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Monday, 03 September 2007

Nitrogenous Waste Excretion by Earthworms

Under the Mimic situation of Drought and Following a Heavy Rain

Jiun Hong Chen1,2 , Jia-Hsing Wu1, and Shu-Chun Chuang1

1. Institute of Zoology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

2. Department of Life Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

In order to realize the excretion of nitrogenous wastes by earthworms under drought condition, earthworms, Amynthas robustus and Metaphire posthuma, were treated under a mimic drought condition and following water submergence to mimic a heavy rain. Under the mimic drought condition, earthworms gradually lost their body moisture resulting in weight lost. For lack of sufficient water to excrete nitrogenous waste including ammonia and urea, the drought-suffered earthworms were forced to accumulate either ammonia or urea in their blood. When the drought-suffered earthworms submerged into sufficient water, they quickly recovered their body weight by water absorption and excreted accumulated nitrogenous wastes in one hour.


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