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Title: Community-level effects in edaphic fauna from an abandoned mining area: integration with chemical and toxicological lines of evidence
Author: Antunes, Sara C.
Castro, Bruno B.
Moreira, Cláudia
Gonçalves, Fernando
Pereira, Ruth
Keywords: Deactivated uranium mine
Edaphic fauna
Site specific assessment
Soil characterization
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: As a part of the Ecological Risk Assessment of a deactivated uranium mining area (Cunha Baixa), the aim of this study was to assess the drivers of litter arthropod community (ecological line of evidence) inhabiting soils with different degrees of contamination. Litter arthropods were collected in the mining area using a total of 70 pitfall traps, in the spring and autumn of 2004. Unlike information previously collected in the chemical and ecotoxicological lines of evidence, we found no clear evidence of impacts of soil contamination on the edaphic arthropod assemblage. Multivariate analyses were unable to extract relevant environmental gradients related to contamination, as most of the sites shared the same taxa overall. Given the consistency of the chemical and ecotoxicological lines of evidence, we must conclude that the litter arthropod assemblage underestimated the impacts of contamination in this abandoned mining area. In part, this could be due to the uncertainty caused by confounding factors that affect the litter arthropod community in the area. Nevertheless, despite the overall lack of responsiveness of the epigeic arthropod community data, a few taxa were negatively correlated with metal concentrations (Clubionidae and Staphylinidae), while Pseudoscorpionida were associated with the toxicological profile of the sites. These evidences suggest that community-level approaches with other animal and plant assemblages are necessary to reduce uncertainty relatively to the assessment of risks in higher evaluation tiers in the Cunha Baixa mine area.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2012.10.023
ISSN: 0147-6513
Appears in Collections:CESAM - Artigos
DBio - Artigos

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