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Environ Toxicol Chem. 2002 Jan;21(1):109-14.

Effects of eight polycyclic aromatic compounds on the survival and reproduction of Enchytraeus crypticus (Oligochaeta, Clitellata).

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University of Oslo, Department of Biology, Blindern, Norway.


The effects of eight polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) on the survival and reproduction of the enchytraeid worm Enchytraeus crvpticus were investigated in an agricultural soil with an organic carbon content of 1.6%. With the exception of acridine, which showed a strong binding to the test soil and a subsequent low toxicity, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and neutral N-, S-, O-monosubstituted analogues showed a similar toxicity to the enchytraeids. Concentrations estimated to give a 10% reduction of reproductive output (EC10 values) were based on measured initial concentrations and were, for acridine, 310 mg/kg; for carbazole, 19 mg/kg; for dibenzofuran, 36 mg/kg, for dibenzothiophene, 40 and 45 mg/kg (two tests); for fluoranthene, 15 mg/kg; for fluorene, 25 mg/kg; for phenanthrene, 40 mg/kg; and for pyrene, 11 mg/kg. Using reported soil-pore-water partitioning coefficients for the substances in question, equilibrium pore-water concentrations could be estimated from the total soil concentrations. Calculated EC10 values, expressed as log10(mmol/L pore water), were negatively related to the lipophilicity (log Kow) of the compounds (r2 = 0.58; p = 0.027, n = 8), thus indicating a rather nonspecific (narcotic) mode of toxic action for these compounds. When compared with literature ecotoxicity data for a springtail (Folsomia fimetaria) tested in the same soil type, enchytraeids generally seem less sensitive.

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