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Title: The role of earthworms in the chemical and physical weathering of soil minerals
Author: Carpenter, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 8061
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2008
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Minerals are an important component of the soil environment. They provide a structural framework which supports plants and contributes to the physical heterogeneity of soil. They contribute to the fertility of soils in providing a source of essential nutrients through mineral weathering and they regulate the availability of nutrients in soil through their exchange capacity. Some minerals also affect the moisture content of soils through their ability to absorb water. Earthworms are one of the most important soil organisms, particularly in temperate ecosystems, because of the role they have in regulating many processes in soils. The interaction between these two critical components of soil ecosystems has not been extensively studied. This potentially important interaction is the subject of this thesis. The effect of three earthworms (Eisenia veneta, Allolobophora chlorotica and Lumbricus terrestris) on five minerals (olivine, anorthite, biotite, smectite, illite and kaolinite) was investigated in a series of laboratory experiments using the following techniques: X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and chemical methods.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available