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Earthworm responses to Cd and Cu under fluctuating environmental conditions: a comparison with results from laboratory exposures

Spurgeon, David J., Svendsen, Claus, Lister, Lindsay J. and Kille, Peter 2005. Earthworm responses to Cd and Cu under fluctuating environmental conditions: a comparison with results from laboratory exposures. Environmental Pollution 136 (3) , pp. 443-452. 10.1016/j.envpol.2005.01.013

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Laboratory toxicity tests are usually conducted under stable ambient conditions, while exposures in ecosystems occur in a fluctuating climate. To assess how climate influences the toxicity of Cu and Cd for the earthworm Lumbricus rubellus, this study compared effects for life-cycle parameters (survival, reproduction), cellular status (lysosomal membrane stability), gene expression (transcript of the metal binding protein metallothionein-2) and tissue metal concentration measured under outdoor conditions, with the same responses under constant conditions as measured by Spurgeon et al. [Spurgeon, D.J., Svendsen, C., Weeks, J.M., Hankard, P.K., Stubberud, H.E., Kammenga, J.E., 2003. Quantifying copper and cadmium impacts on intrinsic rate of population increase in the terrestrial oligochaete Lumbricus rubellus. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 22, 1465–1472]. Both metals were found to significantly influence earthworm reproduction, compromise lysosomal membrane stability and induce MT-2 gene expression in the outdoor system. Comparison with physiological and life-cycle responses in the laboratory indicated similar response patterns and effect concentrations for Cu. For Cd, lysosomal membrane stability and MT-2expression showed comparable responses in both exposures. Juvenile production rate, however, gave different dose response relationships, with the EC-50 in the outdoor test approximately half that in the laboratory test. A difference in Cd accumulation was also seen. Overall, however, the comparison indicated only a marginal effect of environmental fluctuations typical for northern temperate Europe on earthworm sensitivity to the two metals. Comparative analysis of life-cycle, physiological and molecular responses to Cu and Cd indicate similar responses under static and fluctuating climate regimes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: Temperature; Rainfall; Neutral red retention; Metallothionein; Body burden
ISSN: 0269-7491
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 01:58

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