The significance of the millipede Glomeris marginata (Villers) for oak-litter decomposition and an approach of its part in energy flow

  • J. van der Drift
Part of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences book series (TPCI)


Glomeris marginata (Villers) is a widespread inhabitant of litter layers in temperate deciduous forests with both mor and mull conditions. In oak forests in The Netherlands it occurs frequently, at densities of 5–10 mature individuals per square meter. G. marginata feeds mainly on moderately decomposed litter. Under laboratory conditions, about 90% of the ingested leaf litter is returned to the soil as faecal pellets measuring approximately 1.5–2.0 × 1.0–1.5 mm and consisting mainly of leaf fragments with a surface area of up to 1 mm2. The decomposition of pellets of G. marginata on a diet of hazel leaves was studied by Nicholson et al. (1966).


Live Weight Faecal Pellet Litter Layer Temperate Deciduous Forest Faeces Production 
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  1. Bocock, K. L. and Heath, Y. (1967): Feeding activity of the millipede Glomeris marginata (Villers) in relation to its vertical distribution in the soil. In: Progress in Soil Biology, 223–240 pp., ed. O. Graff and J. E. Satchell. Vieweg & Sohn Braunschweig.Google Scholar
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  3. Nicholson, P. B., Bocock, K. L. and Heal, . W.(1966): Studies on the decomposition of the faecal pellets of a millipede Glomeris marginata (Villers). J.Ecol. 54, 755–766.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Thiele, H. U. (1968): Die Diplopoden des Rheinlandes Decheniana 120, 343–366.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. van der Drift
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Nature Management (R. I. N.)ArnhemNetherlands

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