Accumulation of heavy metals by enchytraeids and earthworms in a floodplain

P.C.J. van Vliet, W.A.M. Didden, S.E.A.T.M. van der Zee, W.J.G.M. Peijnenburg

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17 Citations (Scopus)


The river floodplain `Afferdense and Deestsche Waarden¿ (ADW) in The Netherlands is diffusely contaminated with several heavy metals. It is, however, unclear whether this mixed contamination exerts any adverse ecotoxicological effects. In November 2000 and May 2001 a field survey was conducted in two areas in the ADW to collect a wide range of data concerning contamination levels, bioavailability, enchytraeids and earthworms and abiotic factors such as lutum and organic matter content, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and soil nutrient concentrations. Earthworms and enchytraeids were also analyzed for heavy metal content. At both sites arsenic and zinc were present in soil at relatively high oncentrations (above the Dutch intervention value). In the two areas, both enchytraeids and earthworms accumulated metals. Fridericia ulrikae accumulated more cadmium than Enchytraeus buchholzi and Henlea perpusilla. The earthworm Lumbricus rubellus accumulated larger concentrations of Cr, Cu and Pb than Aporrectodea caliginosa and Allolobophora chlorotica. Dietary, physiological and behavioral characteristics may have contributed to these differences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S117-S126
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Biology
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • eisenia-foetida
  • copper
  • cadmium
  • soils
  • zinc
  • resistance
  • buchholzi
  • toxicity
  • field
  • lead


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