John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Salinity changes impact of hazardous chemicals in Enchytraeus albidus

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Supra‐littoral ecosystems are among the most challenging environments for soil organisms, particularly when facing salinity fluctuations frequently combined with the presence of contaminants as a result of intense anthropogenic activities. Knowledge of how salinity influences the effect of contaminants in supra‐littoral species is crucial for determining the safety factors required when extrapolating results from optimal laboratory conditions to these natural ecosystems. This study therefore evaluated the effects of two metals (copper and cadmium) and two organic compounds (carbendazim and 4‐nonylphenol) in the absence or presence of 15‰ NaCl in the potworm Enchytraeus albidus, a model organism for ecotoxicology commonly found in supra‐littoral ecosystems, The potworms had a higher reproduction in saline soil than in control soil. Moreover, the effects of copper and carbendazim on reproduction were smaller than when tested in non‐saline soil. Potworms exposed to non‐saline soils also had significantly higher tissue concentrations of metals, which partly explains the effects on reproduction. The influence of salinity on effects of 4‐nonylphenol was, however, less clear; effects on survival decreased in saline soil, but effects on reproduction were highest in saline soil. The latter slightly correlated with tissue concentrations of the chemical. This study provides the first evidence that soil salinity has a significant influence on the impact of contaminants evaluated with the enchytraeid reproduction test. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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