Effects of heavy metals on earthworms along contamination gradients in organic rich soils.

Publication: Ecotoxicology and environmental safety
Publication Date: 2004
Study Author(s): Lukkari, Tuomas;Taavitsainen, Mirka;Väisänen, Ari;Haimi, Jari;
Institution: Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, PO Box 35, 40014, Jyvaskyla, Finland. tlukkari@bytl.jyu.fi
Shortcut link to this study: http://science.naturalnews.com/pubmed/15388274.html
Earthworm communities and metal (bio)availability to earthworms along contamination gradients was studied in order to support chemical analyses in risk assessment of metal contaminated soils. Earthworms were sampled in three metal contaminated areas with different habitat and soil properties in Finland. Earthworm and soil samples were collected at three distances (1, 2, and 4 km) from the emission sources. Earthworms were identified as to species and analyzed for heavy metals. Total soil metal concentrations were analyzed using an ultrasound-assisted extraction method and bioavailable metal fraction was estimated by Acetic Acid extraction. In two of the three areas studied, heavy metal concentrations close to the emission sources were high enough to have harmful effects on earthworms and their environments. In general, diversity, total numbers, and biomass of earthworms increased with increasing distance from the emission sources. When individuals were available for analyses close to the emission source, positive correlations between metal concentrations in the earthworms and those in the soils were observed.
PMID: 15388274

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