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Effects of endogeic and anecic earthworms on the competition between four annual plants and their relative reproduction potential

Abstract : Competition between plants for essential resources determines the distribution of biomasses between species as well as the composition of plant communities through effects on species reproductive potentials. Soil organisms influence plant competitive ability and access to resources; thus they should modify plant community composition. The effects of an endogeic (Aporrectodea caliginosa) and an anecic (Lumbricus terrestris) earthworm species on the competition between grass (Poa annua), two forbs (Veronica persica and Cerastium glomeratum) and legume (Trifolium dubium) were investigated in a greenhouse experiment. We established two types of plant communities: monocultures and polycultures of the four species. L. terrestris increased the biomass of P. annua and V. persica (in monocultures as well as in polycultures). However, the presence of L. terrestris allowed the grass to produce the highest biomass in polycultures suggesting that this earthworm species promoted the growth of P. annua against the other plant species. In monocultures as well as in polycultures, the presence of L. terrestris to increased the number of seeds of T. dubium and the total seed mass of V. persica. These results suggest that L. terrestris enhanced the short term competitive ability of P. annua by promoting its growth. The increased number of seeds of T. dubium in the presence of L. terrestris suggests that this earthworm species could enhance the long-term competitive ability of this legume and may increase its number of individuals after several generations.
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https://hal-bioemco.ccsd.cnrs.fr/bioemco-00396039
Contributor : Sébastien Barot <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 6:47:42 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, September 19, 2020 - 4:48:15 AM

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  • HAL Id : bioemco-00396039, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 248612

Citation

Kam-Rigne Laossi, Diana Christina Noguera, A. Bartolomé-Lasa, Jérôme Mathieu, Manuel Blouin, et al.. Effects of endogeic and anecic earthworms on the competition between four annual plants and their relative reproduction potential. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Elsevier, 2009, 41, pp.1668-1773. ⟨bioemco-00396039⟩

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