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EFFICIENCY OF COMPOSTING PARTHENIUM PLANT AND NEEM LEAVES IN THE PRESENCE AND ABSENCE OF AN OLIGOCHAETE, EISENIA FETIDA

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Author(s): S. Sivakumar ، H. Kasthuri ، P. Senthilkumar ، C. V. Subbhuraam ، Y. C. Song

Journal: Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering
ISSN 1735-1979

Volume: 6;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 201;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Eisenia fetida | Neem leaves | Parthenium plant | Vermicompost

ABSTRACT
Parthenium plants and neem leaves were composted using the epigeic earthworm, Eisenia fetida (worm-worked compost) to study the growth and reproductive indices of earthworm involved in the process of composting. Similarly, parthenium plants and neem leaves were composted without worms (worm-unworked compost). Efficacy of the resulting composts in supporting the growth of plant was tested with the germination and growth of Vigna radiate seedlings. The results showed that higher parthenium amendment significantly reduced the growth and reproduction of Eisenia fetida compared with control. The two-way ANOVA results showed a significant difference in the growth rate of worms when exposed to different amended concentrations of parthenium plants and neem leaves at different durations as fixed factors. The following compost parameters were not significantly different when compared with control: pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, iron for parthenium worm-worked compost; nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, organic carbon and carbon/nitrogen ratio for neem worm-worked compost; nitrogen, phosphorus and organic carbon for parthenium worm-unworked compost and pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc and carbon/nitrogen ratio for neem worm-unworked compost. Between parthenium plant composts and neem leaves composts, significant differences were not observed in any of the plant biometric parameters. The results obtained from the present study indicated that the parthenium composting at low amendments with cow dung may help its eradication for better utilization.
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