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Survival and behaviour of the earthworms Lumbricus rubellus and Dendrodrilus rubidus from arsenate-contaminated and non-contaminated sites.

Langdon, Caroline J. and Piearce, Trevor G. and Meharg, Andrew A. and Semple, Kirk T. (2001) Survival and behaviour of the earthworms Lumbricus rubellus and Dendrodrilus rubidus from arsenate-contaminated and non-contaminated sites. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 33 (9). pp. 1239-1244. ISSN 0038-0717

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Abstract

Two arsenic- and heavy metal-contaminated mine-spoil sites, at Carrock Fell, Cumbria and Devon Great Consols Mine, Devon, were found to support populations of the earthworms Lumbricus rubellus Hoffmeister and Dendrodrilus rubidus (Savigny). L. rubellus and D. rubidus collected from the Devon site and an uncontaminated site were kept for 28 days in uncontaminated soil and in soil containing sodium arsenate (494 mg As kg−1). The state of the specimens was recorded every 7 days using a semi-quantitative assessment of earthworm health (condition index, C. I.). The C. I. remained high for all specimens except those of L. rubellus and D. rubidus from uncontaminated sites, which displayed 60 and 10% mortality, respectively. L. rubellus collected from the Carrock Fell site, and L. rubellus and D. rubidus from an uncontaminated site, burrowed as rapidly into soil containing up to 1235 mg As kg−1 in the form of sodium arsenate as into uncontaminated soil when placed on the soil surface. When earthworms were allowed a choice between uncontaminated soil and soil contaminated with sodium arsenate in concentrations of up to 1235 mg As kg−1, the threshold concentration for avoidance of contaminated soil was lower for L. rubellus and D. rubidus from uncontaminated soil than for specimens from contaminated soil. There was no significant effect of pH on soil discrimination. The LC50 concentration of As for L. rubellus from Devon Great Consols was significantly higher (P<0.001) than for L. rubellus from the uncontaminated site: 1510 and 96 mg As kg−1, respectively.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arsenic-sensitivity ; Earthworm ; Soil contamination ; Metal contaminants ; Toxicity testing
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 9305
Deposited By: Dr Trevor G Piearce
Deposited On: 04 Jun 2008 09:37
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 18:35
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/9305

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