A great number of insects play an essential role in stabilizing and sustainability of ecosystems. The terrestrial isopods are also important members of soil macrofauna in many habitats, and they are considered as an integral part of the decomposition process. Although the role of isopod in decomposing organic matter and recycling nutrients is very well known, there is no available scientific research or information dealing with the utilization of fertilizer obtained from it as the plant and seedling growing media or soil conditioner in agriculture production. The main goal of this study was to evaluate the usability of fertilizer obtained from a terrestrial isopod (Porcellio laevis) and the effect of vermicompost added into the growing media in the growing of lettuce seedlings. By this purpose, 10 different mixtures containing 1, 5, 10 and 20% of each fertilizer [including agricultural soil (control) and peat] as seedling growth media were used. According to results the differences among growing media in terms of emergence and seedling characteristics were not significant. However, the leaf number, fresh-dry shoot weight, and fresh-dry root weight of seedling in all mixtures were equal or higher than control. Results from the study suggest that the isopod fertilizer for the evaluation of agricultural organic wastes which are sometimes regarded as pollutants could be confidently used.
Lettuce, Porcellio laevis, Vermicompost, Seedling