Earthworms are an essential part of the soil fauna in many global soils, represent a significant proportion of the soil biomass and are regarded as a useful indicator of soil health and quality (Edwards, 2004). They are also often the subject of inoculation programmes during the restoration of degraded lands (Butt, 1999) and the inoculation of earthworms to metal-contaminated soils has been suggested (Dickinson, 2000) largely due to the role earthworms are known to play in soil formation at such sites (Frouz et al., 2007).

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