Earthworm community in conventional, organic and direct seeding with living mulch cropping systems

  • Published source details Pelosi C., Bertrand M. & Roger-Estrade J. (2009) Earthworm community in conventional, organic and direct seeding with living mulch cropping systems. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 29, 287-295.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Reduce tillage

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Reduce tillage

    A small replicated trial near Paris, France (Pelosi et al. 2009) found no difference in the total number of earthworms or earthworm (Lumbricidae) species on direct drilled (no-till) plots compared to conventionally farmed plots, but earthworm biomass was always higher in direct drilled plots. These plots had an average of 79 g earthworm/m2, compared to 32 g/m2 on conventional plots. There was a much higher proportion of deep-burrowing species (50% of all earthworms were deep-burrowing) in the direct-drilled plots than in conventional plots (13% of all earthworms). There was also a higher proportion of litter-dwelling earthworms in the direct drilling plots (14% of all earthworms, compared to 2% in conventional plots). From 1997 to 2007 treatments were compared on 1 ha arable plots, two replicates of each treatment. The direct drilled treatment involved a continuous plant cover ‘living mulch’ with herbicides used to control weeds and no tillage. Earthworms were sampled from five sample points in each plot by chemical extraction and hand-sorting, every autumn for three years (2005-2007).


Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust