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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 1996 Mar;33(2):118-27.

Population level consequences of toxicological influences on individual growth and reproduction in Lumbricus rubellus (Lumbricidae, Oligochaeta).

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  • 1Institute for Forestry and Nature Research (IBN-DLO), Wageningen, The Netherlands.


The effects of increased environmental concentrations of copper on the population dynamics of Lumbricus rubellus are investigated. A size-structured matrix model is used to translate sublethal effects on individual growth and reproduction into their population dynamical consequences. Laboratory data on growth and reproduction under different, sublethal conditions of copper stress are used to parameterize the model. An estimate for the critical threshold concentration of copper (critical in a sense that the population growth rate at this concentration equals zero), obtained from the model analysis, agrees well with observations on field populations of L. rubellus.

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