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Economic Importance of Earthworm to Man

  • Zoology

In this economic importance of earthworm to man post we have briefly explained about useful economic importance of earthworm (in agriculture, as a bait and food, in medicine, and in laboratories) and harmful economic importance of earthworm.

Earthworms require the least introduction of all the components of the soil food chain. The majority of individuals are familiar with these slimy, mushy crustaceans from a young age. Earthworms are hermaphrodites, which means they have both male and female traits.

They are significant decomposers of dead and deteriorating organic debris, feeding on the bacteria and fungi that thrive on these materials. They break down organic materials and contribute significantly to the recycling of the nutrients it contains.

Earthworms can be found in most temperate and tropical soils. There are 23 families, over 700 genera, and over 7,000 species among them. They are found annually at all depths in the earth and range in size from an inch to two yards.

Economic Importance of Earthworms

Economic Importance of Earthworm to Man

Beneficial Economic Importance of Earthworm

In Agriculture

Earthworms boost soil fertility in a variety of ways, which is why they are so economic importance of earthworm important in agriculture. Actually, earthworms’ burrowing and soil-feeding behaviours make the soil permeable, allowing for aeration and rapid water absorption. It also makes it possible for the plant roots to be penetrated quickly and deeply.

They also bring the new subsoil, which is finer and richer in organic content, to the surface. An acre of earth is home to roughly 50,000 earthworms (a recent estimate says that their number could reach up to 25, 00, 000 per acre), which can transport more than 18 tonnes of deeper subsoil to the surface in a year, according to Charles Darwin.

In 20 years, these castings may form a 7.5-centimeter-thick layer on the earth’s surface. Earthworm castings comprise fine soil that has been mixed with nitrogenous wastes and faeces with a high manurial value. Earthworm faeces contain nitrate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which are crucial components of humus, which is necessary for plant growth.

They help lower the soil’s alkalinity and acidity, making it more conducive to plant growth. They increase the organic elements of the soil once they die and decompose. As a result, earthworms contribute significantly to soil fertility. As a result, these worms are also known as natural ploughmen or soil tillers.

As a bait and food

Food and bait another economic importance of earthworm. They are used as fishing bait. Earthworms have been utilised as food by many uncivilised cultures around the world, and Macrea people continue to eat them.

These edible worms are as common in the food supply as chicken in the United States. They are eagerly hunted as food by some birds, notably robins and chickens.

Earthworms are a squirming superfood. They’re heavy in protein and iron, as well as amino acids, which aid in the digestion of food and the rebuilding of human tissue. Copper, manganese, and zinc are also present.

Earthworms are a good source of calcium, comparable to that found in fresh cheese or cow’s milk. Formulated feeds are complete feeds which supply all the nutrients necessary for optimal growth and health of the fish.

In medicine

Medical economic importance of earthworm is important. Earthworm has diuretic, antispasmodic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. In India, Earthworms have been equally valued as an antiulcer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory remedy.

Ayurvedic and Unani system of therapy suggests that they were used as medicine to cure disease like bladder stones, jaundice, pyorrhea, piles, rheumatism etc.

In Chinese traditions the Earthworm remedies are considered useful for feverish disorders (malaria, typhoid, childhood fevers). They possess anticonvulsant and analgesic properties useful for treating seizures, rheumatic pain and the after-effects of stroke (hemiplegia).

In laboratories

Many people make a living catching and supplying these worms to scientific facilities this also an important economic importance of earthworm. They’re easy to get by and are a good size for dissections. They are widely used in class studies as well as research in general and comparative physiology.

Harmful Economic Importance of Earthworm

Invasive earthworm species can have a negative impact on temperate forests. Some trees, such as sugar maples, and forest-floor flora, such as trout lilies, trilliums, and some ferns, have been harmed as a result of the forest transformation an harmful economic importance of earthworm.

In irrigated lands, their burrow may cause water loss by seepage from ditches. When they are in large numbers, they may also cause harm to grasslands by digging tunnels in the earth is another harmful economic importance of earthworm.

Because their casting on sloppy soils is washed away by rain, it contributes to soil erosion to a lower extent. There are a variety of earthworms that can take up residence in humans and frogs. The risk of parasitic infection is higher in rural or developing regions.

They sometimes bury disease germs in the dead bodies of buried animals, bringing disease-germs with them. They serve as intermediate hosts for some parasites, such as the chicken tapeworm and gapeworm, and the pig lung nematode, which are either directly or indirectly dangerous to humans is also an crucial harmful economic importance of earthworm.


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