Keywords: earthworms, mango leaf litter, Mangifera indica, nutrient dynamics, Perionyx ceylanensis, vermicomposting, nutrients, microflora, cow dung
Dynamics of nutrients and microflora during vermicomposting of mango leaf litter (Mangifera indica) using Perionyx ceylanensis
Pre-decomposed (15 days) mango leaf litter with cowdung in 50:50 (wt/wt) was subjected to vermicomposting using Perionyx ceylanensis for 60 days. The electrical conductivity, total NPK, Ca, Na and other nutrients were higher in the vermicompost than in the worm unworked control substrate, whereas organic carbon and C/N ratio were lowered. The population of bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes at the start of the experiment (initial) increased progressively towards the end of vermicomposting. The final microbial population was higher and significantly different (p < 0.05) from the initial values. The incubation period of vermicompost showed significant positive correlation with microbial population (r = 0.99; p < 0.001).