Comparisons of Earthworm Community Structure between an Active Pasture and an Adjacent Tropical Wet Forest in Puerto Rico
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Earthworm populations have been recognized as indicators of soil fertility and health. To examine the influence of tropical land-use changes on earthworm community structure, we sampled earthworm populations in three plots in two adjacent sites: a tropical pasture and a forest both developed on an alluvial soil. We found that (1) the density of endogeic worm dominated by Pontoscolex corethrurus was greater in the pasture than in forest; and (2) there were no anecic worms present in the pasture. Our results support the findings from other studies that converting tropical wet forests to pasture may lead to the extinction or populations reduction of anecic earthworms in tropical soils.