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The effects of metal contamination on earthworm populations around a smelting works: quantifying species effects

The effects of metal contamination on earthworm populations around a smelting works: quantifying species effects,10.1016/0929-1393(96)00109-6,Applied

The effects of metal contamination on earthworm populations around a smelting works: quantifying species effects   (Citations: 55)
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The effects of metal contaminants on the population density and species composition of earthworms were studied at 22 sites around a primary smelting works situated at Avonmouth, southwest England. All worms were absent from six sites within 1 km of the factory and numbers were also reduced significantly at an additional four sites 2 km from the plant. Total earthworm density was found to be inversely related to concentrations of metals in soils. some species of earthworms were found to be more ‘sensitive’ to metals and were absent from sites where more ‘tolerant’ species persisted. For example, Lumbricus rubellus, Lumbricus castaneus and Lumbricus terrestris were all present at sites close to the smelter where Aporrectodea rosea, Aporrectodea caliginosa and Allolobophora chlorotica were absent. The first three ‘tolerant’ species have more active calcium secretion glands in their gut than the three ‘sensitive’ worms. Calcium is known to be involved in the sequestration and elimination of various metals through the chlorogogenous tissue.Toxicity tests were carried out with a ‘sensitive’ and a ‘non-sensitive’ earthworm species (Lumbricus rubellus and Aporrectodea rosea respectively) to examine if earthworm species distribution could be related to their susceptibility to the metals. In addition, the OECD recommended species Eisenia fetida was tested, to compare the sensitivity of this worm to the two commonly occurring soil species. Zinc was the metal used for these tests, since earlier comparisons of metal toxicity between the laboratory and field have shown that of the four metals released from the smelting works (Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn), it is zinc that is limiting the distribution of worms. Test results indicated that Aporrectodea rosea is more sensitive to the effects of zinc than Lumbricus rubellus. Thus, it appears that differences in the distribution of species of earthworms around the smelter can be related to variation in sensitivity to zinc. Both species were affected by zinc at lower concentrations than Eisenia fetida.
Journal: Applied Soil Ecology - APPL SOIL ECOL , vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 147-160, 1996
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    • ...The detrimental effects of metal contamination include reduced number of species and densities of soil invertebrates, including earthworms, Collembola and enchytraeids, and changes in vegetation in the areas around the point sources (Bengtsson and Rundgren 1982; Bengtsson et al. 1983; Bengtsson and Rundgren 1984, 1988; Spurgeon and Hopkin 1996, 1999b; Lukkari et al. 2004; Wang et al. 2007)...
    • ...Bengtsson et al. 1992; Tranvik et al. 1993; Spurgeon and Hopkin 1996, 1999b, 2000; Langdon et al. 2001, 2003; Timmermans et al. 2005; Langdon et al. 2009)...

    Karina V. Fiskeret al. Genetic adaptation of earthworms to copper pollution: is adaptation as...

    • ...1993; Siekierska and Urbanska-Jasik 2002), cocoon production (Ma 1988; Spurgeon and Hopkin 1996b; Spurgeon et al...

    Vishal Sharmaet al. Biokinetic modeling of heavy metals in earthworms

    • ...Spurgeon and Hopkin (1996, 1999) concluded that the low abundance and absence of several earthworm species around a primary smelting works in Avonmouth, UK was related to high metal concentrations...
    • ...Although having comparable organic matter contents and pH, the sampling sites closest to the factory in Avonmouth contained much higher metal concentrations (Spurgeon and Hopkin, 1996) than the Biesbosch soils...
    • ...Since earthworm abundance was affected near Avonmouth at metal concentrations in between those of the Biesbosch sites NP and LP (Spurgeon and Hopkin, 1996), effects on earthworm abundance were only expected at LH...

    Cornelis A. M. van Gestelet al. Effects of metal pollution on earthworm communities in a contaminated ...

    • ...This reduction could be related to different phenomena: (i) the decrease in earthworm diameter measured for A. caliginosa due to potential toxic effects by metal (Spurgeon and Hopkin 1996); (ii) a lower utilisation of the prior building burrows; or (iii) a higher burrowingactivityoflarvae,whosediameterissmall(about 2 mm for Elateridae and 4 mm for Tipulidae)...

    J. Nahmaniet al. Effects of metal pollution on soil macroinvertebrate burrow systems

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