Assessment of structure and function in metal polluted grasslands using Terrestrial Model Ecosystem

S.A.E. Kools, M.Y. Boivin, A.W.G. van der Wurff, M.P. Berg, C.A.M. van Gestel, N.M. van Straalen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ecosystem effects of metal pollution in field situations are hard to predict, since metals occur often in mixtures and links between structural (organisms) and functional endpoints (ecosystem processes) are not always that clear. In grasslands, both structure and functioning was suspected to be affected by a mixture of copper, lead, and zinc. Therefore, the structural and functional variables were studied simultaneously using Terrestrial Model Ecosystems (TMEs). Comparing averages of low- and high-polluted soil, based on total metal concentrations, did not show differences in structural and functional variables. However, nematode community structure (Maturity Index) negatively correlated with metal concentrations. Next to that, multivariate statistics showed that enchytraeid, earthworm and, to lesser extent, nematode diversity decreased with increasing metal concentrations and a lower pH in the soil. Bacterial CFU and nematode biomass were positively related with decomposer activity and nitrate concentrations. Nitrate concentrations were negatively related to ammonium concentrations. Earthworm biomass, CO2 production and plant yield were not related to metal concentrations. The most metal-sensitive endpoint was enchytraeid biomass. In all analyses, soil pH was a significant factor, indicating direct effects on organisms, or indicating indirect effects by influencing metal availability. In general, structural diversity seemed more positively related to functional endpoints than structural biomass. TMEs proved valuable tools to assess the structure and function in metal polluted field situations. The outcome feeds modeling effort and direct future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-59
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Ecosystems
Ecosystem
Metals
Biomass
Oligochaeta
Soil
Soils
Nitrates
Grassland
Ammonium Compounds
Zinc
Copper
Pollution
Lead
Statistics
Availability

Keywords

  • potentially harmful substances
  • microbial communities
  • field-validation
  • food-web
  • soil
  • zinc
  • biodiversity
  • diversity
  • copper
  • tests

Cite this

Kools, S. A. E., Boivin, M. Y., van der Wurff, A. W. G., Berg, M. P., van Gestel, C. A. M., & van Straalen, N. M. (2009). Assessment of structure and function in metal polluted grasslands using Terrestrial Model Ecosystem. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 72(1), 51-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2008.03.016
Kools, S.A.E. ; Boivin, M.Y. ; van der Wurff, A.W.G. ; Berg, M.P. ; van Gestel, C.A.M. ; van Straalen, N.M. / Assessment of structure and function in metal polluted grasslands using Terrestrial Model Ecosystem. In: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 2009 ; Vol. 72, No. 1. pp. 51-59.
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Kools, SAE, Boivin, MY, van der Wurff, AWG, Berg, MP, van Gestel, CAM & van Straalen, NM 2009, 'Assessment of structure and function in metal polluted grasslands using Terrestrial Model Ecosystem', Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, vol. 72, no. 1, pp. 51-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2008.03.016

Assessment of structure and function in metal polluted grasslands using Terrestrial Model Ecosystem. / Kools, S.A.E.; Boivin, M.Y.; van der Wurff, A.W.G.; Berg, M.P.; van Gestel, C.A.M.; van Straalen, N.M.

In: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Vol. 72, No. 1, 2009, p. 51-59.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Kools, S.A.E.

AU - Boivin, M.Y.

AU - van der Wurff, A.W.G.

AU - Berg, M.P.

AU - van Gestel, C.A.M.

AU - van Straalen, N.M.

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AB - Ecosystem effects of metal pollution in field situations are hard to predict, since metals occur often in mixtures and links between structural (organisms) and functional endpoints (ecosystem processes) are not always that clear. In grasslands, both structure and functioning was suspected to be affected by a mixture of copper, lead, and zinc. Therefore, the structural and functional variables were studied simultaneously using Terrestrial Model Ecosystems (TMEs). Comparing averages of low- and high-polluted soil, based on total metal concentrations, did not show differences in structural and functional variables. However, nematode community structure (Maturity Index) negatively correlated with metal concentrations. Next to that, multivariate statistics showed that enchytraeid, earthworm and, to lesser extent, nematode diversity decreased with increasing metal concentrations and a lower pH in the soil. Bacterial CFU and nematode biomass were positively related with decomposer activity and nitrate concentrations. Nitrate concentrations were negatively related to ammonium concentrations. Earthworm biomass, CO2 production and plant yield were not related to metal concentrations. The most metal-sensitive endpoint was enchytraeid biomass. In all analyses, soil pH was a significant factor, indicating direct effects on organisms, or indicating indirect effects by influencing metal availability. In general, structural diversity seemed more positively related to functional endpoints than structural biomass. TMEs proved valuable tools to assess the structure and function in metal polluted field situations. The outcome feeds modeling effort and direct future research.

KW - potentially harmful substances

KW - microbial communities

KW - field-validation

KW - food-web

KW - soil

KW - zinc

KW - biodiversity

KW - diversity

KW - copper

KW - tests

U2 - 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2008.03.016

DO - 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2008.03.016

M3 - Article

VL - 72

SP - 51

EP - 59

JO - Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

JF - Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

SN - 0147-6513

IS - 1

ER -