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Title: Can behavioural responses of Lumbriculus variegatus (Oligochaeta) assess sediment toxicity? A case study with sediments exposed to acid mine drainage
Author: Sardo, A. M.
Soares, A. M. V. M.
Keywords: Lumbriculus variegatus
Acid mine drainage
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: The Sao Domingos mine (Portugal) is, potentially, a good site for ecotoxicological studies, due to a pH and metal gradient of acid mine drainage. In this study, the toxicity of several mine sediments was evaluated using the aquatic oligochaete Lumbriculus variegatus as a test organism. Our hypothesis was that exposure to contaminated sediments would cause behavioural early warning responses in L variegatus. Five sites, with pH ranging from 2.5 to 6.5, and with associated metals, were investigated. The results showed poor sediment quality in most of the collected sediments and Fe, S and As were the dominant elements in the samples. High mortalities were observed, ranging from 32.6 to 100%, indicating severe contamination. The collected sediments did not support good L variegatus growth and significantly changed its behaviour. Early warning responses consisted of decreased locomotion and decreased peristaltic movements. A behaviour inhibition will affect the ecosystem balance by limiting the organisms' ability to avoid capture, which leads to a higher risk of predation. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2009.08.015
ISSN: 0269-7491
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DBio - Artigos

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