Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 1997 Feb;36(1):72-9.

Relevance and applicability of a simple earthworm biomarker of copper exposure. I. Links to ecological effects in a laboratory study with Eisenia andrei.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Biology, Odense University, Denmark.


A simple earthworm biomarker, neutral-red retention by coelomocyte lysosomes, was measured concurrently with ecological parameters in order to link effects at different levels of biological organization in a laboratory study. Exposure of the earthworm Eisenia andrei to an increasing range of soil copper concentrations in the laboratory indicated a threshold range for the neutral-red assay at soil copper concentrations between 40 and 80 mg Cu kg-1. This threshold coincided with the soil to worm copper bioconcentration factor decreasing from 1 to 0.3 and thus an apparent onset of a copper regulatory mechanism. Effects at the individual and population levels only occurred at soil copper concentrations beyond that of the biomarker threshold. Thus, it was possible to differentiate between exposure and toxicity. It was therefore possible to conclude that the neutral-red assay has great potential and relevance in earthworm ecotoxicity studies. The assay provides an early warning that can be linked directly to important physiological changes that were observed to precede adverse effects on individuals or populations in this laboratory study.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk