Environmental Studies Program, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Pomona 08240, USA. Kerstfeld@aol.com
Soils containing low levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were collected from an abandoned industrial site. A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of these contaminants on soil invertebrates representing three levels of ecological hierarchy: the microfauna, mesofauna, and macrofauna. Nematodes were studied as representatives of the soil microfauna, microarthropods as representatives of the mesofauna, and earthworms as representatives of the macrofauna. Six sample plots representing a gradient of PAH contamination ranging from 5.28 to 80.46 mg/kg total PAHs were evaluated. Nematode community structure, including abundance and diversity of trophic and taxonomic groups; the total abundance of microarthropods (orders Collembola and Acarina); and earthworm (Eisenia andrei) growth were evaluated. Multiple regression analyses were used to evaluate trends in the responses of these target organisms to PAH concentrations and habitat variability. Abundance of omnivore/predator nematodes and microarthropod order Collembola; nematode taxonomic diversity; and the percent difference in earthworm weights exhibited positive associations with PAH concentrations. Total abundance of microarthropod order Acarina was negatively associated with PAH concentrations.
Diversity of soil nematodes in areas polluted with heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Lanzhou, China.
School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, People's Republic of China. firstname.lastname@example.org
This study investigated the soil nematode community structure along the Yellow River in the Lanzhou area of China, and analyzed the impact of heavy metals (Cd, Pb, Cr, Cu, and Zn) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on the nematode community. Soil samples from five locations (named A-E), which were chosen for soil analysis, showed significant differences in their heavy metal content (p < 0.01), as well as in the variety of nematodes (up to 41 genera) and families (up to 20) that were present. The different samples also differed significantly in the total PAH content (p < 0.05), as well as the six types of PAH present. Sites A-C showed the most severe contamination with heavy metals and PAHs; these sites had the lowest abundance of fungivores and omnivore/predators, but the proportion of bacteriovores was the highest (p < 0.05). Site E, in contrast, showed only minor pollution with heavy metals and PAHs, and it contained the highest abundance of plant parasites (p < 0.05). Several nematode ecological indicators were found to correlate with concentration of soil pollutants at all the sites tested: the maturity index (MI, in addition to plant parasites), plant parasite index (PPI), SigmaMI (including all the soil nematodes), Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H''), and Wasilewska index (WI). Disturbance to the soil environment was more severe when MI, SigmaMI, and H' values were lower. The results of the study show that the abundance and structure of the soil nematode communities in the sampling locations were strongly influenced by levels of heavy metals and PAHs in the soil. They also show that the diversity index H' and the maturity index can be valuable tools for assessing the impact of pollutants on nematodes.
Ecotoxicological and fertilizing effects of dewatered, composted and dry sewage sludge on soil mesofauna: a TME experiment.
CREAF, Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications, Edifici C, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain. email@example.com
The effects of dewatered, composted and dry urban sewage sludge on the soil mesofauna were tested in mesocosms. PVC containers were filled with soil/sludge mixtures in a proportion to amount to 6% organic matter content and were colonized with soil fauna coming from undisturbed forest soils. Mesocosms were incubated under laboratory conditions for 7, 30, 60, 120 and 180 days, after which fauna was extracted in Berlese funnels. The animals were classified at different taxonomic levels. Acari were classified to the suborder level for Astigmata, to the family level for Mesostigmata and Prostigmata and to the species level for Cryptostigmata. Acute- and medium-term effects were determined on the faunal density, relative abundance of the main taxa and community structure. Prostigmata were sensitive to the acute effect of the sludge, whereas Mesostigmata and particularly Cryptostigmata were sensitive to its medium-term effect. The most negative effects were found for dry sludge, which caused acute and medium-term effects on the invertebrate communities and on the soil trophic structure.
National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Terrestrial Ecology, P.O. Box 314, DK-8600 Silkeborg, Denmark.
With the overall perspective of calculating soil quality criteria (SQC) for the group of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the existing ecotoxicity data for the soil compartment have been reviewed. The majority of data useful in the context of deriving SQC are of recent origin. Soil quality criteria are considered valuable tools for assessing the environmental risk of contamination, as they may give guidance on concentration limits for various chemicals to protect the function and structure of ecosystems. Soil quality criteria for soil-dwelling species were calculated using various assumptions and two internationally accepted methods, i.e., application of assessment factors and species sensitivity distributions, respectively. It was suggested to derive ecotoxicological soil quality criteria, which focus on the lower molecular weight PAHs, i.e., those with log Kow values lower than 5.5 or 6; this is the log Kow range where a cutoff in toxicity for terrestrial species is expected for narcotic substances. Predicted values from the two methods were similar. Calculations showed that, for four individual PAHs of three or four rings, SQC fall in the range of 1.0 and 2.5 mg kg(-1). However, as no individual PAH is fond alone it is suggested to use a sum criterion for a group of PAHs instead. The different possibilities to calculate such a sum criterion are discussed. Based on toxicity data presented here and the average abundance of different PAHs in nearly 1000 Danish soil samples, an ecotoxicological soil quality criterion of 25 mg kg(-1) dry weight for the sum of the eight PAHs acenaphthene, fluorene, anthracene, phenanthrene, pyrene, fluoranthene, benz[a]anthracene, and chrysene is suggested.
Using experimental and forest soils to investigate the uptake of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) along an urban-rural gradient.
Department of Geography, University of Toronto, 100 St. George St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Spatial and temporal variation in the atmospheric deposition of PAHs to soil was examined by deploying experimental soils for approximately 165 days and conducting a survey of forest soils at several sites along an urban-rural transect extending from downtown Toronto to approximately 80 km north of the city. PAH concentrations decreased with distance from the urban centre-by a factor of 2 and 60 for the experimental and forest soils respectively. The large gradient for the forest soils is generally consistent with air concentrations of PAHs measured using high volume and passive air samplers. The smaller gradient for the experimental soils was due to kinetic limitations of PAH accumulation and the relatively short deployment period of approximately 165 days. Mean effective deposition velocities (gas+particle) for the full range of PAHs for the experimental soils at the urban, suburban, and the rural sites were 2, 31 and 26 cm s(-1), respectively. These were incorporated into a dynamic model that was used to assess the long-term uptake of PAHs in forest soils. Model results indicate that lower molecular weight PAHs may achieve equilibrium and become involved in soil-air exchange whereas higher molecular weight PAHs are accumulated for much longer time periods.
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Environmental fate of synthetic pyrethroids during spray drift and field runoff treatments in aquatic microcosms.
Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA. Kerstfeld@aol.com
The aquatic fate and persistence of synthetic pyrethroids under spray drift and field runoff treatment regimens were determined in outdoor pond microcosms. In this paper, the experimental design and construction of outdoor microcosms is presented, as well as the aquatic fate of tralomethrin and deltamethrin. Tralomethrin is rapidly degraded to deltamethrin, with a half-life of 12.7 hours under spray drift conditions. Degradation profiles of tralomethrin in water indicated rapid conversion of deltamethrin and to less active isomers and then to decamethrinic acid (BR2CA). After 24 hours, the percent radioactivity of tralomethrin was 25% of the test material in the water column. In sediment, tralomethrin was immediately converted to deltamethrin. Deltamethrin is rapidly degraded with a half-life of 8 to 48 hours, depending on mechanisms of introduction into water. Degradation profiles of deltamethrin in water indicated rapid conversion of deltamethrin to decamethrinic acid (BR2CA), comprising approximately 90% of the radioactivity in the aqueous phase at 168 hours. Extraction and analysis of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) after 96 hours revealed that tissue residues contained parent compounds and metabolites alpha-R-deltamethrin, trans-deltamethrin and Br2CA. Fish residues are directly related to aqueous concentrations, thus bioavailability under field runoff regimes were an order of magnitude lower than tissue residues under spray drift conditions. Plant tissue was found to significantly accumulate pyrethroids.
Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903, USA.
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Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, National University Mar del Plata, Experimental Station of the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA). C.C. 276 (7620) Balcarce, Argentina. firstname.lastname@example.org
Studies were done to see the effects of five toxic baits based on metaldehyde and/or carbaryl on the taxonomic composition of soil meso and macrofauna, and determined the density of beneficial organisms in soybean under no tillage. Six treatments were tested and soil monoliths were taken before application and at 45 and 75 days after application (DAA). Before application, 1601 individuals were recorded, belonging 1086 to mesofauna and 515 to macrofauna. In soil mesofauna such as Annelida: Enchytraeidae (44%), Nematoda (33%) and Arthropoda (23%) were found. In the macrofauna Arthropoda 93% and Annelida: Oligochaeta, Megadrilli 7% were observed. No differences were observed among the treatments (p>0.05) in the total mesofauna density, at 45 and 75 DAA. The density of enchytraeids, mites, collembolans and symphylids showed no differences at45 and 75 DAA (p > 0.05). The total macrofauna density showed differences (p < 0.05) at 45 and 75 DAA. The highest density was obtained with 4 kg ha(-1) MataBibos Acay at 45 and 75 DAA. Earthworm and diplopod densities at45 and 75 DAA showed no differences (p>0.05). The diversity of meso and macrofauna was not affected at 45 and 75 DAA. Bait application did not affect either the abundance or the diversity of soil beneficial invertebrates.
Field trials to evaluate effects of continuously planted transgenic insect-resistant cottons on soil invertebrates.
Key Laboratory of Soil Environment and Pollution Remediation, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210008, China.
Impacts on soil invertebrates are an important aspect of environmental risk assessment and post-release monitoring of transgenic insect-resistant plants. The purpose of this study was to research and survey the effects of transgenic insect-resistant cottons that had been planted over 10 years on the abundance and community structure of soil invertebrates under field conditions. During 3 consecutive years (2006-2008), eight common taxa (orders) of soil invertebrates belonging to the phylum Arthropoda were investigated in two different transgenic cotton fields and one non-transgenic cotton field (control). Each year, soil samples were taken at four different growth stages of cotton (seedling, budding, boll forming and boll opening). Animals were extracted from the samples using the improved Tullgren method, counted and determined to the order level. The diversity of the soil fauna communities in the different fields was compared using the Simpson's, Shannon's diversity indices and evenness index. The results showed a significant sampling time variation in the abundance of soil invertebrates monitored in the different fields. However, no difference in soil invertebrate abundance was found between the transgenic cotton fields and the control field. Both sampling time and cotton treatment had a significant effect on the Simpson's, Shannon's diversity indices and evenness index. They were higher in the transgenic fields than the control field at the growth stages of cotton. Long-term cultivation of transgenic insect-resistant cottons had no significant effect on the abundance of soil invertebrates. Collembola, Acarina and Araneae could act as the indicators of soil invertebrate in this region to monitor the environmental impacts of transgenic plants in the future.
Influence of earthworm activity on microbial communities related with the degradation of persistent pollutants.
Tiago Natal-da-Luz, Iwa Lee, Rudo A Verweij, Paula V Morais, Martin J M Van Velzen, José Paulo Sousa, Cornelis A M Van Gestel
Institute of Marine Research-Marine and Environmental Research Centre, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal. email@example.com
Earthworms may promote the biodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil, but the mechanism through which they exert such influence is still unknown. To determine if the stimulation of PAH degradation by earthworms is related to changes in microbial communities, a microcosm experiment was conducted consisting of columns with natural uncontaminated soil covered with PAH-contaminated dredge sediment. Columns without and with low and high Eisenia andrei densities were prepared. Organic matter and PAH content, microbial biomass, and dehydrogenase activity (DHA) were measured in soil and sediment over time. Biolog Ecoplate™ and polymerase chain reaction using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis were used to evaluate changes in metabolic and structural diversity of the microbial community, respectively. Earthworm activity promoted PAH degradation in soil, which was significant for biphenyl, benzo[a]pyrene, and benzo[e]pyrene. Microbial biomass and DHA activity generally did not change over the experiment. Earthworm activity did change microbial community structure, but this did not affect its functioning in terms of carbon substrate consumption. Results suggest no relationship between changes in the microbial community by earthworm activity and increased PAH disappearance. The role of shifts in soil microbial community structure induced by earthworms in PAH removal needs further investigation.
J Anim Ecol. 2012 May ;81 (3):667-78 22098534
Partitioning the effects of an ecosystem engineer: kangaroo rats control community structure via multiple pathways.
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Ecosystem engineers impact communities by altering habitat conditions, but they can also have strong effects through consumptive, competitive and other non-engineering pathways. 2. Engineering effects can lead to fundamentally different community dynamics than non-engineering effects, but the relative strengths of these interactions are seldom quantified. 3. We combined structural equation modelling and exclosure experiments to partition the effects of a keystone engineer, the giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens), on plants, invertebrates and vertebrates in a semi-arid California grassland. 4. We separated the effects of burrow creation from kangaroo rat density and found that kangaroo rats increased the diversity and abundance of other species via both engineering and non-engineering pathways. 5. Engineering was the primary factor structuring plant and small mammal communities, whereas non-engineering effects structured invertebrate communities and increased lizard abundance. 6. These results highlight the importance of the non-engineering effects of ecosystem engineers and shed new light on the multiple pathways by which strong-interactors shape communities.
Sónia Chelinho, Klaus Dieter Sautter, Anabela Cachada, Isabel Abrantes, George Brown, Armando Costa Duarte, José Paulo Sousa
IMAR-CMA Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Apartado 3046, 3001-401 Coimbra, Portugal. email@example.com
This work intends to implement the use of native soil nematode communities in ecotoxicological tests using a model pesticide and two geographically nematode communities (Mediterranean and sub-tropical) in order to obtain new perspectives on the evaluation of the toxic potential of chemical substances. The environmental condition of the nematode communities was described using a trait-based approach (grouping the organisms according to their feeding traits) and a traditional taxonomic method (identification to family level). Effects on total nematode abundance, number of families and abundance of nematode feeding groups as well as potential shifts in both trophic and family structure were assessed. Agricultural soils from Curitiba (Brazil) and Coimbra (Portugal) were sampled and the corresponding nematode communities were extracted. Part of the collected soil was defaunated and spiked with four doses of a carbofuran commercial formulation. Afterwards each of the replicates was inoculated with a nematode suspension containing ≈200 or 300 nematodes. After 14 and 28 d of exposure the nematodes were extracted, counted and identified at family level and separately classified according to their feeding traits. The patterns of nematode responses revealed a decrease in the total abundance and a reduction in the number of families. Despite the similar effects observed for both communities, statistically significant toxic effects were only found within the Portuguese community. The total nematode abundance was significantly reduced at the highest carbofuran concentrations and significant shifts in the family structure were detected. However, the trophic structure, i.e., the contribution of each feeding group for the overall community structure, did not significantly change along the contamination gradient. Results showed that using such a trait-based approach may increase the ecological relevance of toxicity data, by establishing communalities in the response to a chemical from two different taxonomic communities, although with potential loss of information on biodiversity of the communities.
Res Microbiol. 2011 Mar 21;: 21392572
Biological functioning of PAH-polluted and thermal desorption-treated soils assessed by fauna and microbial bioindicators.
Aurélie Cébron, Jérôme Cortet, Stéven Criquet, Asmaa Biaz, Virgile Calvert, Cécile Caupert, Céline Pernin, Corinne Leyval
LIMOS, UMR 7137 CNRS - Nancy Université, Faculté des Sciences, BP70239, 54506 Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy cedex, France.
A large number of soil bioindicators were used to assess biological diversity and activity in soil polluted with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and the same soil after thermal desorption (TD) treatment. Abundance and biodiversity of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and microarthropods, as well as functional parameters such as enzymatic activities and soil respiration, were assessed during a two year period of in situ monitoring. We investigated the influence of vegetation (spontaneous vegetation and Medicago sativa) and TD treatment on biological functioning. Multivariate analysis was performed to analyze the whole data set. A principal response curve (PRC) technique was used to evaluate the different treatments (various vegetation and contaminated vs. TD soil) contrasted with control (bare) soil over time. Our results indicated the value of using a number of complementary bioindicators, describing both diversity and functions, to assess the influence of vegetation on soil and discriminate polluted from thermal desorption (TD)-treated soil. Plants had an influence on the abundance and activity of all organisms examined in our study, favoring the whole trophic chain development. However, although TD-treated soil had a high abundance and diversity of microorganisms and fauna, enzymatic activities were weak because of the strong physical and chemical modifications of this soil.
Microbial communities to mitigate contamination of PAHs in soil--possibilities and challenges: a review.
F Fernández-Luqueño, C Valenzuela-Encinas, R Marsch, C Martínez-Suárez, E Vázquez-Núñez, L Dendooven
Renewable Energy Engineering, Universidad Tecnológica de Tulancingo, Tulancingo, Hidalgo 43642, México. firstname.lastname@example.org
Although highly diverse and specialized prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial communities in soil degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), most of these are removed slowly. This review will discuss the biotechnological possibilities to increase the microbial dissipation of PAHs from soil as well as the main biological and biotechnological challenges. Microorganism provides effective and economically feasible solutions for soil cleanup and restoration. However, when the PAHs contamination is greater than the microbial ability to dissipate them, then applying genetically modified microorganisms might help to remove the contaminant. Nevertheless, it is necessary to have a more holistic review of the different individual reactions that are simultaneously taking place in a microbial cell and of the interactions microorganism-microorganism, microorganism-plant, microorganism-soil, and microorganisms-PAHs. Elucidating the function of genes from the PAHs-polluted soil and the study in pure cultures of isolated PAHs-degrading organisms as well as the generation of microorganisms in the laboratory that will accelerate the dissipation of PAHs and their safe application in situ have not been studied extensively. There is a latent environmental risk when genetically engineered microorganisms are used to remedy PAHs-contaminated soil.
Environ Monit Assess. 2010 Mar 20;: 20306139
Concentrations, distributions, and sources of polychlorinated biphenyls and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in bed sediments of the water reservoirs in Slovakia.
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Department of Geochemistry, Comenius University in Bratislava, Mlynska dolina, 842 15, Bratislava 4, Slovak Republic, email@example.com.
Dredging water reservoirs is necessary to maintain accumulation capacity and to prevent floodings. As a first step, the quality of the bed sediments in water reservoirs must be determined before dredging operations. In this study, sediment samples from 34 stations of three selected water reservoirs (Zemplinska Sirava, Velke Kozmalovce, and Ruzin) were collected to investigate concentrations, distributions, and hazards of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and to predict their possible sources. Total PCB concentrations were in the range of 20.4 to 2,325 ng/g. The maximum concentrations of PCBs were found in sediments from Zemplinska Sirava, which is in the vicinity of a former manufacturer of PCBs. The composition of PCBs was characterized by tri- and hexa-CB congeners, indicating the influence of contamination from the use of specific Delor mixtures, formerly produced and massively used on the territory of Slovakia. The data showed that the highest total PAH concentrations were associated with the sediments from the Velke Kozmalovce, ranging from 7,910 to 29,538 ng/g. On the other hand, the lowest total PAH concentrations (84-631 ng/g of dry weight) were found in the sediments of Zemplinska Sirava, an important recreational area in eastern Slovakia. The distribution of individual PAHs was similar among the three water reservoirs, and this, together with principal component analysis and diagnostic PAH ratios, suggests mainly pyrolytic contamination of the sediments. However, petrogenic inputs appear to be important in the Zemplinska Sirava sediments.
Bioavailability of residual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons following enhanced natural attenuation of creosote-contaminated soil.
Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Campus, SA 5095, Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org
The impact of residual PAHs (2250 +/- 71 microg total PAHs g(-1)) following enhanced natural attenuation (ENA) of creosote-contaminated soil (7767 +/- 1286 microg total PAHs g(-1)) was assessed using a variety of ecological assays. Microtox results for aqueous soil extracts indicated that there was no significant difference in EC(50) values for uncontaminated, pre- and post-remediated soil. However, in studies conducted with Eisenia fetida, PAH bioaccumulation was reduced by up to 6.5-fold as a result of ENA. Similarly, Beta vulgaris L. biomass yields were increased 2.1-fold following ENA of creosote-contaminated soil. While earthworm and plant assays indicated that PAH bioavailability was reduced following ENA, the residual PAH fraction still exerted toxicological impacts on both receptors. Results from this study highlight that residual PAHs following ENA (presumably non-bioavailable to bioremediation) may still be bioavailable to important receptor organisms such as earthworms and plants.
Relative proportions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons differ between accumulation bioassays and chemical methods to predict bioavailability.
University of Reading, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, Department of Soil Science, Reading RG6 6DW, Berkshire, United Kingdom. email@example.com
Chemical methods to predict the bioavailable fraction of organic contaminants are usually validated in the literature by comparison with established bioassays. A soil spiked with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was aged over six months and subjected to butanol, cyclodextrin and tenax extractions as well as an exhaustive extraction to determine total PAH concentrations at several time points. Earthworm (Eisenia fetida) and rye grass root (Lolium multiflorum) accumulation bioassays were conducted in parallel. Butanol extractions gave the best relationship with earthworm accumulation (r(2)< or = 0.54, p < or = 0.01); cyclodextrin, butanol and acetone-hexane extractions all gave good predictions of accumulation in rye grass roots (r(2)< or = 0.86, p < or = 0.01). However, the profile of the PAHs extracted by the different chemical methods was significantly different (p < 0.01) to that accumulated in the organisms. Biota accumulated a higher proportion of the heavier 4-ringed PAHs. It is concluded that bioaccumulation is a complex process that cannot be predicted by measuring the bioavailable fraction alone.