soil fauna

Burrowing behaviour of the New Zealand indigenous earthworm Octochaetus multiporus (Megascolecidae : Oligochaeta)

Mature Octochaetus multiporus in pots of sieved soil created a network of burrows with a diameter of about 10 mm which did not open to the surface. Several chambers 15 to 20 mm wide and 20 to 50 mm long were found within the burrow network; some worms were found curled within these chambers which also contained a quantity of loose cast material. Octochaetus multiporus responded to the presence of plants by burrowing nearer to the surface under white clover and nearer to bottom of the pot under chicory.

Population density and distribution of the New Zealand indigenous earthworm Octochaetus multiporus (Megascolecidae : Oligochaeta) in hill pastures

The distribution of the indigenous New Zealand megascolecid earthworm Octochaetus multiporus (Beddard) in hill pastures of different fertilities in the southern North Island of New Zealand, and the population density throughout a year are described. Octochaetus multiporus was most numerous in soils of low to moderate fertility. High fertility soils had a similar population density to that of an adjacent area of native forest, indicating that the exotic pasture environment can favour Octochaetus multiporus in some circumstances.

Burning in a New Zealand snow-tussock grassland: Effects on vegetation and soil fauna

Soil conditions, vegetation features and soil fauna were recorded in montane tall tussock grassland dominated by narrow- leaved snow tussock Chionochloa rigida ssp. rigida up to 30 months after a spring fire. Burning reduced the stature of tussocks and the size and density of tillers in the first growing season. After two growing seasons, tussock canopy development and tiller size remained below those found in the unburnt grassland nearby. New tillers and tussocks established following the prolific fire-induced flowering one year after burning.