EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Effects of earthworm functional traits on CO2 and N2O emissions from casts

Yacouba Zi, Marie-France Dignac, Nicolas Bottinelli, Yvan Capowiez, Alessandro Florio, and Cornelia Rumpel1
Yacouba Zi et al.
  • Sorbonne University, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris (IEES-Paris), France (

Earthworm species are grouped into three ecological categories, endogeic, epigeic and anecic from their nutritional behaviors, their strategies of morpho-functional adaptations and localization in the soil profile. These earthworms play a major role in the biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nitrogen through their bioturbation activity and cast production that have specific physical, chemical and biological characteristics. They affect the sequestration of soil C through their influence on soil organic matter (SOM) protection processes. However, CO2 and N2O emissions from cast depend on earthworm species with different physical, chemical and microbiological properties even when these species belong to the same ecological category. Hence the importance of investigating their functional traits to see how they affect greenhouse gas emissions. To do this, we measured the emissions of N2O and CO2 in earthworm cast, then we characterized the physical-chemical properties from elemental and spectroscopic analyses. Finally, these results were related to different morphological (pigmentation, color, size), anatomical (gizzard, pharynx, morren's gland size) and physiological traits. Our hypothesis is that the casts of pigmented and colored earthworms, with a large pharynx and gizzard, morren's gland, secreting a lot of mucus and water produce more CO2, N2O.

How to cite: Zi, Y., Dignac, M.-F., Bottinelli, N., Capowiez, Y., Florio, A., and Rumpel1, C.: Effects of earthworm functional traits on CO2 and N2O emissions from casts, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15615,, 2023.