Basudev Bacha, Sunanda Sahoo
Abstract: The aim of our study was to evaluate the density and species richness of earthworm and physicochemical properties of soil in different land use systems. The study was carried out in Sambalpur district of western Odisha. Soil sampling was carried out in between the months of June 2019 to December 2019 from natural forest site, agriculture systems, pasture land and 15 year fallow lands. Earthworm collection and soil characteristics were done as per TSBF Protocol (Anderson and Ingram, 1994). A total 7 species have been found from the selected land use study sites including seven family namely Megascolecidae, Acanthodrilidae, Canthodrilidae, Almidae, Moniligastridae with two new species identified after Julka and Senapati (1989) from Sambalpur districts namely Drawida japonica and Glyphidrilus tuberosus. Highest species richness of earthworm was recorded agricultural land followed by fallow land and least numbers earthworms were encountered in the forest present at Chandili dangri hill slope. Highest density (Ind m-2) and Species richness, moisture content, pH, OC, Potassium, Phosphorus content was observed in crop land soil followed by fallow land. All the studied parameters were least in sloppy forest sandy soil. High decomposition and mineralization of SOC in surface soil during previous year cropping and accumulation of soil nutrients with the age of fallow period might have made the soil favourable for earthworm species. Therefore, encouraging farmers to return agricultural residues to decompose in their fields and keeping the abandoned crop land fallow could improve soil quality parameters for higher earthworm density and sustainable production.
Keywords: forest site, agriculture systems, pasture land, fallow land, species richness