Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Management of invasive weed Parthenium hysterophorus through vermicomposting using a polyculture of Eisenia fetida and Eudrilus eugeniae.

Abstract

Parthenium hysterophorus is considered one of the most noxious terrestrial weeds which needs to be efficiently managed to sustain the environment and vermicomposting are a promising eco-friendly management technique. In the current study, vermicomposting of P. hysterophorus was carried out using a polyculture of two epigeic earthworm species, i.e., Eisenia fetida and Eudrilus eugeniae employed in five different vermireactors referred as Rp1, Rp2, Rp3, Rp4, and Rp5 with five mixing ratios 3:7, 4:6, 5:5, 6:4, and 7:3 respectively of P. hysterophorus to cow dung as a blending material. The nutrients in the final vermicompost were determined by analyzing different physico-chemical parameters and the efficiency evaluated by the growth rate of earthworms. After vermicomposting, TKN, TP, and K contents increased with the highest percentage change of 74.74%, 91%, and 47.2% respectively, compared to initial values. Reduction in C/N ratio was observed in all the vermireactors with the lowest C/N ratio of 9.76. EC increased for all the vermireactors during the process and reached in the range of 3.7-3.85 ds/m at the end of the process. The highest percentage gain in biomass of earthworms was 46.25% in Rp2. Vermicomposting of P. hysterophorus is possible for the management of this invasive weed through polyculture of the earthworms E. fetida and E. eugeniae to obtain a value-added organic fertilizer, i.e., vermicompost by a sustainable process.