Tiruchirapalli, Jul 30: The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has sanctioned a research project grant of Rs 16.43 lakh to P Neelanarayanan, Lecturer in Zoology, Nehru Memorial College, Puthanampatti, near here, to study the species composition of earthworms, including their vertical distribution, biomass and population dynamics, in Kolli Hills, a part of the Eastern Ghats in the state.
In a release here on Wednesday, July 30 Dr Neelanarayanan said farmers consider earthworms as 'nature's plough.' Some species of earthworms play a significant role in the decomposition of organic matter and mineral cycling, he said. Some of the new earthworm species were suitable for development of earthworm bio-industry, he added.
Referring to the research project, he said the study area sprawls over 503 km, and the objective was to document the species composition of earthworms from five different forest ecosystems of the hills. The study would also explore the possibilities of utilising the soil macro fauna for future vermiculture practices, he added.