Vermicomposting of Mucuna bracteata – a Fast Spreading Troublesome Weed in Kerala, India

  • S. N. Sruthi School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India
  • A. Sibin School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India
  • E. V. Ramasamy School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India
Keywords: Perionyx ceylanensis, weed management, vermicast, earthworms, nutrient recycle

Abstract

Mucuna bracteata DC. is one among the common weeds spreading rapidly in Kerala. The spread of this weed becomes an environmental nuisance and a threat to the local biodiversity. Conversion of this troublesome weed into nutrient rich manure through vermicomposting with native earthworm species of Perionyx ceylanensis was attempted in this study. The phytomass of M. bracteata was subjected to precompost along with cattle dung in the ratio of 6:1 for a period of 15 days. The resulting precompost – partially decomposed phytomass – was fed into vermireactors. The vermireactors fed with 37.5 g (dry weight) precomposted weed mass and 10 adult earthworms were operated for 15 days. These experiments were repeated for six times. The vermireactors performed with 14–21.3% recovery of vermicast with a C/N ratio of 23.7, which is comparable with the reported values in the literature. The findings of this study indicate that the earthworm species P. ceylanensis is potential enough to convert the phytomass of M. bracteata into nutrient rich manure. Also, the worms multiplied and grew well by gaining weight. Hence, these reactors with precomposted phytomass of M. bracteata can be operated sustainably.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.erem.70.4.8552

Author Biographies

S. N. Sruthi, School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India
Research scholar at School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India
A. Sibin, School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India
MSc student at School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India
E. V. Ramasamy, School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India

Associate Professor at School of Environmental Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, India

Published
2015-01-29
Section
Articles