Effect of earthworms on the disappearance rate of cattle droppings

  • P. Holter


It is well known that several earthworm species aggregate under dung pats (Svendsen, 1957; Boyd, 1958; Martin and Charles, 1979). In addition, pot experiments (Guild, 1955; Barley, 1959) have shown that dung is readily eaten, and thereby removed from the surface by earthworms. When sufficiently abundant, worms have therefore been supposed to play an important role in the decay and disappearance of dung pats (e.g. Barley, 1961). There is, however, a lack of studies assessing the actual impact of worms in the field combining (1) quantification ofearthworm populations under and in dung pats, and (2) measurements ofthe disappearance rate of the pats.


Dung Beetle Disappearance Rate Cattle Dung Earthworm Population Total Fresh Weight 
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© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1983

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  • P. Holter

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