, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 6406-6417
Date: 16 Apr 2013

Management of fresh water weeds (macrophytes) by vermicomposting using Eisenia fetida

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Abstract

In the present study, potential of Eisenia fetida to recycle the different types of fresh water weeds (macrophytes) used as substrate in different reactors (Azolla pinnata reactor, Trapa natans reactor, Ceratophyllum demersum reactor, free-floating macrophytes mixture reactor, and submerged macrophytes mixture reactor) during 2 months experiment is investigated. E. fetida showed significant variation in number and weight among the reactors and during the different fortnights (P <0.05) with maximum in A. pinnata reactor (number 343.3 ± 10.23 %; weight 98.62 ± 4.23 % ) and minimum in submerged macrophytes mixture reactor (number 105 ± 5.77 %; weight 41.07 ± 3.97 % ). ANOVA showed significant variation in cocoon production (F4 = 15.67, P <0.05) and mean body weight (F4 = 13.49, P <0.05) among different reactors whereas growth rate (F3 = 23.62, P <0.05) and relative growth rate (F3 = 4.91, P <0.05) exhibited significant variation during different fortnights. Reactors showed significant variation (P <0.05) in pH, Electrical conductivity (EC), Organic carbon (OC), Organic nitrogen (ON), and C/N ratio during different fortnights with increase in pH, EC, N, and K whereas decrease in OC and C/N ratio. Hierarchical cluster analysis grouped five substrates (weeds) into three clusters—poor vermicompost substrates, moderate vermicompost substrate, and excellent vermicompost substrate. Two principal components (PCs) have been identified by factor analysis with a cumulative variance of 90.43 %. PC1 accounts for 47.17 % of the total variance represents “reproduction factor” and PC2 explaining 43.26 % variance representing “growth factor.” Thus, the nature of macrophyte affects the growth and reproduction pattern of E. fetida among the different reactors, further the addition of A. pinnata in other macrophytes reactors can improve their recycling by E. fetida.

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues