Published: 08-08-2019| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/pwtz4pctsk.2
Ting Liu


This study shows that earthworms are beneficial to agroecosystems from a multifunctional perspective. This work incorporates the concerns of negative effects of earthworms in recently published syntheses and highlights the potential pathways in which earthworms contribute to sustainable agriculture. Data were obtained over two consecutive years from a 13-year field experiment under a rice-wheat rotation system, where two methods of straw application (straw mulched on the soil surface or incorporated into the top layer of soil) were applied and where the abundance of a dominated endogeic earthworm Metaphire guillelmi was deliberately manipulated (i.e. plots were inoculated with earthworms or earthworms were removed). Soil microbes and microfauna were enumerated and their community attributes were calculated. The 21 ecosystem functions were grouped into four categories, reflecting both aboveground and belowground ecological processes: i) plant productivity, ii) plant nutrients, iii) nutrient and carbon cycling processes, and iv) nutrient and carbon cycling drivers