Earthworm eco-physiological characteristics and quantification of earthworm feeding in vermifiltration system for sewage sludge stabilization using stable isotopic natural abundance.

Abstract

Previous studies showed that the presence of earthworm improves treatment performance of vermifilter (VF) for sewage sludge stabilization, but earthworm eco-physiological characteristics and effects in VF were not fully investigated. In this study, earthworm population, enzymatic activity, gut microbial community and stable isotopic abundance were investigated in the VF. Results showed that biomass, average weight, number and alkaline phosphatase activity of the earthworms tended to decrease, while protein content and activities of peroxidase and catalase had an increasing tendency as the VF depth. Earthworm gut microbial communities were dominated by Gammaproteobacteria, and the percentages arrived to 76-92% of the microbial species detected. (15)N and (13)C natural abundance of the earthworms decreased with operation time, and increased as the VF depth. Quantitative analysis using δ(15)N showed that earthworm feeding and earthworm-microorganism interaction were responsible for approximately 21% and 79%, respectively, of the enhanced volatile suspended solid reduction due to the presence of earthworm. The finding provides a quantitative insight into how earthworms influence on sewage sludge stabilization in vermifiltration system.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2014.05.042

Cite this paper

@article{Li2014EarthwormEC, title={Earthworm eco-physiological characteristics and quantification of earthworm feeding in vermifiltration system for sewage sludge stabilization using stable isotopic natural abundance.}, author={Xiaowei Li and Meiyan Xing and Jian Yang and Xiaohu Dai}, journal={Journal of hazardous materials}, year={2014}, volume={276}, pages={353-61} }