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Environmental controls on the production of calcium carbonate by earthworms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Publication details

JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
DateE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jan 2014
DatePublished (current) - Mar 2014
Volume70
Number of pages3
Pages (from-to)159-161
Early online date3/01/14
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Lumbricus terrestris earthworms produce calcium carbonate (CaCO3) granules with unknown physiological function. To investigate carbon sequestration potential, the influence of temperature and CO2 concentration ([CO2]) on CaCO3 production was investigated using three soils, five temperatures (3-20 C) and four atmospheric [CO2] (439-3793 ppm). Granule production rates differed between soils, but could not be related to any soil characteristics measured. Production rates increased with temperature, probably because of higher metabolic rate, and with soil CO2 concentration. Implications for carbon sequestration are discussed. CaCO3 production in earthworms is probably related to pH regulation of blood and tissue fluid in the high CO2 environment of the soil.

Bibliographical note

© 2013 The authors. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works License, which per-mits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    Research areas

  • calcite, earthworm, calcium carbonate, CO2

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Impacts

  • Public engagement drawing on earthworm calcium carbonate palaeothermometer research

    Impact: Societal

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