TENDUA - Association for biodiversity conservation

The vital job of the earthworms

* Current worms appeared 200 million years (and humans only 200 000 years ago).
* Earthworms are classified into three main categories:
1) leaf litter- or compost-dwelling worms that are nonburrowing, live at soil-litter interface and are called Epigeic,
2) topsoil- or subsoil-dwelling words that feed (on soil), burrow and cast within soil, creating horizontal burrows in upper 10–30 cm of soil (called Endogeics),
3) worms that construct permanent deep vertical burrows which they use to visit the surface to obtain plant material for food, such as leaves (called Anecic - meaning “reaching up”).
* They are an essential link of the food chain and the guarantors of the soil fertility.
* They clean up soils, they handle waste water, they recycle the organic waste by digesting them. Thanks to the composting, our trash cans decrease in 40 %!
* They fight against the soil erosion and they restore life into the soil: they are the “first ploughmen of the soil”. By going back and forth between the surface and the deep soil, earthworms give to the soil this necessary lump and airy structure, which disappears if earthworms are eliminated by chemical processings, by frequent plowings, or if the soil is compacted by the repeated passage of heavy machines.
* In 1950, 2 tons of earthworms were living in 1 ha of farmland in France ; today, only 50kg to 200kg of earthworms are remaining in 1 ha of farmland… Let’s save earthworms!!!

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