Excerpt: ...and dry periods near Nice, within the previous five or six months; they weighed 9.5 oz., or 5 lb. 5.5 oz. per square yard. After an interval of four months, Dr. King collected all the castings subsequently ejected on the same square foot of surface, and they weighed 2.5 oz., or 1 lb. 6.5 oz. per square yard. Therefore within about ten ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...and dry periods near Nice, within the previous five or six months; they weighed 9.5 oz., or 5 lb. 5.5 oz. per square yard. After an interval of four months, Dr. King collected all the castings subsequently ejected on the same square foot of surface, and they weighed 2.5 oz., or 1 lb. 6.5 oz. per square yard. Therefore within about ten months, or we will say for safety's sake within a year, 12 oz. of castings were thrown up on this one square foot, or 6.75 pounds on the square yard; and this would give 14.58 tons per acre. In a field at the bottom of a valley in the chalk (see No. 2 in the foregoing table), a square yard was measured at a spot where very large castings abounded; they appeared, however, almost equally numerous in a few other places. These castings, which retained perfectly their vermiform shape, were collected; and they weighed when partially dried, 1 lb. 13.5 oz. This field had been rolled with a heavy agricultural roller fifty-two days before, and this would certainly have flattened every single casting on the land. The weather had been very dry for two or three weeks before the day of collection, so that not one casting appeared fresh or had been recently ejected. We may therefore assume that those which were weighed had been ejected within, we will say, forty days from the time when the field was rolled, -that is, twelve days short of the whole intervening period. I had examined the same part of the field shortly before it was rolled, and it then abounded with fresh castings. Worms do not work in dry weather during the summer, or in winter during severe frosts. If we assume that they work for only half the year-though this is too low an estimate-then the worms in this field would eject during the year, 8.387 pounds per square yard; or 18.12 tons per acre, assuming the whole surface to be equally productive in castings. In the foregoing cases some of the necessary data had to be estimated, but in the two following cases the...Read Less
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.