Biology of Earthworms

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Ayten Karaca
Springer Science & Business Media, Nov 9, 2010 - Science - 316 pages
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Earthworms, which belong to the order Oligochaeta, comprise roughly 3,000 species grouped into five families. Earthworms have been called ‘ecosystem engineers’; much like human engineers, they change the structure of their environments. Earthworms are very versatile and are found in nearly all terrestrial ecosystems. They play an important role in forest and agricultural ecosystems. This Soil Biology volume describes the various facets of earthworms, such as their role in soil improvement, soil structure, and the biocontrol of soil-borne plant fungal diseases. Reviews discuss earthworms’ innate immune system, molecular markers to address various issues of earthworm ecology, earthworm population dynamics, and the influences of organic farming systems and tillage. Further topics include the characteristics of vermicompost, relationships between soil earthworms and enzymes, the role of spermathecae, copulatory behavior, and adjustment of the donated sperm volume.
 

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Contents

Antimicrobial Vermipeptides From Methods to Characteristics
1
Optimizing Earthworm Sampling in Ecosystems
19
Earthworms and Soil Structure
39
Comparative Anatomy of the Calciferous Gland of Lumbricid Earthworms
51
Reproduction of Earthworms Sexual Selection and Parthenogenesis
69
The Earthworm Inoculation Unit Technique Development and Use in Soil Improvement Over Two Decades
87
Controlled Cultivation of Endogeic and Anecic Earthworms
107
The Meek Shall Inherit the Burrow Feedback in Earthworm Soil Modification
123
Assessing the Role of Earthworms in Biocontrol of SoilBorne Plant Fungal Diseases
173
The Use of Vermicompost Products to Control Plant Diseases and Pests
191
Vermicompost as a Biological Soil Amendment
215
Earthworm Innate Immune System
229
Earthworms A Potent Herbal Target for TCM CAM Research
247
Earthworms as Bioindicators of Soil Quality
261
Application of Molecular Genetics to Earthworm Ecology Current Research and Promising Future Directions
279
Population Dynamics of Earthworms in Organic Farming Systems
299

Earthworm Interactions with Soil Enzymes
141
The Impact of Cultivation Techniques on Earthworm Populations
159

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