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Change of Cast Amount and Pollutant Contents before and after the Eating of the Organic Waste and Upland Soil with Earthworms, Eisenia andrei and Amynthas agrestis
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 Title & Authors
Change of Cast Amount and Pollutant Contents before and after the Eating of the Organic Waste and Upland Soil with Earthworms, Eisenia andrei and Amynthas agrestis
Na, Young-Eun;
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BACKGROUND: Earthworms are essential detritus feeders that play a vital role in the process of decomposition of organic matter and soil metabolism. The complex process of partial breakdown of organic matter and mixing with mucous and gut microbial flora in the form of earthworm cast results in the reduction of the toxicity. This study focused on the change of cast amount and pollutant contents before and after the eating of the organic waste and upland soil with the two species of earthworm. METHODS AND RESULTS: The two species of earthworms were compared to the cast production. In the upland soil material, the daily amount of worm's cast was 1.42 g in E. andrei and 0.40 g in A. agrestis. In the organic waste material, the cast of E. andrei was 0.78~0.83 g and the cast of A. agrestis. have not been collected because all earthworms died after the treatment. The heavy metals treated in the upland soil were evaluated the impact of the worm excretion. With the E. andrei, the cast production was decreased 0.1~0.8 times in zinc, 0.2~0.5 times in copper, and 0.1~0.7 times in cadmium compared to the control treatment according to the levels of concentration. With A. agrestis, the cast amount was decreased 0.3~1.1 times in zinc, 0.2~0.3 times in copper, and 0.1~2.1 times in cadmium, respectively. The changes of pollutant contents before and after the eating of the organic wastes with E. andrei were studied. In the treatment of the Alcohol Fermentation Processing Sludge and the Fruit Juice Processing Sludge, heavy metal content of the cast was increased 0.7~53.3% compared to the sludge materials. PAHs contents were decreased 50.1% in the cast of the Alcohol Fermentation Processing Sludge and 36.6% in the cast of the Fruit Juice Processing Sludge, respectively. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, although the A. agrestis was bigger than E. andrei in size and weight, the cast amount of A. agrestis was small. The two species of earthworm was less excretion with high concentration of heavy metals. While the heavy metals such as zinc, copper, and cadmium were considerably accumulated in the cast, the total compounds, PAHs were fairly decomposed. There results would provide us for restoring contaminated soil and cleaning organic wastes.
Earthworm;Heavy metals;Organic waste;PAHs;Soil;
 Cited by
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