Effects of metals on life cycle parameters of the earthworm Eisenia fetida exposed to field-contaminated, metal-polluted soils

Johanne Nahmani, Mark E. Hodson, Stuart Black

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Two control and eight field-contaminated, metal-polluted soils were inoculated with Eisenia fetida (Savigny, 1826). Three, 7, 14, 21, 28 and 42 days after inoculation, earthworm survival, body weight, cocoon production and hatching rate were measured. Seventeen metals were analysed in E.fetida tissue, bulk soil and soil solution. Soil organic carbon content, texture, pH and cation exchange capacity were also measured. Cocoon production and hatching rate were more sensitive to adverse conditions than survival or weight change. Soil properties other than metal concentration impacted toxicity. The most toxic soils were organic-poor (1-10 g C kg(-1)), sandy soils (c. 74% sand), with intermediate metal concentrations (e.g. 7150-13, 100 mg Ph kg(-1), 2970-53,400 mg Zn kg(-1)). Significant relationships between soil properties and the life cycle parameters were determined. The best coefficients of correlation were generally found for texture, pH, Ag, Cd, Mg, Pb, Tl, and Zn both singularly and in multivariate regressions. Studies that use metal-amended artificial soils are not useful to predict toxicity of field multi-contaminated soils. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-58
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
Early online date20 Feb 2007
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007

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Copyright © 2007 Elsevier Ltd.

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