Impact of earthworm activity on the chemical fertility of irrigated soil with urban effluents
The reuse of urban effluents to irrigate the soils of peri-urban grasslands in the vicinity of the town of Setif (northeastern Algeria) is an old and widespread practice. In this context, the present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of the irrigation with urban effluents on the biological and chemical behavior of soils. Effluents analysis showed significant organic and particulate pollution, the latter contributed to earthworm abundance and increased the richness of irrigated soils with nutrients. The analysis of turricules revealed the role of earthworms through the activity of bioturbation in the increase of the rate of organic matter as well as in the bioavailability of the nutrients of the irrigated soils. In space, permanent vegetation cover has played an important role as a biofilter. This was confirmed by the inter-site differences recorded through the measured variables particularly organic ones.
Keywords: Natural grasslands, urban effluents, earthworm activity, turricles, organic matter