring in Polish soils: Dendrodrilus rubidus, Aporrectodea caliginosa and A. rosea. This study confirmed that earthworm activity was the factor favoring aggregate formation. In terms of the investigated organic additives, the efficiency of aggregate creation was as follows: compost with active bacteria, compost, peat and straw. Nevertheless, earthworms alone, without the addition of an organic additive, did not form permanent aggregates. The wet sieving and laser diffractometry methods of measuring aggregate stability were comparable for silty, clayey and loamy soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil texture; microbial activity; compost; straw; peat soil texture; microbial activity; compost; straw; peat
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MDPI and ACS Style

Józefowska, A.; Woźnica, K.; Sokołowska, J.; Sochan, A.; Zaleski, T.; Ryżak, M.; Bieganowski, A. Stability of Aggregates Made by Earthworms in Soils with Organic Additives. Agronomy 2021, 11, 421.

AMA Style

Józefowska A, Woźnica K, Sokołowska J, Sochan A, Zaleski T, Ryżak M, Bieganowski A. Stability of Aggregates Made by Earthworms in Soils with Organic Additives. Agronomy. 2021; 11(3):421.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Józefowska, Agnieszka, Karolina Woźnica, Justyna Sokołowska, Agata Sochan, Tomasz Zaleski, Magdalena Ryżak, and Andrzej Bieganowski. 2021. "Stability of Aggregates Made by Earthworms in Soils with Organic Additives" Agronomy 11, no. 3: 421.

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