Study on Degradation of Leaf Litter of Five Tree Species by Perionyx excavatus with Relation to Their Nutrient and Anti-nutrient Content

The ecological acceptability of various leaf litter forms in promoting biological diversity and soil micronutrient status must be studied before selecting plant species for afforestration procedures. The current study looked at the colonisation of an epigeic earthworm, Perionyx excavatus, in the decomposing leaf litter of five locally important tree species, including Cashew, Shal, Mango, Acacia, and Eucalyptus, over a 90-day period. In laboratory microcosms, the primary nutrient and anti-nutrient chemical parameters of the leaf litters were compared, and the rates of degradation of the selected nutrient and anti-nutrient parameters were investigated. P. excavatus demonstrated the most colonisation for Cashew, followed by Shal, with both tree species having considerably higher rates of degradation of the investigated nutritional parameters and reduced anti-nutrient content. Eucalyptus, which had the highest polyphenol and tannin content and significantly lower rates of degradation of all the investigated nutritional parameters and thus their use in microcosms with P. excavatus, had the least colonisation by P. excavatus. The results showed that decreased tannin and polyphenol content in Cashew and Shal leaf litters can be linked to the palatability of these leaf litters, resulting in maximum colonisation by P. excavatus. As a result, Cashew and Shal are appropriate tree species for afforestation strategies that improve nutrient recycling and soil conservation.

Author (S) Details

Sayantani Pattanayak

Department of Zoology, Raja N. L. Khan Women’s College, Midnapore, India.

Rupa Dasgupta

Department of Zoology, Raja N. L. Khan Women’s College, Midnapore, India.

Partha Pratim Chakravorty

Department of Zoology, Raja N. L. Khan Women’s College, Midnapore, India.

Susanta Kumar Chakraborty

Department of Zoology, Vidyasagar University, Midnapore, India.

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