Pedobiologia - Journal of Soil Ecology, July 2019, Vol.75, pp.1-7
It is known that earthworms can increase the content of water-extractable silicon (Si) in soil, thus contributing to the availability of Si for plants. However, effects of earthworms on other Si fractions in soil, such as adsorbed Si, Si bound to SOM, Si occluded in pedogenic oxides and amorphous silica have not yet been studied. Therefore, we investigated the effects of the endogeic earthworm Savigny on the fractionation of Si in soils and that of the epigeic earthworm Bouché on the release of Si from model substances (quartz, wheat straw, bioopal). We quantified the amounts of Si in different soil fractions and those released from model substances before and after passage through the earthworm gut by sequential Si extraction. The amounts of Si extracted from the earthworms’ casts were generally larger than in the undigested samples. This was especially pronounced for Si bound to soil organic matter (SOM; up to 41%), and for Si in wheat straw (up to 71%) and quartz (up to 1730%). With the soils, the increase in extracted Si was pronounced for the more mobile fractions (Si bound to SOM and occluded in pedogenic oxides) at the expense of amorphous silica. The amounts of mobile and adsorbed Si (plant-available Si) in soil tended to decrease after the passage through the earthworm gut, possibly by occlusion of adsorbents in aggregates formed in the gut. Our results indicate that both mechanical weathering of ingested Si-containing particles and microbial processes, promoting aggregate formation, SOM transformation and mineral solubilization, contribute to the increased release of Si, which induced the redistribution of Si among fractions.
Sequential Extraction ; Silicic Acid ; Octolasion Cyaneum Savigny ; Eisenia Andrei Bouché ; Aggregates ; Agriculture ; Biology ; Zoology
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