A review of studies performed to assess metal uptake by earthworms

Johanne Nahmani, Mark E. Hodson, Stuart Black

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Earthworms perform a number of essential functions in soil; the impacts of metals on earthworms are often investigated. In this review we consider the range of earthworm species, types of soil and forms of metal for which metal uptake and accumulation have been studied, the design of these experiments and the quantitative relationships that have been derived to predict earthworm metal body burden. We conclude that there is a need for more studies on earthworm species other than Eisenia fetida in order to apply the large existing database on this earthworm to other, soil dwelling species. To aid comparisons between studies agreement is needed on standard protocols that define exposure and deputation periods and the parameters, such as soil solution composition, soil chemical and physical properties to be measured. It is recommended that more field or terrestrial model ecosystem studies using real contaminated soil rather than metal-amended artificial soils are performed. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-424
Number of pages23
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number2
Early online date11 Jul 2006
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Ltd.

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