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Environ Pollut. 2004 May;129(2):331-40.

The effects of heavy metal contamination on the soil arthropod community of a shooting range.

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  • 1Department of Evolutionary Biology, University of Siena, via A Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy. migliorinim@unisi.it


Soils in clay pigeon shooting ranges can be seriously contaminated by heavy metals. The pellets contained in ammunition are composed of Pb, Sb, Ni, Zn, Mn and Cu. The total concentrations of these metals in soils, and the effects of their increasing levels on the arthropod community were investigated at seven sampling sites in a clay pigeon shooting range and compared with two controls. Research revealed that the spatial distribution of Pb and Sb contamination in the shot-fall area was strongly correlated with the flight path of the pellets. Ordination obtained through Redundance Analysis showed that Collembola, Protura and Diplura were positively correlated with major detected contaminants (Pb, Sb), while Symphyla showed a negative correlation with these pollutants. Determination of the soluble lead fraction in soil, and of its bioaccumulation in the saprophagous Armadillidium sordidum (Isopoda) and the predator Ocypus olens (Coleoptera), showed that a significant portion of metallic Pb from spent pellets is bioavailable in the soil and can be bioaccumulated by edaphic organisms, entering the soil trophic network, but without biomagnification.

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