Eearthworm; Diversity; Ecosystem services; Threat. However, the importance of below-ground biodiversity, and earthworm biodiversity in particular, has not received much attention. Earthworms represent the most important group of soil macrofauna.
Reviews in Agricultural Science, 3: However, the importance of below-ground biodiversity, and earthworm biodiversity in particular, has not received much attention. Earthworms represent the most important group of soil macrofauna. They play a crucial role in various biological processes in soil, and affect ecosystem services such as soil health and productivity, water regulation, restoration of degraded lands, and the balance of greenhouse gases.
Anthropogenic activities can lead to a rapid reduction or loss of earthworm diversity, and threaten ecosystem services as well as human well-being. Therefore, conservation of earthworm diversity should receive urgent attention. Farmers need to be made aware of the importance of earthworm diversity conservation and its benefits.
Local ecological knowledge is required for communication between scientists and farmers; moreover, efficient strategies for earthworm diversity conservation need to be developed. This paper intends to communicate the importance of earthworm diversity conservation.
Development of conservation management to prevent earthworm diversity decline should be done wisely and involve all stakeholders. Earthworm, Diversity, Ecosystem services, Threat Introduction Biodiversity loss has become one of the leading global issues, with a rapid loss of biodiversity reported worldwide.
The rate of species loss is predicted to increase considerably over the next 50 years. Biodiversity is classified into above-ground biodiversity and below-ground biodiversity soil biodiversity that mutually interact Wardle, ; Wardle et al.
Functioning of terrestrial ecosystems greatly depends on below-ground biodiversity. Soil biodiversity is vital to humans as it supports a wide range of ecosystem processes, functions, and services Costanza et al.
However, the importance of below-ground biodiversity has often been ignored or undervalued Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Soil biodiversity in many areas worldwide has already been declining Jeffery and Gardi, Furthermore, biodiversity loss results in the decline of ecosystem resilience.
When elements of biodiversity are lost or threatened, ecosystem services degrade Black et al. Ecosystems with heterogeneous biodiversity tend to be more stable, whereas those with homogeneous biodiversity are often more vulnerable to environmental stress Hunter Jr.
Healthy soil biodiversity provides a number of natural services that are useful to human being.
Ecosystem services are defined as contributions of ecosystem structure and functions, in combination with other inputs, to human well-being. Essentially, these are services provided by biodiversity that link the functioning of ecosystems to their benefit extended to humans.
Ecosystem processes are the changes or reactions occurring in an ecosystem, such as, for instance, biophysical processes decomposition, production, nutrient cycling, energy, and nutrient fluxes Crossman et al. Ecosystem functions occupy an intermediate position between ecosystems processes and services.
Ecosystem function can be defined as the capacity of ecosystem to provide goods and services that satisfy human needs, both directly and indirectly de Groot et al. Ecosystems services were estimated to account to up to U. The rapid growth of human population leads to increased pressure on soil.
Anthropogenic activities accelerate the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in soil. Earthworms represent an important soil faunal group that is distributed worldwide. However, in intensively cultivated annual crops earthworms have lower contribution to total soil biomass Fragoso et al.
Earthworms are the most valuable animals that influence the functioning of soil ecosystems Hendrix and Bohlen ; Gonzales et al.
Earthworms increase soil bulk density, pore size, water infiltration rate, soil water content, and water holding capacity.
They also increase litter decomposition, soil organic matter dynamics, nutrient cycles, promote plant growth and reduce some soil-borne diseases Brusaard, ; Chandran et al. Earthworms produce organo-mineral biogenic structures Lavelle,and influence gaseous composition of the atmosphere Kibblewhite et al.
Earthworms are also involved in restoring ecosystem services via direct and indirect mechanisms Jouquet et al. Earthworms represent an essential component of soil nutrient cycling Lavelle and Spain, They maintain good soil health through the comminution of organic debris, enhance microbial activity, and contribute to the increase of nutrient availability in soil and mineral absorption by plants.
Burrowing and grazing activity of earthworms modifies the soil structure and its capacity to absorb water. These advantages increase crop productivity.
Earthworms represent a unique indicator of soil health Science for Environment Policy, ; Elmer,and a good bio-indicator of degraded land due to anthropogenic activities Tondoh et al.Suthar S () Earthworm biodiversity in western arid and semiarid lands of India.
Environmentalist, Tian G () Biological effects of plant residues with contrasting chemical compositions on plant and soil under humid tropical conditions. earthworm diversity and ecosystem services under threat Biodiversity affects human well-being and represents an essential determinant of ecosystem stability.
However, the importance of below-ground biodiversity, and earthworm biodiversity in particular, has not received much attention. Abstract.
Efforts have been made in this study to estimate the current status of earthworm biodiversity in western arid and semiarid lands of India. Earthworm diversity and habitat preferences in arid of regions Rajasthan.
The entire observations clearly indicate the richness of earthworm biodiversity in the arid region of Rajasthan. The earthworm species diversity, abundances and importance of soil organic pool in earthworm colonization were also assessed in some selected sites of northwestern arid and semiarid land of India.
2. The earthworm species diversity, abundances and importance of soil organic pool in earthworm colonization were also assessed in some selected sites of northwestern arid and semiarid land of India. 2.