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STUDIES OF EARTHWORM AROUND KOGI STATE POLYTECHNIC LOKOJA AREA

 Format: Microsoft Word   Chapters: 1-5

 Pages: 70   Attributes: STANDARD RESEARCH

 Amount: 3,000

 Sep 16, 2019 |  09:11 am |  2127


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page                      

Certification                                     

Dedication                              

Acknowledgement         

Abstract                        

Table of contents

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0        INTRODUCTION           

1.1       EARTHWORMS

1.2    GENERAL ACTIVITY

1.3    PREDATORS

1.4    ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS                                       

1.5    GENERAL MORPHOLOGY

1.6    EXTERNAL STRUCTURE                                                      

1.7    INTERNAL STRUCTURE                                                       

 

CHAPTER TWO

2.0       LITERATURE REVIEW  

2.1    CAST STRUCTURE                                                               

2.2    EFFECT OF EARTHWORM CAST ON PLANT GROWTH

2.3    PRODUCTION OF EARTHWORM CASTS

 

CHAPTER THREE

3.0    MATERIALS AND METHODS

3.1    MATERIALS

3.2    SELECTED LOCATIONS FOR THE STUDY INCLUDES

3.3    PROCEDURE

CHAPTER FOUR

4.0    RESULT AND DISCUSSION

4.1    RESULT

4.2    DISCUSSION

CHAPTER FIVE

5.0    CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1    CONCLUSION

5.2    RECOMMENDATION

REFERENCES    

                                                                  ABSTRACT

Among the most familiar invertebrate animals are the earthworms, members of the phylum Annelida. The word Annelid means “ringed” and refers to a series of rings or segments that make up the body of the member of this phylum. An earthworm is a tube-shaped, segmented animal that is commonly found living in soil. It has a digestive system that runs straight through its body. It conducts respiration through the cuticle covering its skin. Earthworms are hermaphrodites and they can be described as reddish brown coloured terrestrial invertebrates that inhabit the supper layer of moist soil. Chapter one entails the activities of earthworm that affect the soil as described by the heroes i.e. those people who have carried out researches on the study of earthworm. It also contains the environmental requirements, classification i.e. different species of earthworm, reproduction by hatching on the cocoon, the life cycle of the earthworm and their economic importance to their environment and human being. Chapter two talks about the heroes i.e. those people who have as worked carried out research on the study of earthworm such as: Shipitalo and Protz (1989) and Chan and Heenan (1995) etc.  Chapter three is based on the methodology i.e. the materials and method. Chapter four is basically on the result, observation and discussion based on the practical work about the population/abundance which are presented in a bar chart. Chapter five talks about conclusion, recommendation and references.


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    EARTHWORMS

          Earthworms (Annelida, clitellata olichaeta) are familiar to almost everyone. In North America, they are one of the most popular forms of living bait for fishing (Harman,1955);gardeners hold them in high esteem as nature ploughmen (Darwin,1881);folklore and scientific accounts tells of their mechanical uses as (Stephenson,1930); (Reynolds and Reynolds,1972),and soil inhabiting vertebrates (Moles Voles, etc) store them as a source of food (Plisko,1961;Skoczen,1970).The role of some species  in organic matter decomposition and mineral cycling may be important (Bouche,1972;Edwards and Lofty,1972),and a great deal has been written concerning earthworm farming (Myers,1969;Morgan 1970;Shields,1971).


          Biology student all over the world study their anatomy (mainly Lumbricus terrestris) in great amount of literature that has been devoted to neither a group of organisms that are neither pest nor sources of human nutrition is truly amazing, yet their biology and distribution are still relatively unknown. Many of the world’s hundreds of megadrile (Terrestial oligochaetes) species (which include earthworms) are known only from a limited series of one or a few specimens.

1.2    GENERAL ACTIVITY

          The main activities of earthworms that affect soils involves the ingestion of soils and the mixing of the main soil ingredients of clay, loam and humes; the production of casting of a fine crumb structure which are ejected on the soil surface by some species; the construction of burrows that enhance aeration, drainage, root penetration and the production of a tilts that make suitable habitat for the smaller scale soil fauna and micro organisms.

 

          It should be remembered that not all Lumbricidae (earthworms) work on the same manner. Some, for example, burrow deeply whereas others do not.

The influence of earthworm on the translocation of soil materials maybe quite considerable. There have been abundant estimate as high as three million worms per acre and their role in soil fertility is very important. Studying forms that eject casts to the surface,(Darwin 1881) estimated that between 71/2 18 tons of soil per acre per year (3cm per 10 years) can be moved and the burial of many Roman ruins Europe as attributed to the activities of earthworms (Atkinson, 1957).

          Earthworms are omnivorous and can utilize many materials in the soil as food, including plant remains and occasionally animal remains. lumbricides can withstand considerable starvation and L.terrestris at least a water loss of up to 70% of the body weight.

 

          Some species can withstand total immersion in water for many weeks, though normally they avoid water logged soils.

 

1.3    PREDATORS

          Earthworms are also important component of the diet of many birds and mammals. In Europe moles may store them as a source of food (Skoczen,1970; Gates,1972),usually after biting off four or five of the anterior segment to prevent the worms from escaping (Evans 1948).In North America they eating by many organisms including of economic or recreational importance.

 

          According to Liscinsky (1965),for example, “the diet of the wood cock (Philohelia minor Gmelin) is  primarily earthworms”. from my current surveys and from gut analyses of woodcock, it appears that in the area bounded to Ontario to Nova Scotia and Minnesota to Maryland 90% of the earthworms in the diet of these birds are Aporrectodea tubberculata, Dendrobaena octaedra,Dendrorilus rubidus and Lumbricus rubellus.       Snakes too may prey extensively on earthworms.This is true especially in our most common species (in Ontario), the red-bellied snake (]Storeria accipitomaculata accipitomaculata say) and the Eastern garden snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis linnaeus),and perhaps four or five other species as well (Logier,1958).  

                   

1.4    ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS                                       

Daylight and ultraviolet light are injurious to earthworms unless the intensity is very low. Temperature relations have been reviewed (Reynolds 1973) and Gates (1970) quotes interesting accounts of lumbricides {a family of earthworms} studied from Artic circle; Eisenia foetida,for example, has been found in snow, even though generally associated with warm habitats such as manure piles and it remain vigorous below 50C.

 In marine L.terrestris has been seen copulating while bathed with melt water and other individuals crawled from under the ice and remained active (Gates 1970). The pH tolerance of earthworm varies from species to species (Reynolds, 1973).Usually they occur in soil with pH range of about 4.5 to 8.7 and the earthworm density diminishes as the soil acidity increases.                                                Generally speaking, the greatest earthworm densities are found in neutral soil.                                           

         

1.5    GENERAL MORPHOLOGY

          The oligochaeta are defined as annelids with internal and external metmeric segmentation throughout the body without parapodia, but possessing setae on all segment except the peristomium and periproct, with a true coelom and close vascular system, generally hermaphroditic with gonads few in number in specific locations, with specific duct for discharge of genital products, with clitellum’s that secrete cocoons in which ova and spermatozoa are deposited and which are fertilized and develop without a free larva stage.                                                              

          The following brief discussions refer primarily to the lumbricidea which make up nearly all of the Canadian megadrile fauna.

                                                         

1.6    EXTERNAL STRUCTURE                                                                Terrestrial oligochaetes vary greatly in size. Bimastras spp  are less than 20mm long, the largest tropical species are over 1000mm (G    lossoscotex, megascolides) and some Australian forms may reach 3000mm in length. The largest species in Canada is lumbricus terestis, which varies from 90 to 300mm when mature.

 

 

          The body shape is generally cylindrical though usually flattened dorsoventrally in the posterior region in the case of burrowing species.

          The entire body is divided along the longitudinal axis into segment separated by inter-segment furrows and septal. This is primary segmentation. There are also secondary annuli or furrows, which appear to subdivide some of the individual segments, usually in the anterior end region. The primary segments are numbered by roman numerals.

 

          These is a less of uniformity in segmentation at the anterior end of the earthworm, this condition is refer to as cephalization (cf.Gates, 1972). The first body segment, containing the math is known as the peristomium, and may have tongue-like lope projecting anteriorly.The prostomium is located above the mouth, and is not a true segment.

          Its appearance is often important in species identification. The last or caudal, body segment is referred to as periproct.

          Sometimes a swelling may be seen around the body, the clitellum’s. The layman frequently mistakes this for the scar of a regenerated animal. In fact it is an epidermal modification of sexually mature specimens where gland cells secrete materials to form the cocoon.                                                                                                                 Characteristics of all earthworms are the short bristles or setae, retractile structures that add to the worms grip during tunneling and locomotion. The setae are produced by a cell in the body wall. In the lumbricidae and sparganophilidae there are four pairs of satae per segment, except for the peristomium and perproct, which are a satae. The type and position of these satae have been used taxonomic characters.


          The colour of the megadriles is primarily a result of pigment in the body wall. But it may be a secondary result of lack of pigment and red colour of some forms is due hemoglobin in the blood. Some colour is due to the presence of yellow colomic corpuscles near the surface, but the presence of chloragogen cells near the surface is rare, if ever, an influence on colour.

 

          A preliminary result of current North American studies indicates that the physical and chemical properties of the soil are a possible influence on the earthworm colour.

          The body wall, upon which the excretory, genital and reproductive aperture all opens, comprises six layers. From the outside, these are; cuticle, epidermis, nerve plexus, circular muscles, longitudinal muscles and peristoneal layer.

 

 

          The well developed muscle-layers are important in locomotion. The body wall is the foundation for many glandular swelling such as the clitellum’s, tuberculapubertatis and genital tumescence’s, all of which have long been employed as taxonomic characters.                                                                              

1.7    INTERNAL STRUCTURE                                                                  The annelids have been characterized as having a “tube within a tube” body style. The outer tube is formed by the body wall and the inner tube by the alimentary canal. Between these two tubes is the secondary body cavity, or coelum, which is divided at each segment by septumat, the inter-segmental furrow.

         

          On segmental alignment may occur interiorly in some species ads a result of a cephalization. The coelomic cavity is filled with fluid that varies in composition inter-specifically and also intraspecifically for those species that are euryecious in that they tolerate a wide range of habitat conditions. Pores in the septa permit the coelmic fluid to pass             the alimentary canal or digestive tract is essentially a tube extending from mouth to anus.

 

          The anterior most part of the tract consists of a muscular buccal cavity, followed by a pharynx which has sucking action during feeding, the oesophagus, the crop, a crushing organ known as gizzard and the finally the intestine. The intestine may possess a dorsomedian fold, the typhlosote that serves to interest the absorptive surface. Many associated structures are connected to the alimentary system vix, blood glands, chloragogen cells, calciferous glands and salivary glands.

 

          An extensive of alimentary canal is found in (Gansen 1963). The circulatory system is closed; there is a extensive similarity between the intestinal epithelium and the choragogen cells.

          Extending almost the total length of the body are three main vessels; the dorsal vessel, closely associated with the alimentary canal for most of its lengths and two ventral vessels (vental and sub neutral vessels).The ventral vessel is located between the nerve chord and the alimentary canal, while the sub-neural vessel is located between the nerve chord and the body wall.

          These main vessels are connecting each segment by paired connectives. In several anterior segments of these connectives, termed”hearts”, are enlarged and contractile and possess valves. There are other trunks and branches which anastomose throughout the body.

          The circulatory or vascular system has not achieved its proper position in oligochaeta systematics.Its importance has been discussed by Gates (1972) and Reynolds(1973). There is no formalized respiratory system in earthworms; exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place through the moist cuticle.

 

          Respiration normally occurs in air but earthworm can exist in water for a long period of time (example, for six months)if the water is oxygenated (Brown,1994;Roots 1959).                                                                                                                                                              

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