Mineralization of phosphorus by faecal phosphatases of some earthworms of Indian tropics
The casts of earthworms contain greater amounts of extractable inorganic phosphate than underlying soils. Casts contain higher phosphatase activity than that occurs in undigested soil, which increases the inorganic phosphorus released by mineralization. Of the 4 species compared,Perionyx excavatus showed a higher faecal phosphatase activity. Composition of casts vary with species. pH increases and nutrients accumulate in worm-activated soils. Based on the data on surface cast production, it is estimated that grasslands around Bangalore show a phosphorus turnover of about 55 kg ha−1 y−1, and the woodlands, 38 kg ha−1 y−1.