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Journal Articles Soil Biology and Biochemistry Year : 2018

EGrowth: A global database on intraspecific body growth variability in earthworm


Earthworms play a key role in soil and ecosystem functioning. Predicting their abundance and spatial distribution is required to understand their ecological role. There is growing evidence that mechanistic models of earthworm population dynamics are promising tools to tackle this issue. However, this approach requires a fair amount of data because it explicitly integrates the three fundamental biological processes: growth, reproduction and mortality. Hitherto, the lack of comprehensive databases on life history parameters related to these three processes hampered the widespread development of mechanistic earthworm population dynamics models. As a consequence, predicting earthworm abundance in a variety of conditions across species is still difficult. The clear bottleneck for making progress is the lack of databases on the intraspecific variability of earthworm life history traits in response to environmental conditions. Data related to body growth and body size are critical because body size largely determines reproduction and mortality rates. Body growth is therefore the backbone of mechanistic models of earthworm population dynamics. Here I present EGrowth, the first comprehensive database on intraspecific variability of earthworm body growth in relation to environmental conditions. The EGrowth database contains 1073 growth curves of 51 species of earthworms, representing 16002 measures of body mass. It covers publications on earthworm body size from 1900 to 2016. The environmental conditions in which the growth curves were produced are also reported. The database is open access and can be browsed from a graphical user interface. EGrowth will be updated regularly in the future as new studies are published. I propose a standardized framework for reporting future data on body growth of earthworms.
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hal-02138395 , version 1 (23-05-2019)



Jérôme Mathieu. EGrowth: A global database on intraspecific body growth variability in earthworm. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 2018, 122, pp.71-80. ⟨10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.04.004⟩. ⟨hal-02138395⟩
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