We use some essential cookies to make this website work.
We’d like to set additional cookies to understand how you use forestresearch.gov.uk, remember your settings and improve our services.
Preparing to search
Nalika Rajapaksha, PhD studentship, University of Central Lancashire (2009-2012)
An important but largely unidentified aspect of Short Rotation Forestry (SRF) is the quality/quantity of litter, its decomposition and incorporation in the soil environment. This decomposition is primarily dependent on soil faunal diversity and activity. A representative and often important component of the soil fauna is the earthworm community.
The overall aim of this project was to investigate the effect of interacting factors of SRF tree species and soil types on the earthworm community. In addition, the effect of earthworms on litter decomposition, soil carbon and nutrient cycling of these systems was assessed. Specific objectives included:
Field studies demonstrated that a mixed earthworm community utilised non-native species but favoured particular native trees. Earthworm influence on nutrient uptake, tree growth and biomass production varied with SRF species. A one year field experiment showed that rapidly growing Eucalyptus nitens benefited more from earthworm activity than relatively slow growing Betula pendula. Overall, the current work supports the production of SRF, as with only one exception (Castanea sativa), results tended to show that SRF-earthworm interactions were positive. It is perhaps most interesting that non-native E. nitens showed a positive interaction with native British earthworms.
Cookies are files saved on your phone, tablet or computer when you visit a website.
We use 3 types of cookie. You can choose which cookies you're happy for us to use.
These essential cookies do things like remember your progress through a form. They always need to be on.
We use Google Analytics to measure how you use the website so we can improve it based on user needs. Google Analytics sets cookies that store anonymised information about: how you got to the site the pages you visit on forestresearch.gov.uk and how long you spend on each page what you click on while you're visiting the site
Some forestresearch.gov.uk pages may contain content from other sites, like YouTube or Flickr, which may set their own cookies. These sites are sometimes called ‘third party’ services. This tells us how many people are seeing the content and whether it’s useful.