Ernst G, Zimmermann S, Christie P, Frey B (2008) Mercury, cadmium and lead concentrations in different ecophysiological groups of earthworms in forest soils. Environmental Pollution, 156: 1304-1313. [10.1016/j.envpol.2008.03.002]


Bioaccumulation; Cd; Earthworms; Ecophysiological group; Feeding behaviour; Heavy metals; Hg; Pb


Bioaccumulation of Hg, Cd and Pb by eight ecophysiologically distinct earthworm species was studied in 27 polluted and uncontaminated forest soils. Lowest tissue concentrations of Hg and Cd occurred in epigeic Lumbricus rubellus and highest in endogeic Octolasion cyaneum. Soils dominated by Dendrodrilus rubidus possess a high potential of risk of Pb biomagnification for secondary predators. Bioconcentration factors (soil-earthworm) followed the sequence ranked Cd > Hg > Pb. Ordination plots of redundancy analysis were used to compare HM concentrations in earthworm tissues with soil, leaf litter and root concentrations and with soil pH and CEC. Different ecological categories of earthworms are exposed to Hg, Cd and Pb in the topsoil by atmospheric deposition and accumulate them in their bodies. Species differences in HM concentrations largely reflect differences in food selectivity and niche separation. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

LWF Classification

Network: LWF, Sites: Alptal; Bettlachstock; Jussy; Lausanne; Neunkirch; Novaggio; Othmarsingen; Schänis; Visp; Vordemwald, Category: ISI,