Assessing the Impact of Habitat Conversion on Macro Invertebrates (Termites and Earthworms) by small holder Farming. A case study of selected farm lands in Awach Parish, Abim District.
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This study was aimed at assessing the impact of habitat conversion on macro invertebrates by small holder farming, a case study done from selected small holder farm lands in Awach parish, Abim district. The study approaches taken were to: assess the types of termites and earthworms, determine how termites and earthworms were distributed, and assess the agricultural practices carried out on converted lands. This study was experimentally carried out in forested area, sweet potato garden, and sorghum garden in a randomized block of 1mX5mX30cm. Data collected were all analyzed using Microsoft Excel to find out variations in the types, distribution of earthworms and termites from forest intact and converted lands. In the findings, termites were found to live in three major feeding habits from; forest intact area, sweet potato garden and sorghum garden as; litter feeders which feed on fallen leaves and grasses, wood feeders which feed on lying dead and fallen woods and soil dwellers which live deep inside the soil. In the forested cover, 115 termites were identified, 16 termites were found in sweet potato garden and sorghum garden having 82 termites. On looking to their distribution; termites were found living in colonies which they were not evenly distributed in all the habitats. Earthworms were also found in three varying feeding habits; litter dwellers found in litters above the soil, decomposed organic matter dwellers which live in organic layer of the soil up to the depth of 15cm, and soil dwellers which live deep up to the depth of 30cm in the soil. Forested intact land had 79 numbers of earthworms, sorghum garden had 50 numbers of earthworms, and sweet potato garden had 34 numbers of earthworms. On looking into the distribution of earthworms, they were seen to live in isolation. I.e. they were evenly distributed in all the habitats. To come up with the species types of termites and earthworms, Journal of Entomology and Zoology studies was used to aid in generating species types based on feeding habits and varying species locations. Studies for major agricultural practices were conducted in converted land only. Practice in sweet potato garden being root crop showed that, there was only one type of crop grown i.e. sweet potato crops as the only crop, thus monocropping was the identified practice. In sorghum garden; there were some crops mixed with sorghum; sunflower and maize plants planted together. The practice was identified as intercropping.