Limited Reproduction of
This experiment was designed to confirm the reproductive
activities of red wiggler worms, Eisenia foetida, in a confined
environment. This is part of a three year study on the process of
vermicomposting (using specialized worms to decompose waste). The
overall practical applications of this three year study are to
contribute in vermicomposting, one of the developing solutions to
current waste-management problems. This year's experiment dealt
with the worm's ability to exercise population control in an
environment where only limited amounts of water, food, and space
are available. Ten bins of relatively small dimension were
prepared with constant amounts of water, food, and bedding, to
provide such a limited environment for the worms. Each bin began
with ten worms, and every four days, checks were conducted to
determine any changes in the worm populations. We discovered that
the "adjustment period," referred to in our hypothesis, was needed
by worms in most of the bins before they could begin to reproduce.
A surprising trend evident in our data was the "wave effect," a
tendency for the fluctuations in the worm populations to oscillate
back and forth in respect to their relative gains/losses. In other
words, we were able to confirm that Eisenia foetida are able to
limit their population growth based upon available resources.
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