Comparative study of vermicomposting of garden waste and cow dung using Eisenia fetida

  • Yingkai Li
  • Xiaolei Yang
  • Wen Gao
  • Jiangping Qiu
  • Yinsheng LiEmail author
Research Article


Vermicomposting is the process of composting using worms and is applied in waste management to produce high-quality organic fertilizer. Garden waste (GW) is often mixed with other raw materials for vermicomposting. In the present study, the feasibility of vermicomposting using only GW was investigated in comparison with cow dung (CD). The total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and total potassium (TK) contents and the electrical conductivity increased, while total organic carbon (TOC) and the C/N ratio decreased in both substrates after vermicomposting. The nutrient content (TN, TP, and TK) of the GW vermicompost was promoted less than that in CD. Scanning electron microscopy images and specific surface area analysis showed that the vermicompost was strongly disaggregated and became more compacted and fragmented compared with the raw substrates. No mortality of earthworms was observed in GW; however, the earthworms had a higher mean body weight and reproduction rate in CD than that in GW. There were higher bacterial community richness and diversity in the vermicompost than that in the raw materials, and the dominant phylum species were Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Redundancy analysis demonstrated that TN, C/N ratio, and TOC play an important role in bacterial community dynamics. These data indicate that vermicomposting is a robust process that is suitable for the management of GW.


Garden waste Cow dung Vermicomposting Eisenia fetida Biomass and reproduction Bacterial community Waste and vermicompost characteristics 


Funding information

This research was supported by Key projects of Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission (2016 No. 6-3-2).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Agriculture and BiologyShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Agricultural Technology Extension Service CenterShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Shanghai Shengran Agricultural Technology Co., LtdShanghaiChina

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