Special Issue "Vermicompost in Sustainable Crop Production"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Soils".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 February 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Gederts Ievinsh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Physiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Latvia, 1 Jelgavas Str., LV-1004 Rīga, Latvia
Interests: physiological effects of organic fertilizers; functional diversity of coastal ecosystems; stress tolerance of crop wild relatives; physiology and ecology of plant–microorganism interactions; plant physiological adaptations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable crop production requires new means of fertilization in light of both the use of renewable resources and improving soil quality. The processing of biological waste by the concerted action of earthworms and microorganisms leads to the production of vermicompost—an organic fertilizer with high microbiological activity, rich in mineral nutrients and humic substances. Vermicompost is an extremely promising type of amendment, as evidenced by many studies at laboratory and field level, as well as the results of practical application. In organic farming, vermicompost can be used as a basal soil fertilizer, providing plant-available mineral nutrients and organic matter as a source for additional nutrients and microbiological activity. In conventional farming, vermicompost can substitute chemical fertilizers. It is evident that the benefits from the application of vermicompost in agriculture are related to direct and indirect effects on crop plants as well as to the improvement of soil properties leading to a long-term increase in soil sustainability. However, the lack of understanding of specific mechanisms of beneficial influence hinders the ability to scientifically predict the outcome of vermicompost application in different crop production systems. Therefore, additional scientific knowledge is necessary to characterize functional relationships involved in vermicompost production and after its application in soil, leading to a certain quality of use of this organic fertilizer. Contributions to this topic are welcome reporting results both from laboratory and field studies concerning earthworm/microorganism/soil/plant interactions at different levels from vermicompost production to application, including those related to crop yield and quality.

Prof. Dr. Gederts Ievinsh
Guest Editor

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  • vermicompost
  • organic fertilizer
  • sustainable crop production
  • soil sustainability
  • mineral nutrition
  • microbiological activity
  • organic farming

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Substrate-Dependent Effect of Vermicompost on Yield and Physiological Indices of Container-Grown Dracocephalum moldavica Plants
by , and
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1231; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121231 - 07 Dec 2021
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The development of sustainable plant production systems involves a search for different alternatives to chemical fertilizers. The aim of the present study is to compare growth and physiological effects of vermicompost on Dracocephalum moldavica plants in controlled conditions, using two types of commercially [...] Read more.
The development of sustainable plant production systems involves a search for different alternatives to chemical fertilizers. The aim of the present study is to compare growth and physiological effects of vermicompost on Dracocephalum moldavica plants in controlled conditions, using two types of commercially available substrates. The intention is to determine whether nondestructively measured photosynthesis-related parameters are useful for monitoring the physiological status of plants. The plants were cultivated in two base substrates without or with the addition of mineral fertilizer, as well as an amendment with vermicompost at a 20% or 30% rate in the conditions of an automated greenhouse. The biomass accumulation for control plants of D. moldavica was identical in peat substrate and commercial garden soil. The average growth increase by mineral fertilizer was 25% for D. moldavica plants grown in peat and 15% for plants grown in soil. Substrate amendment with 20% vermicompost resulted in an 114% average increase in biomass for plants grown in peat and a 98% average increase for plants grown in soil, but for plants at 30% the amendment rate increase was 148% and 68%, for peat and soil, respectively. Consequently, the addition of an identical amount of vermicompost resulted in a poorer growth response of plants in commercial garden soil as a substrate in comparison to peat, but an increase in the amendment rate from 20% to 30% resulted in some growth inhibition for these plants. Chlorophyll concentration was positively affected by the vermicompost amendment in a concentration-dependent manner, but this effect during a cultivation period appeared relatively late. Large differences were found between the three groups of fluorescence-derived parameters, with variable levels of predictability with respect to the differences in plant yield due to the pronounced variation in correlation through time. It is concluded that the incorporation of vermicompost for the cultivation of D. moldavica, even in substrate mixes with relatively high and balanced composition of plant-available nutrients, benefits plant growth, physiological status and biomass yield, but it is necessary to explore interactions between vermicompost and other substrates leading to possible changes in quality-related characteristics of vermicompost in substrate mixes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vermicompost in Sustainable Crop Production)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: A Comparative Study of the Fertilizer-cum-Pesticide Effect of Vermicomposts Derived From Cowdung and the Toxic Weed Lantana (Lantana camera)

Authors: Naseer Hussain; Tasneem Abbasi; S. A. Abbasi

Affiliation: Centre for Pollution Control & Environmental Engineering, Pondicherry University, Chinakalapet, Puducherry 605 014, India

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