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Environ Pollut. 2005 Nov;138(1):121-31.

Terrestrial avoidance behaviour tests as screening tool to assess soil contamination.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal. sloureiro@bio.ua.pt

Abstract

To assess soil quality and risk assessment, bioassays can be useful tools to gauge the potential toxicity of contaminants focusing on their bioavailable fraction. A rapid and sublethal avoidance behaviour test was used as a screening tool with the earthworm Eisenia andrei and the isopod Porcellionides pruinosus, where organisms were exposed during 48 h to several chemicals (lindane, dimethoate and copper sulphate, for isopods and carbendazim, benomyl, dimethoate and copper sulphate for earthworms). Both species were also exposed to soils from an abandoned mine. For all bioassays a statistical approach was used to derive EC50 values. Isopods and earthworms were able to perceive the presence of toxic compounds and escaping from contaminated to clean soil. Furthermore the behaviour parameter was equally or more sensitive then other sublethal parameters (e.g. reproduction or growth), expressing the advantages of Avoidance Behaviour Tests as screening tools in ERA.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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