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Burrowing, Feeding, Egestion and Energy Budgets of Allolobophora rosea (Savigny) (Lumbricidae)

P. J. Bolton and J. Phillipson
Oecologia
Vol. 23, No. 3 (1976), pp. 225-245
Published by: Springer in cooperation with International Association for Ecology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4215252
Page Count: 21
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Burrowing, Feeding, Egestion and Energy Budgets of Allolobophora rosea (Savigny) (Lumbricidae)
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Abstract

Allolobophora rosea (Savigny) was found to be common in mull type soils beneath bramble (Rubus fruticosus L.). Burrow construction in this soil type in the laboratory at 4.4, 10.0 and 14.8° C ranged between 133 and 516 mm g-1 fresh wt of worm day-1. Burrowing was affected by both body size and temperature. Rates of soil displacement during burrowing were estimated from burrowing rates, burrow dimensions and soil density; depending on body size and temperature they were in the range 809-1,928 mg dry wt of soil g-1 fresh wt of worm day-1. These values were in reasonable agreement with measured egestion rates (range: 1,000-2,000 mg dry wt of egesta g-1 fresh wt of worm day-1). It was concluded that A. rosea eats its way through the soil and is adapted to its rapid turnover. Gut turnover times were calculated to be between 1 and 2.5 h. Direct observation indicated that feeding was by a "grazing" procedure and it was shown that A. rosea preferentially selects the more organic fractions of the soil for ingestion. The evaluation of energy budgets for individual small immature, large immature and adult worms at 10° C revealed respiration to production ratios (R/P) of 1.0, 1.8 and 4.1, respectively. Assimilation efficiencies (A/C) were always less than 2.5%.

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