Quantifying copper and cadmium impacts on intrinsic rate of population increase in the terrestrial oligochaete lumbricus rubellus

D.J. Spurgeon, C. Svendsen, J.M. Weeks, P.K. Hankard, H.E. Stubberud, J.E. Kammenga

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41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Demographic methods can translate toxicant effects on individuals into consequences for populations. To date few such studies have been conducted with longer-lived invertebrates. This is because full life-cycle experiments are difficult with such species. Here we report the effects of copper and cadmium on the key demographic parameter intrinsic rate of population increase (r) in a long-lived invertebrate (an earthworm). The approach used to derive r was based on robust measurement of effects oil life-cycle traits in three specifically designed toxicity tests and integration of this data within a demographic model. The three laboratory tests used to generate values for specific life-cycle parameters under copper and cadmium exposure were suited to the task. Significant effects on a range of separate adult and juvenile life-cycle parameters were seen. Integration of parameter values within the demographic equation indicated that for copper, r was reduced only at a concentration that also caused adult mortality. For cadmium. a more graded exposure-dependent effect on fitness was seen. with r reduced at sublethal concentrations. The concentration response patterns for r found for the two metals suggest significantly different consequences for earthworm populations exposed to sublethal levels of copper and cadmium.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1465-1472
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume22
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • earthworm eisenia-foetida
  • phenotypic plasticity
  • toxicity test
  • life-history
  • heavy-metals
  • reproduction
  • fitness
  • soil
  • growth
  • stress

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