Survival, Pb-uptake and behaviour of three species of earthworm in Pb treated soils determined using an OECD-style toxicity test and a soil avoidance test

C J Langdon, M E Hodson, R E Arnold, S Black

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Mature (clitellate) Eisenia andrei Bouche (ultra epigeic), Lumbricus rubellus Hoffmeister (epigeic), and Aporrectodea caliginosa (Savigny) (endogeic) earthworms were placed in soils treated with Pb(NO3)(2) to have concentrations in the range 1000 to 10 000 mg Pb kg(-1). After 28 days LC50(-95%confidence limit) (+95%confidence limit) values were E. andrei 5824(-361)(+898) mg Pb kg(-1), L. rubellus 2867(-193)(+145) mg Pb kg(-1) and A. caliginosa 2747(-304)(+239) mg Pb kg(-1) and EC50s for weight change were E. andrei 2841(-68)(+150) Pb kg(-1), L. rubellus 1303(-201)(+204) mg Pb kg(-1) and A. caliginosa 1208(-206)(+212) Mg Pb kg(-1). At any given soil Pb concentration, Pb tissue concentrations after 28 days were the same for all three earthworm species. In a soil avoidance test there was no difference between the behaviour of the different species. The lower sensitivity to Pb exhibited by E. andrei is most likely due to physiological adaptations associated with the modes of life of the earthworms, and could have serious implications for the use of this earthworm as the species of choice in standard toxicological testing. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-375
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005

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©2005 Elsevier Ltd.

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