A First Survey of the Earthworms of Bosque del Pueblo, Puerto Rico
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The oligochaeto fauna of Bosque del Pueblo, located in the central mountain region of Puerto Rico, was surveyed for the first time. Organisms were hand-sorted from forty two samples from three typical plant associations (coffee, fern, and spike-moss) of the forest. Using a 0.25 m quadrant, samples were taken from four successive soil depths of 10 cm. Various soil analyses (texture, pH, moisture, and organic matter content) were performed to obtain information on the distribution of these organisms. No correlation was found between these and total abundance, total biomass or specific species of earthworms. Only two earthworm species were found, both new records for this part of the island: the exotic Pontoscolex corethrurus (Müller, 1856) and the native Onychochaeta borincana Borges, 1994. Species diversity was low but typical of a region that has been extensively disturbed and with little time for regeneration of the native earthworm fauna.