Metal reference values established in Brazilian legislation for terrestrial disposal of dredged sediments and soil quality were derived for temperate regions. To evaluate the adequacy of such metal reference values to tropical soils, the ecotoxicity of a dredged sediment (from the Guanabara bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) was investigated in two local soils (ferralsol and chernosol) by performing avoidance and reproduction tests using Folsomia candida and Enchytraeus crypticus. Test doses consisted of 0 %, 1.25 %, 2.5 %, 5, 10 %, and 20 %. Total and potentially bioavailable metal concentrations were determined in the test mixtures. Although the chernosol mixtures had the highest total metal concentrations, the influence of the expansive clay minerals (with high ability to adsorb metals) and the high contents of nutrients typical from this type of soils, seem to reduce the ecotoxicity. Collembolan avoidance behavior was the least sensitive endpoint. The lowest sediment doses increased the reproduction of F. candida in ferralsol mixtures. E. crypticus reproduction in the ferralsol mixtures were more pronounced at lower concentrations than in chernosol mixtures. Possibly the low nutrient content of the ferralsols, in connection with the addition of small amounts of sediment, created particular conditions that promoted reproduction of the test species. Data obtained in the ecotoxicological tests may support the establishment of a "safe" ecological dose of dredged sediments to be applied in tropical soils, supporting decision-makers in programs of environmental management.
The replacement of native Portuguese forests by Eucalyptus globulus is often associated with deleterious effects on terrestrial and aquatic communities. Several studies have suggested that such a phenomenon is linked with the leaf essential oils released into the environment during the Eucalyptus leaf degradation process. However, to date, the way these compounds affect leaf degradation in terrestrial systems i.e. by direct toxic effects to soil invertebrates or indirectly by affecting food of soil fauna, is still unknown. In order to explore this question, the effect of essential oils extracted from E. globulus leaves on terrestrial systems was investigated. Fungal growth tests with species known as leaf colonizers (Mucor hiemalis, Alternaria alternata, Penicillium sp., Penicillium glabrum and Fusarium roseum) were performed to evaluate the antifungal effect of essential oils. In addition, a reproduction test with the collembolans Folsomia candida was done using a gradient of eucalyptus essential oils in artificial soil. The influence of essential oils on feeding behaviour of F. candida and the isopods Porcellio dilatatus was also investigated through food avoidance and consumption tests. Eucalyptus essential oils were lethal at concentrations between 2.5-20 µL/mL and inhibited growth of all fungal species between 1.25-5 µL/mL. The collembolan reproduction EC50 value was 35.0 (28.6-41.2) mg/kg and both collembola and isopods preferred leaves without oils. Results suggested that the effect of essential oils in leaf processing is related to direct toxic effects on fungi and soil fauna and to indirect effects on the quality and availability of food to soil invertebrates.
The aim of the present study is to contribute an ecologically relevant assessment of the ecotoxicological effects of pesticide applications in agricultural areas in the tropics, using an integrated approach with information gathered from soil and aquatic compartments. Carbofuran, an insecticide/nematicide used widely on sugarcane crops, was selected as a model substance. To evaluate the toxic effects of pesticide spraying for soil biota, as well as the potential indirect effects on aquatic biota resulting from surface runoff and/or leaching, field and laboratory (using a cost-effective simulator of pesticide applications) trials were performed. Standard ecotoxicological tests were performed with soil (Eisenia andrei, Folsomia candida, and Enchytraeus crypticus) and aquatic (Ceriodaphnia silvestrii) organisms, using serial dilutions of soil, eluate, leachate, and runoff samples. Among soil organisms, sensitivity was found to be E. crypticus < E. andrei < F. candida. Among the aqueous extracts, mortality of C. silvestrii was extreme in runoff samples, whereas eluates were by far the least toxic samples. A generally higher toxicity was found in the bioassays performed with samples from the field trial, indicating the need for improvements in the laboratory simulator. However, the tool developed proved to be valuable in evaluating the toxic effects of pesticide spraying in soils and the potential risks for aquatic compartments.
A current challenge in soil ecotoxicology is the use of natural soils as test substrates to increase ecological relevance of data. Despite the existence of six natural reference soils (the Euro-soils), some parallel projects showed that these soils do not accurately represent the diversity of European soils. Particularly, Mediterranean soils are not properly represented. To fill this gap, 12 natural soils from the Mediterranean regions of Alentejo, Portugal; Cataluña, Spain; and Liguria, Italy, were selected and used in reproduction and avoidance tests to evaluate the soil habitat function for earthworms (Eisenia andrei) and enchytraeids (Enchytraeus crypticus). Predictive models on the influence of soil properties on the responses of these organisms were developed using generalized linear models. Results indicate that the selected soils can impact reproduction and avoidance behavior of both Oligochaete species. Reproduction of enchytraeids was affected by different soil properties, but the test validity criteria were fulfilled. The avoidance response of enchytraeids was highly variable, but significant effects of texture and pH were found. Earthworms were more sensitive to soil properties. They did not reproduce successfully in three of the 10 soils, and a positive influence of moisture, fine sand, pH, and organic matter and a negative influence of clay were found. Moreover, they strongly avoided soils with extreme textures. Despite these limitations, most of the selected soils are suitable substrates for ecotoxicological evaluations.
Nineteen Mediterranean natural soils with a wide range of properties and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) artificial soil were used to assess the influence of soil properties on the results of avoidance and reproduction tests carried out with the soil collembolan species Folsomia candida. Compared to natural soils, the OECD soil was mostly rejected by individuals when a natural soil was offered in avoidance tests, and the number of offspring produced was generally lower than the one obtained in natural soils. None of the soil properties assessed showed a significant influence on the avoidance behavior. More precisely, only soil moisture was included in the model explaining the avoidance response (avoidance increased with increasing differences in moisture), but its contribution was marginally not significant. The model derived explained only 16% of the variance in avoidance response. On the contrary, several soil properties significantly influenced reproduction (number of offspring increased with increasing moisture content, increasing coarse texture, and decreasing nitrogen content). In this case, the model explained 45% of the variance in reproduction. These results, together with the fact that most of the selected soils fulfilled the validity criteria in both avoidance and reproduction tests, confirm the literature experience showing that this species is relatively insensitive to soil properties and hence highly suitable to be used in ecotoxicological tests with natural soils. In addition, our study highlights the need for accuracy in soil moisture adjustment in soil ecotoxicological tests with this species. Otherwise, results of both avoidance and reproduction tests might be biased.
The impact of diazinon spraying in an agricultural tropical soil through the evaluation of both the habitat and retention functions of the soil system was never reported. To fill this gap, five times the recommended dose of a commercial diazinon formulation was sprayed in an agricultural area of Costa Rica, and dilution gradients of the sprayed soil were prepared in the laboratory. Avoidance and reproduction tests with soil organisms (Eisenia andrei, Enchytraeus crypticus and Folsomia candida) to evaluate losses in terrestrial habitat function, and growth and reproduction tests with aquatic organisms (Chlorella vulgaris and Daphnia magna, respectively) to evaluate the retention function of soil were performed. Results demonstrated that regarding habitat function, F. candida reproduction was the most sensitive endpoint (EC(50) = 0.288 mg a.i./kg), followed by avoidance behaviour of E. andrei (EC(20) = 1.75 mg a.i./kg). F. candida avoidance and the reproduction of E. andrei and E. crypticus were not affected by diazinon. The toxicity tests with aquatic organisms showed that the soil retention function was insufficient to prevent effects of diazinon either on microalgae growth (EC(50) ? 0.742 mg/L and EC(20) ? 0.223 mg/L) and on the reproduction of the cladoceran (EC(50) ? 0.00771 mg/L and EC(20) ? 0.00646 mg/L). Results suggested that diazinon exerted toxic effects even at the dilution corresponding to the recommended dose, fact which makes its misuse an issue of environmental concern. Furthermore, the present study highlighted the importance and complementary nature of the assessment of both habitat and retention functions to an ecological risk assessment in tropical systems.
The upper limit concentrations of metals established by international legislations for dredged sediment disposal and soil quality do not take into consideration the properties of tropical soils (generally submitted to more intense weathering processes) on metal availability and ecotoxicity. Aiming to perform an evaluation on the suitability of these threshold values in tropical regions, the ecotoxicity of metal-contaminated dredged sediment from the Guanabara Bay (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) was investigated. Acute and avoidance tests with Eisenia andrei were performed with mixtures of dredged sediment with a ferralsol (0.00, 6.66, 13.12, 19.98, and 33.30 %) and a chernosol (0.00, 6.58, 13.16, 19.74, and 32.90 %). Mercury, lead, nickel, chromium, copper, and zinc concentrations were measured in test mixtures and in tissues of surviving earthworms from the acute tests. While ferralsol test mixtures provoked significant earthworm avoidance response at concentrations ?13.31 %, the chernosol mixtures showed significant avoidance behavior only at the 19.74 % concentration. The acute tests showed higher toxicity in ferralsol mixtures (LC50?=?9.9 %) compared to chernosol mixtures (LC50?=?16.5 %), and biomass increased at the lowest sediment doses in treatments of both test soils. Most probably, the expansive clay minerals present in chernosol contributed to reduce metal availability in chernosol mixtures, and consequently, the ecotoxicity of these treatments. The bioconcentration factors (BCF) for zinc and copper were lower with increasing concentrations of the dredged sediment, indicating the existence of internal regulating processes. Although the BCF for mercury also decreased with the increasing test concentrations, the known no biological function of this metal in the earthworms metabolism lead to suppose that Hg measured was not present in bioaccumulable forms. BCFs estimated for the other metals were generally higher in the highest dredged sediment doses.
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