Pedosphere 31(3): 452--459, 2021
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2021 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Behavior and respiration responses of the earthworm Eisenia fetida to soil arsenite pollution
Yali WANG1,2, Yizhao WU1, Jo CAVANAGH3, Xiuhong WANG1, Jiangping QIU1, Yinsheng LI1
1School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240 (China)
2School of Environmental Engineering, Henan University of Technology, Zhengzhou 450001 (China)
3Landcare Research, P.O. Box 40, Lincoln 7640 (New Zealand)
      Soil arsenic (As) pollution from mining and industrial sources is a serious issue in China. Earthworms are considered ecosystem engineers and contribute to soil fertility development and maintenance of soil physico-chemical properties. In this study, earthworms were exposed to soils with different sodium arsenite concentrations (0, 5, 20, and 80 mg As kg-1) for 60 d to investigate the changes in soil properties and the responses of the earthworms (e.g., burrowing activity and respiration). Earthworm burrowing activity decreased with increasing arsenite concentrations, and earthworm respiration was significantly lower in soils with 20 and 80 mg As kg-1 compared to 0 mg As kg-1. Changes in soil properties were also observed after incubation of As-amended soil with earthworms. Specifically, soil pH decreased, while soil electrical conductivity and contents of soil NH3--N, Olsen-P, and available K increased. Our results suggest that arsenite negatively impacts the metabolic activity of earthworms, leading to reduced burrowing activity, which in turn modifies the effects of earthworms on soil fertility and remediation.
Key Words:  As contamination,earthworm avoidance,earthworm burrowing activity,maximum burrow length,remediation,soil property
Citation: Wang Y L, Wu Y Z, Cavanagh J, Wang X H, Qiu J P, Li Y S. 2021. Behavior and respiration responses of the earthworm Eisenia fetida to soil arsenite pollution. Pedosphere. 31(3): 452-459.
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