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Selective consumption of decomposing wheat straw by earthworms.

Moody, S. A. and Briones, M. J. I. and Piearce, T. G. and Dighton, J. (1995) Selective consumption of decomposing wheat straw by earthworms. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 27 (9). pp. 1209-1213.

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Abstract

Three species of earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris L., Aporrectodea longa (Ude) and Allolobophora chlorotica (Savigny), were offered a choice of mixtures of soil and small wheat straw fragments which had been inoculated individually with six saprotrophic fungi. All earthworm species showed preferences between the six fungal species offered. Early straw decomposers, capable of utilizing water-soluble sugars and cellulose, were preferred in most cases to the lignin-decomposing fungi characteristic of the later stages of decomposition. The removal of fungal-inoculated straw pieces from the soil surface by L. terrestris followed the same pattern. The palatability of two wheat pathogens to L. terrestris was found to be similar to that of the preferred saprotroph. The implications of these findings for fungal abundance and dispersal in wheat fields are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 22302
Deposited By: ep_ss_importer
Deposited On: 06 Feb 2009 11:14
Refereed?: No
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 15:59
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/22302

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