Uptake kinetics of metals by the earthworm Eisenia fetida exposed to field-contaminated soils

Johanne Nahmani, Mark E. Hodson, Simon Devin, Martina G. Vijver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is well known that earthworms can accumulate metals. However, most accumulation studies focus on Cd-, Cu-, Pb- or Zn-amended soils, additionally few studies consider accumulation kinetics. Here we model the accumulation kinetics of 18 elements by Eisenia fetida, exposed to 8 metal-contaminated and 2 uncontaminated soils. Tissue metal concentration was determined after 3, 7,14, 21, 28 and 42 days. Metal elimination rate was important in determining time to reach steady-state tissue metal concentration. Uptake flux to elimination rate ratios showed less variation and lower values for essential than for non-essential metals. In theory kinetic rate constants are dependent only on species and metal. Therefore it should be possible to predict steady-state tissue metal concentrations on the basis of very few measurements using the rate constants. However, our experiments show that it is difficult to extrapolate the accumulation kinetic constants derived using one soil to another. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2622-2628
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

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