Earthworm abundance and species composition in abandoned tropical crop lands: comparisons of tree plantations and secondary forests

TitleEarthworm abundance and species composition in abandoned tropical crop lands: comparisons of tree plantations and secondary forests
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsGonzález, G, Zou, XM, Borges, S
JournalPedobiologia
Volume40
Pagination385-391
Accession NumberLUQ.214
KeywordsSwietenia macrophylla
Abstract

We compared patterns of earthworm abundance and species composition in tree plantations and secondary forests of Puerto Rico. Tree plantations included pine (Pinus caribaea Morelet) and mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King) established in the 1930s; 1960s; and 1970s; secondary forests were naturally regenerated in areas adjacent to these plantations. We found that (1) earthworm density and fresh weight in the secondary forests were twice as those in neither of the three plantations, and did not differ between plantations, and (2) the exotic earthworm species, Pontoscolex corethrurus Müller, dominated both plantations and the secondary forests, but native worm species, Pontoscilix spiralis Borges & Moreno, Estherella montana Gates and E. gatesi Borges & Moreno, occurred only in he secondary forests. Our results suggest that naturally regenerated secondary forests are preferable to pine and mahogany plantations for maintaining a high level of earthworm density, fresh weight, and native species.

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