Faculty Advisor

Buckholt, Michael Allan

Faculty Advisor

Rulfs, Jill

Abstract

Prior research has shown that composting worms increase plant production and impact the soil microbiome. Using arugula grown from seed with and without composting worms (Eisenia fetida), plant biomass was measured and preliminary soil microbiome analysis was performed. Plant biomass and culturable microbial numbers were not statistically significantly different between the treatments. Microbial populations appeared to include different species between worm and no-worm treatments. Overall microbial diversity increased in the worm treatment. While these changes did not affect plant biomass, they may impact germination time and other plant/soil characteristics, such as arugula flavor or soil structure, which were not investigated.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2019

Major

Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology

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