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Journal of the Selva Andina Research Society

Print version ISSN 2072-9294On-line version ISSN 2072-9308


MAMANI-MAMANI, Gladys; MAMANI-PATI, Francisco; SAINZ-MENDOZA, Humberto  and  VILLCA-HUANACO, René. Red worm behavior (Eisenia spp.) in vermicomposting systems of organic residues. J. Selva Andina Res. Soc. [online]. 2012, vol.3, n.1, pp.44-54. ISSN 2072-9294.

This work evaluates the behavior of the vermicomposting red worm (Eisenia spp.) in two environments (greenhouse and unsheltered) and with two solid organic substrates (cow manure=CM and kitchen waste=KW) in the zone of Carmen Pampa, Nor Yungas Province, Department of La Paz - Bolivia, using a factorial design with two factors and three repetitions (ANOVA analysis). The largest number of cocoons was found in the greenhouse treatment, with 64 in CM and 41 in KW. Cocoon viability was also greatest in the greenhouse treatment, at 100% for CM and 96% for KW. Similarly, the greatest number of worms hatched from cocoons was in the greenhouse treatment, with 2 immature worms for CM and 3.5 for KW, and the greatest number of immature worms was registered in the greenhouse treatment with 123 individuals in CM and 16 in KW. The lowest mortality rate due to environment was in the greenhouse treatment, with 3.90% mortality with CM and 88.64% with KW. The greatest number of mature worms (with clitella) was in the unsheltered treatment, with 15 in CM and 21 in KW. The greatest biomass of immature worms was found in the greenhouse treatment, with 1.41 g of worms for CM and 0.185 g for KW; however, the greatest biomass of mature worms was in the KW treatment, with 7.98 g for the greenhouse treatment and 6.93 g for the unsheltered treatment. The phytotoxicity from CM vermicompost in the two environments was lowest, exhibiting a 66.6% rate of germination, and the opposite was true for KW, which was the most toxic in both environments. Macronutrient content in vermicompost obtained was: nitrogen at 2.45% and 2.31%, phosphorus at 500 mg kg-1 and 220 mg kg-1 and potassium at 27.43 and 2.76 cmol(+) kg-1 of dry substrate in KW and CM respectively.

Keywords : Vermicompost; Eisenia; red worms; manure; substrate; solid residues; solid waste; phytotoxicity.

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