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Earthworm induced mineral weathering: preliminary results

Carpenter, D., Hodson, M.E., Eggleton, P. and Kirk, C. (2007) Earthworm induced mineral weathering: preliminary results. European Journal of Soil Biology, 43 (Supplement). S176-S183.

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.ejsobi.2007.08.053


The role of earthworms in mineral weathering was investigated. The minerals anorthite, biotite, olivine, smectite and kaolinite were mixed with a sterilized manure substrate. Two treatments were used: minerals with earthworms and minerals without earthworms. The earthworms were established in mesocosms and left to process the substrates for 1, 2, 4 and 6 months. Four sacrificial replicates were used per time period. Changes in mineralogy were analysed using X-ray diffraction. Weathering of anorthite, biotite, smectite and kaolinite appears to be accelerated by the earthworms. There was evidence for the transformation of smectite to illite and the formation of a new mineral phase from kaolinite. Olivine appears not to be weathered by earthworms. Different minerals also appear to weather at different rates. (c) 2007 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Earth Systems Science
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Soil Research Centre
ID Code:3347
Uncontrolled Keywords:mineral weathering; earthworms; X-ray diffraction; N2O-PRODUCING MICROORGANISMS; CLAY-MINERALS; ROCKS; GUT; DISSOLUTION; BACTERIA; PLANTS; IMPACT; FUNGI; RATES
Additional Information: Conference Information: 8th International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology (ISEE8) Cracow, POLAND, SEP 04-09, 2006

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