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Influence of soil physicochemical parameters on the abundance of Paracoelophrya polymorphus (Ciliophora: Radiophryidae) commensal of earthworms (Annelida: Glossoscolecidae) collected in Bambui (North-West Cameroon)

Zéphyrin Fokam, Paul Alain Nana, Karine Moche, Geneviève Bricheux, Philippe Bouchard, Pierre Ngassam, Télesphore Sime-Ngando

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.6(2), 376-389, February 2015

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Abstract

Earthworms of the genus Alma nilotica belonging to the family Glossoscolecidae, lodges an abundant fauna of astomatous ciliates in its digestive tract. Each species is located in a well-defined portion of the gut and the reasons for this stratification still remain unclear. In order to assess the influence of physico-chemicals parameters of the soil on the distribution of one of these astomatous ciliates (Paracoelophrya polymorphus Fokam, 2012) along the digestive tract of Alma nilotica, a study was carried out from April to September 2013 in Bambui on the banks of Fansaah river. The volumic density (VD) of worms (number /dm3 soil) was examined. A total of 60 worms were used for the counting of ciliates. The observation of Paracoelophrya polymorphus was done after staining with methylene blue. Twelve physico-chemicals parameters of the soil from the site of collection of worms were analyzed. The degree of binding between the VD of worms, the abundance of ciliates and physico-chemicals parameters was performed for different portions of the digestive tract. VD of the earthworms shows a positive and significant correlation with the Cation Exchange Capacity CEC (r = 0.771; P < 0, 05) and with Mg (r = 0.886; P < 0, 01). Paracoelophrya polymorphus is located in the foregut and midgut of its host but, its preferential zone is the foregut. In the foregut, a negative and significant correlation was found between available phosphorus (P) and P. polymorphus abundance (r = -0,943; P < 0, 01). In the midgut, a positive and significant correlation was obtained between the Cation Exchange capacity (CEC) (r = 0.754; P < 0, 05), magnesium (r = 0.812; P < 0, 05), calcium (r = 0.754; P < 0, 05) and P. polymorphus abundance. These chemical parameters influence directly the density of the earthworms and indirectly the stratification of P. polymorphus.

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Influence of soil physicochemical parameters on the abundance of Paracoelophrya polymorphus (Ciliophora: Radiophryidae) commensal of earthworms (Annelida: Glossoscolecidae) collected in Bambui (North-West Cameroon)

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