Factors Influencing Earthworm Fauna in Parks in Megacity Beijing, China: An Application of a Synthetic and Simple Index (ESI)

Tian Xie, Xuzhi Li, Meie Wang*, Weiping Chen, Jack H. Faber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Complicated factors in urban areas have been reported to impact the density, biomass, and diversity of earthworm fauna. Urban parks provide essential habitats for earthworm fauna. However, how earthworm fauna are impacted by park traits, such as construction age, distance to city center, visitor volumes, sizes of greenspaces/parks, and attractiveness, etc., still remains unknown. These traits are well characterized by the impacts of urbanization intensity and administration quality of parks in megacities. Therefore, 16 parks with gradients of construction ages and geographical locations in Beijing city were selected for investigation. Furthermore, an earthworm synthetic and simple index (ESI) for characterizing earthworm community has been developed to compensate for the lack of robustness by using single ecological indexes. The results showed that earthworm population density (38.6 ind/m2) and biomass (34.0 g/m2) in parks were comparable to those in other land use types in Beijing. Ecological groupings were dominated by disturbance-tolerant endogeic and deep soil-inhabiting anecic groups, and most of them were adults. The earthworm population was influenced by urbanization intensity, while the earthworm community composition, species biodiversity, and ESI were affected by administration quality of parks. The soil moisture and microbial biomass carbon were the key factors in shaping earthworm assemblages. ESI could be employed as an effective indicator in depicting character of earthworm fauna. This study highlighted the impacts of park traits on earthworms in urban parks. The variation in park traits that influence earthworm fauna was probably attributed to soil properties.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6054
Issue number10
Early online date1 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022


  • earthworm assemblage
  • edaphic property
  • invertebrate biodiversity
  • urban park
  • urbanization process


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