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International Journal of Zoology and Research (IJZR) ISSN 2278-8816 Vol. 3, Issue 4, Oct 2013, 43-46 © TJPRC Pvt. Ltd.

PROSPECTS OF EUDRILUS EUGENIAE IN SAW-DUST WASTE MANAGEMENT K. CHITRAPRIYA, S. ASOKAN & R. NAGARAJAN Department of Zoology, A.V.C. College (Autonomous), MannamPandal, Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India

ABSTRACT Vermitechnology is a fast emerging nontoxic-solid waste management system. Vermicomposting using Eudrilus eugeniae was carried out by Bed method wherein the worms were fed with cow-dung and saw-dust in different ratios viz 1:1,1:1.5,1:2 and1:3 from May to October 2012.The feed mixture composition influences the casting formation rate, growth and reproduction of earthworms. Hence, the set up was done in the context of finding out suitable feed mixture to boost the growth and reproduction rate. The observation was recorded at regular intervals for assessing growth rate with respect to worm- length, width, and weight. It was concluded that 1:1and 1:1.5 ratios of the cow- dung and saw dust mixture are better medium of growth and reproduction with respect to E. eugeniae. Further, it is understood that earthworm prefers the fodder and its reflection on the reproductive behaviour could be utilised commercially in vermicompost production.

KEYWORDS: Vermicomposts, Eudrilus eugeniae, Cow-Dung, Saw-Dust INTRODUCTION In the modern agriculture, the sustainable ecosystem management plays a crucial role and it mainly relies on cycling of the nutrients which in turn boosts the ecosystem. The researchers already reported that the soil macro invertebrates play a crucial role in the above process. The macro invertebrates improve the soil fertility and land productivity through development of the biogenic structures. The soil organic matters (SOM) have a direct impact on the ecosystem, and the earthworms play an important role in soil organic matters (SOM) maintenance by way of mineralization and humification processes (Sujatha Lilly and S. Kannaiyan 1999) . The continuous utilization of the chemical fertilizers dramatically increase the food production but decreases its nutritional quality and soil fertility. The beneficial soil organisms present in the soil are affected by the chemical fertilizers and they also block the natural fertility renewing, impair the power of natural resistance in crops making them more susceptible to pests and diseases. The over use of fertilizers contaminate the ground water and it also affects the human health. The vermicompost is the safest alternative material to replace chemical fertilizers as they are rich in nitrogen, phosphate, potasium and other powerful growth promoters. Nutritive value plays an important role. Earthworms have been reported in digesting decayed plant and other organic materials in the soil. The researchers already proved that, the vermicompost is a miracle growth promoter and plant protector against pests and diseases. The vermicompost has the property to retain nutrients for long time (Graff, 1981, Edward et al., 1985, Bano et al., 1987) The production and success of the vermicompost mainly rely on earthworm species

and their reproductive

cycles. The reproductive cycles of earthworm differ based on species, feeding habits, feeding materials, temperature and moisture content. So, it is important to study the reproductive cycle. In this work we used Eudrilus eugeniae which is commonly called ‘African Night crawler’; it has high rates of growth and reproduction and is capable of decomposing large quantities of organic waste rapidly (Pattnaik and Vikram Reddy.2010). Earthworm casts also contain a high level of


K. Chitrapriya, S. Asokan & R. Nagarajan

micro and macro nutrients and are rich in vitamins antibiotics and enzymes, like proteases, amylases, lipases and cellulases (Pattnaik and Vikram Reddy.2009). Cow- dung is an another organic waste produced in India and only 50% of it is used as manure and the rest for the preparation of dung cakes and burnt away as fuel (Pathma and Sakthivel. 2012). Saw-dust is a main organic waste in saw mills. It has a variety of practical uses including as mulch, an alternative to a fuel or for the manufacture of particle board. The biggest concern with saw-dust are substances such as lignin and fatty acids, which protect trees from predators, while they are alive can leach into water and poison wildlife (Akinyemi Olayinka, and Adewale Adebayo.1985). In this work, we studied the impact of mixed feeding material prepared by using cow- dung and saw-dust. The prepared feeding materials were continuously fed to E. eugeniae earthworm species. The length, width and body mass of earthworm, vermicast, young ones, and cocoon production were measured up to 6 months.

MATERIALS AND METHODS Species Collection Earthworms (Eudrilus eugeniae) were collected from Murugamangalm village, Kuttalam taluk in Nagapattinam district. Collection of Raw Materials The raw materials cow-dung and saw-dust were collected from Mannampandal area, and from two different saw mills located in Mayiladuthurai taluk, respectively. Precomposting and Vermicomposting The precompost was prepared by mixing cow-dung and saw-dust in the ratio of 1:1, 1:1.5, 1:2, and 1:3 separately in concrete floor and by sprinkling water for the first two days. The pH is measured by pH meter (accuracy level 0.1) after 20 days the pH of the precompost was adjusted to be neutral. 75 kg of each ratio was taken in a set of five experimental and control beds (150cmx45cm) and 125 numbers of adult worms of E. eugeniae were inoculated in the appropriate beds and they were covered with jute mesh to protect the worms from the predators. Moisture was maintained in the composts for 40 days by sprinkling water daily. After the treatment the vermicomposts and earthworms were collected. The moisture was measured by Oven dry method. Both the pre-compost and vermicomposts samples were weighed before putting in the oven at 105째 c for 24 hours and again weighed after drying and the difference in the weight gave the moisture content (Skoog, 1985). Length, width and weight of the collected worms were measured. The length is measured by using a metre scale (accuracy level of 1mm) in centimetre, width by the Vernier caliper (accuracy level of 0.01mm) in mm, and weight by the digital balance(0.001mg to 310g).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS Vermicomposts were prepared using different composition of cow-dung and saw-dust by inoculating earthworm E. eugeniae. The moisture content ratio of feeding material play an important role, so we estimated the moisture content of pre compost and the result was shown in table 1. It indicated that the moisture content was varied from 54.08% to 61.54%. Previous studies indicated (Nandita Mehta and Arun Karnwal. 2013) that the moisture content ranging from 50-70 % is highly suitable for earth worms. In general, the worm consumes the food higher than its body weight per day. The results indicated that the vermicomposts of saw-dust with cow-dung at different ratios (1:1, 1:1.5) favoured the growth of

Prospects of Eudrilus eugeniae in Saw-Dust Waste Management


earth worms leading to high level of growth rate and compost production as presented in table 2 and 3. It is important to note that the saw-dust released from saw-mills pollute environment and in such a situation this study gives an insight in recycling the saw wastes in an effective manner so as to protect the environment. It is suggested to utilise the sawdust in the preparation of vermicomposts using earthworm such as E. eugeniae without polluting the environment. Further, the vermicomposts prepared by using saw-dust are suitable natural fertilizers to improve the soil fertility.

CONCLUSIONS The main aim of this present study is to identify the suitability of the feed to produce vermin compost using E.eugeniae. Initially the earth worm is feed with five different composition of feeding materials prepared by using saw dust and cow dung. In this five feeding material compositions, the growth rate of E.eugeniae is greater in cow-dung and sawdust mixture (1:1 and 1:1.5 ratio) than pure cow-dung and it also produces a high number of casts using the major proportion of saw-dust. These above findings pave the way to produce the biofertilizer from saw dust as a useful source when it was mixed with cow dung and highly suitable for the production of high quality compost for sustainable agriculture.


Sujatha Lilly & S. Kannaiyan. (1999). Earthworms – a potential bio-resource in sustainable agriculture. Bio resources Technology for sustainable Agriculture. 351-365.


Graff, O. (1981). Preliminary experiments by vermicomposting of different waste materials using Eudrilus eugeniae Kinberg In: Appleh of, Mary, (Ed.), Proc. workshop on the role of earthworms in the stabilization of organic residues. Malmazoo, Michigan. 179–191.


Edward, C. A. Burrows, I. Fletcher, K.E. Jones, B.A. (1985). The use of earthworms for composting farm wastes. In: Gasser, J. K. R., (Ed.), Composting of agricultural and other wastes. 229–242.


Bano, K. Kale, R.D. Ganjan, G.N. (1987). Culturing of earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae for cast production and assessment of worm cast as biofertilizer. J. Soil. Biol. Ecol. 7 , 98–104


Pattnaik & M. Vikram Reddy (2010). Heavy metals remediation from urban wastes using three species of earthworm (Eudrilus eugeniae, Eisenia fetida and Perionyx excavatus). J. of Environ. Che. and Ecotoxicology. 3, 345-356.


Pattnaik & M. Vikram Reddy (2009). Nutrient status of vermicomposts of urban green waste processed by three earthworm species(Eudrilus eugeniae, Eisenia fetida and Perionyx excavatus). Applied and Environmental soil science. Volume 2010


Pathma. J & Sakthivel. N. (2012). Microbial diversity of vermicompost bacteria that exhibit useful agricultural traits and waste management potential. Springer Plus 1:26; 1-19.


Akinyemi Olayinka and Adewale Adebayo. The effect of methods of application of sawdust on plant growth, plant nutrient uptake and soil chemical properties. Plant and Soil 1985. 86, 1, 47-56


Skoog, D. A. 1985. Principles of instrumental Analysis, 3 rd Ed, Saunders college publishing, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Snell


K. Chitrapriya, S. Asokan & R. Nagarajan

10. Garg Vinod Kumar, Gupta Renuka, Yadav Anoop.(2008) Potential of Vermicomposting Technology in Solid Waste Management. Current Developments in Solid-state Fermentation. 468-511 11. Nandita Mehta & Arun Karnwal. (2013). Solid waste management with the help of vermicomposting and its applications in crop improvement. J Biol Earth Sci 3(1): B8-B16

APPENDICES Table 1: Moisture Content of Pre-Compost and Vermicompost Ratio of Cow-Dung & Saw -Dust Cow-dung 1:1 1:1.5 1:2 1:3

Moisture (%) Precompost Vermicompost 54.12 ± 0.55 56.56 ± 0.69 61.58 ± 0.85 59.82 ± 0.87 62.42 ± 1.08 61.54 ± 0.23 59.22 ± 0.57 55.96 ± 0.58 57.64 ± 0.56 54.08 ±0.58

Table 2: Morphometry of Earth Worm in Various Combinations of Cow-Dung and Saw- Dust Ratio Cow-dung 1:1 1:1.5 1:2 1:3 c P

Length (cm) 12.1 ± 2.5 18.6 ± 3.4 19.8 ± 3.5 11.3 ± 2.5 10.5 ± .9 64.09 < 0.001

Width (mm) 1.9 ± .7 3.5 ± .5 4.5 ± .8 2.6 ± .7 2.4 ± .6 55.06 < 0.001

Weight (gm) 1.6 ± .70 3.7 ± .45 3.6 ±.62 2.5 ±.65 2.6 ± .63 50.38 < 0.001

Table 3: Reproduction and Yield of Vermicompost S. No


1 2 3 4 5

Only cow dung 1:1 1:1.5 1:2 1:3

Quantity of Compost (Kg) 66.9 ± 0.08 63.1 ± 0.62 62.6 ± 0.41 62 ± 0.18 61.42 ± 0.45

No of Worms 3718 ± 7.70 3771 ± 8.04 4031 ± 14.40 3592 ± 34.35 3573 ± 15.52

No of Young Ones 6255 ± 7.66 9231 ± 8.87 9403 ± 3.67 6196 ± 6.42 5843.6 ± 25.79

No of Cocoons 4343 ± 10.17 6412 ± 15.09 4522 ± 11.48 4072 ± 15.78 4242 ± 24.98

5 prospects of full  

Vermitechnology is a fast emerging nontoxic-solid waste management system. Vermicomposting using Eudrilus eugeniae was carried out by Bed...

5 prospects of full  

Vermitechnology is a fast emerging nontoxic-solid waste management system. Vermicomposting using Eudrilus eugeniae was carried out by Bed...