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Sample records for earthworm avoidance test

  1. THE POTENTIAL OF AN EARTHWORM AVOIDANCE TEST FOR EVALUATION OF HAZARDOUS WASTE SITES

    EPA Science Inventory

    An earthworm avoidance test has potential advantages for use in evaluation of hazardous wastes sites. Because organisms often exhibit behavioral responses at lower levels of stress than those that acute toxicity tests are able to detect, avoidance tests could provide increased se...

  2. The potential of an earthworm avoidance test for evaluation of hazardous waste sites

    SciTech Connect

    Yeardley, R.B. Jr.; Gast, L.C.; Lazorchak, J.M.

    1996-09-01

    An earthworm avoidance test has potential advantages for use in evaluation of hazardous wastes sites. Because organisms often exhibit behavioral responses at lower levels of stress than those that acute toxicity tests are able to detect, avoidance tests could provide increased sensitivity to hazardous chemicals. Avoidance is an ecologically relevant endpoint that neither acute nor sublethal tests measure. Avoidance can potentially indicate sublethal stress in a short period of time, testing is easily done in a soil matrix, and an avoidance test has the potential for specialized applications for soil testing. Dual-control test data established that, in absence of a toxicant, worms did not congregate, but instead distributed themselves fairly randomly with respect to the two sides of the test chambers, that is, they did not display behavior that might be mistaken for avoidance. In tests with artificial soil spiked with reference toxicants and hazardous site soils, worms avoided soils containing various toxic chemicals. Avoidance behavior proved in most cases be a more sensitive indicator of chemical contamination than acute tests. Determination of avoidance was possible in 1 to 2 d, much less than the current duration of acute and sublethal earthworm tests.

  3. Biochar aging reduces earthworm avoidance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biochar, a black carbon substance produced by the pyrolysis of organic feedstocks, has been used in many soil improvement strategies ranging from nutrient addition to sequestration of C. Simple toxicity studies and laboratory preference/avoidance assays are recommended but results rarely reported. ...

  4. Assessment of avoidance behaviour by earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus and Octolasion cyaneum) in linear pollution gradients.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Christopher N; Butt, Kevin R; Cheynier, Kevin Yves-Marie

    2016-02-01

    Avoidance behaviour by earthworms is recognised as a valuable endpoint in soil quality assessment and has resulted in the development of a standardised test (ISO 17512-1, 2008) providing epigeic earthworms with a choice between test and control soils. This study sought to develop and evaluate an avoidance test utilising soil-dwelling earthworms in linear pollution gradients with Visible Implant Elastomer (VIE) tags used to identify individual organisms. Sequential experiments were established in laboratory-based mesocosms (0.6m×0.13m×0.1m) that determined the relative sensitivities (in terms of associated avoidance behaviour) of Octolasion cyaneum and Lumbricus rubellus at varying levels of polluted soil and also assessed the influence of introduction point on recorded movement within gradients. In an initial gradient (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% polluted soil), both species exhibited a clear avoidance response with all surviving earthworms retrieved (after 7 days) from the unpolluted soil. In a less polluted gradient (0%, 6.25%, 12.5%, 18.75%, 25%) L. rubellus were retrieved throughout the gradient while O. cyaneum were located within the 0% and 6.25% divisions, suggesting a species-specific response to polluted soil. Results also showed that the use of a linear pollution gradient system has the potential to assess earthworm avoidance behaviour and could provide a more ecologically relevant alternative to the ISO 17512: 2008 avoidance test. However, further work is required to establish the effectiveness of this procedure, specifically in initial chemical screening and assessment of single contaminant bioavailability, where uptake of pollutants by earthworms could be measured and directly related to the point of introduction and retrieval. PMID:26590693

  5. Escape and avoidance learning in the earthworm Eisenia hortensis

    PubMed Central

    Ferrara, Nicole C.; Blaker, Amanda L.; Giddings, Charisa E.

    2014-01-01

    Interest in instrumental learning in earthworms dates back to 1912 when Yerkes concluded that they can learn a spatial discrimination in a T-maze. Rosenkoetter and Boice determined in the 1970s that the “learning” that Yerkes observed was probably chemotaxis and not learning at all. We examined a different form of instrumental learning: the ability to learn both to escape and to avoid an aversive stimulus. Freely moving “master” worms could turn off an aversive white light by increasing their movement; the behavior of yoked controls had no effect on the light. We demonstrate that in as few as 12 trials the behavior of the master worms comes under the control of this contingency. PMID:24498578

  6. Earthworm avoidance of biochar can be mitigated by wetting , William C. Hockaday b

    E-print Network

    Alvarez, Pedro J.

    tests, growth and reproduction tests, and oxidative stress assays with the earthworm Eisenia foetida a promising approach to enhance plant growth and reduce CO2 emissions (Lehmann et al., 2006). Biochar is also

  7. Effects of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) on the avoidance response, survival, growth and reproduction of earthworms (Eisenia fetida).

    PubMed

    Xie, Xianchuan; Qian, Yan; Wu, Yingxin; Yin, Jun; Zhai, Jianping

    2013-04-01

    The effects of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) on avoidance response, survival, growth, and reproduction of earthworms (Eisenia fetida) were investigated under laboratory conditions using natural and artificial soils as substrate. Results showed that no significant avoidance response was observed when earthworms were exposed to 0.1-1000 mg/kg of BDE-209 for 48 h. After 28-days exposure, no significant effects on survival and growth of adult earthworms was induced by 0.1-1000 mg/kg of BDE-209 indicating the Lowest Observed Effect Level (LOEL) of BDE-209 on their survival and body weight was more than 1000 mg/kg. Except for a significant decrease in the number of juveniles per hatched cocoon in artificial soils at 1000 mg/kg of BDE-209, no significant effects on reproductive parameters (e.g. cocoon production per earthworms, weight per cocoon and cocoon hatchability) were observed. These results suggest that adult earthworms have a strong tolerance for BDE-209 exposure in soils, but a potential toxicity does exist for earthworm embryos or juveniles. PMID:23312040

  8. Relating results from earthworm toxicity tests to agricultural soil

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.

    1992-01-01

    The artificial soil tests of the European Economic Community and of the Organization for Economic Cooperation produce data relating earthworm mortality to pesticide concentrations in soil under laboratory conditions. To apply these results to agricultural soils it is necessary to relate these concentrations to amounts of pesticide applied per area. This paper reviews the relevant published literature and suggests a simple relation for regulatory use. Hazards to earthworms from pesticides are suggested to be greatest soon after application, when the pesticides may be concentrated in a soil layer a few millimeters thick. For estimating exposure of earthworms, however, a thicker soil layer should be considered, to account for their movement through soil. During favorable weather conditions, earthworms belonging to species appropriate to the artificial soil test have been reported to confine their activity to a layer about 5 cm. If a 5-cm layer is accepted as relevant for regulatory purposes, then an application of 1 kg/ha would be equivalent to 1-67 ppm (dry) in the artificial soil test.

  9. Linking litter calcium, earthworms and soil properties: a common garden test with 14 tree

    E-print Network

    Chorover, Jon

    LETTER Linking litter calcium, earthworms and soil properties: a common garden test with 14 tree saturation and forest floor turnover rate. Keywords Calcium, earthworms, pedogenesis, plant-soil, soil, soil species in both groups, is still unresolved. Regardless, given that a large fraction of the forested biome

  10. Enchytraeus albidus (Enchytraeidae): a test organism in a standardised avoidance test? Effects of different chemical substances.

    PubMed

    Amorim, Mónica J B; Novais, Sara; Römbke, Jörg; Soares, Amadeu M V M

    2008-04-01

    Enchytraeids (Enchytraeus albidus) directly improve the pore structure of the soil and are indirectly involved in regulating the degradation of organic matter. Due to their behavior they are able to avoid unfavorable environmental conditions. Avoidance tests allow a first assessment of toxicity of a contaminated or spiked soil within 48 h, by using the reaction of the enchytraeids as measurement endpoint. In this period, the organisms can choose between the control soil and the test soil. In the tests reported here, enchytraeids were exposed to LUFA 2.2 soil spiked with the following set of toxic substances: copper chloride, zinc chloride, cadmium chloride, phenmedipham, benomyl, carbendazim, dimethoate, atrazine, pentachlorophenol, chlorpyriphos, lindane, TBTO, Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonates (LAS) and boric acid. Different chemical concentrations were tested. EC50s ranged from 8 mg/kg (Carbendazim) to >1000 mg/kg (e.g. LAS). While the tested heavy metals showed clear dose-response relationships, the effect pattern differed considerably in the tests with organic chemicals, e.g. no avoidance behaviour was observed in LAS, even at very high doses. Here we proposed to standardize the Enchytraeid avoidance test in a way similar to what is currently done for the earthworm and collembolan avoidance tests by the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO). PMID:17919729

  11. Genotoxicity assessment of cobalt chloride in Eisenia hortensis earthworms coelomocytes by comet assay and micronucleus test.

    PubMed

    Ci?erci, ?brahim Hakk?; Ali, Muhammad Muddassir; Kayg?s?z, ?öhret Yüksek; Liman, Recep

    2016-02-01

    Cobalt and its different compounds are extensively used worldwide and considered as possible environmental pollutant. Earthworms are useful model organism and its different species are used to monitor soil pollution. No study has been found to detect cobalt chloride (CoCl2) genotoxicity in earthworms. So, current study aimed to evaluate CoCl2 induced genotoxicity in Eisenia hortensis earthworms coelomocytes by alkaline comet assay (CA) and micronucleus (MN) test. The earthworms (n = 10 for each group) were exposed to different series of CoCl2 concentrations (100 ppm, 200 ppm, 300 ppm, 400 ppm, 500 ppm, 600 ppm) to find LD50. The LD50 for CoCl2 was found at 226 ppm. Then, doses of LD50/2, LD50 and 2XLD50 for 48 h were used. CA and MN demonstrated the significant increase (P < 0.05) in DNA damage and chromosomal aberrations. Dose dependent relationship was found. Highest DNA damage and chromosomal aberrations were noticed at 2XLD50. The results concluded that CoCl2 induced DNA damage, cytokinesis failure and chromosomal aberrations in E. hortensis earthworms. PMID:26408983

  12. EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVE REFERENCE TOXICANTS FOR USE IN THE EARTHWORM TOXICITY TEST

    EPA Science Inventory

    The use of the 14-d earthworm toxicity test to aid in the evaluation of the ecological impact of contaminated soils is becoming increasingly widespread. However,the method is in need of further standardization. As part of this continuing process, the choice of reference toxicants...

  13. Contact and artificial soil tests using earthworms to evaluate the impact of wastes in soil

    SciTech Connect

    Neuhauser, E.F.; Loehr, R.C.; Malecki, M.R.

    1986-01-01

    The study was designed to evaluate two methods using earthworms that can be used to estimate the biological impact of organic and inorganic compounds that may be in wastes applied to land for treatment and disposal. The two methods were the contact test and the artificial soil test. The contact test is 48-h test using an adult worm, a small glass vial, and filter paper to which the test chemical or waste is applied. The test is designed to provide close contact between the worm and a chemical, similar to the situation in soils. The method provides a rapid estimate of the relative toxicity of chemicals and industrial wastes.

  14. Acute and chronic toxicity testing of TPH-contaminated soils with the earthworm, Eisenia foetida

    SciTech Connect

    Stewart, A.J.; Wicker, L.F.; Nazerias, M.S.

    1995-12-31

    Responses of Eisenia foetida to petroleum-contaminated soils are being assessed using a 21-day test described previously. The authors prepared dilutions of two soils, referred to as A and B, using their reference-soil counterparts, collected from near the contaminated sites. The total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) content of each soil was measured by latroscan before the dilutions were prepared. References for the A and B soils contained 167 and 1,869 ppm of TPH, respectively. Thus, neither reference soil was pristine. Dilutions of the A soil tested with E. foetida contained from 179 to 305 ppm TPH; dilutions of the B soil contained from 1,875 to 1,950 ppm TPH. E foetida survival was 100% in both dilution series. Mean growth of Eisenia in dilutions of the A soil ranged from 48 to 74 mg dry-weight growth per pair of worms; these values were lower than those in any dilution of the B soil series. Lipid levels of worms in higher concentrations of the A and B soils were similar to one another and to published values, suggesting little inhibition of feeding in either dilution series. Earthworm reproduction was zero in the A series, but moderately high in the B series. Thus, the A soil apparently contained materials other than TPH that inhibited earthworm growth and reproduction. This study shows that (1) TPH at concentrations as high as 1,800 ppm may not always be inhibitor to earthworm growth or reproduction and (2) that earthworm survival, as a test endpoint, is much less sensitive than either growth or reproduction.

  15. Contact Dermatitis, Patch Testing, and Allergen Avoidance.

    PubMed

    Burkemper, Nicole M

    2015-01-01

    In patients presenting with a complaint of rash, contact dermatitis is often the underlying diagnosis making it an entity with which health care providers should be familiar. Contact dermatitis can be divided into irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. In a patient suspected of having allergic contact dermatitis, patch testing can be done to identify specific allergens. Education focused on allergen avoidance and safe products is an integral part of treatment for the contact dermatitis patient. Knowledge of the most common allergens is helpful for clinicians to be able to provide this education. PMID:26455061

  16. Recycled water sources influence the bioavailability of copper to earthworms.

    PubMed

    Kunhikrishnan, Anitha; Bolan, Nanthi S; Naidu, Ravi; Kim, Won-Il

    2013-10-15

    Re-use of wastewaters can overcome shortfalls in irrigation demand and mitigate environmental pollution. However, in an untreated or partially treated state, these water sources can introduce inorganic contaminants, including heavy metals, to soils that are irrigated. In this study, earthworms (Eisenia fetida) have been used to determine copper (Cu) bioavailability in two contrasting soils irrigated with farm dairy, piggery and winery effluents. Soils spiked with varying levels of Cu (0-1,000 mg/kg) were subsequently irrigated with recycled waters and Milli-Q (MQ) water and Cu bioavailability to earthworms determined by mortality and avoidance tests. Earthworms clearly avoided high Cu soils and the effect was more pronounced in the absence than presence of recycled water irrigation. At the highest Cu concentration (1,000 mg/kg), worm mortality was 100% when irrigated with MQ-water; however, when irrigated with recycled waters, mortality decreased by 30%. Accumulation of Cu in earthworms was significantly less in the presence of recycled water and was dependent on CaCl2-extractable free Cu(2+) concentration in the soil. Here, it is evident that organic carbon in recycled waters was effective in decreasing the toxic effects of Cu on earthworms, indicating that the metal-organic complexes decreased Cu bioavailability to earthworms. PMID:23122192

  17. Development of a suitable test method for evaluating the toxicity of contaminated soils to earthworms in Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Stephenson, G.L.; Scroggins, R.

    1995-12-31

    Environment Canada has embarked on a five year program to develop, standardize, and validate a battery of soil toxicity tests which can be used to assess the relative toxicity of contaminants in soils to terrestrial organisms. These tests must be applicable to soil conditions typically found in Canadian environments and the test species must be representative of the species of soil invertebrates or plants inhabiting soil ecosystems in Canada. One of the toxicity tests being developed is designed to assess the toxicity of contaminated soils to earthworms. Five of the potential test species belong to the Lumbricidae family and include the Canadian worm (Allobophora calignosa/Aporrectodea tuberculate), the European bark worm (Dendrodtilus rubidus (rubida)), the pink soil worm (Eisenia rosea), the red marsh worm (Lumbricus rubellus), and the Canadian night crawler or dew worm (Lumbricus terrestris). The sixth species, the white pot worm (Enchytraeus albidus), belongs to the Enchytraeidae family. Further assessment reduced the number of representative species to three. Most earthworm test methods have been developed to assess the toxicity of chemically-spiked artificial soils to Eisenia fetida or E. andrei. Test methods have also been developed to assess the relative toxicity of contaminated soils from hazardous waste sites. Comparative acute toxicity data for three species of earthworm exposed to a hydrocarbon contamination will be presented. Comparative toxicity data for the same three species of earthworm will also be presented using test procedures and conditions that have been modified to accommodate biological differences among the species of earthworm. Recommendations regarding test design, methods, and conditions optimal for each test species will be summarized and discussed with respect to the precision of test results.

  18. Biochemical and genotoxic effect of triclosan on earthworms (Eisenia fetida) using contact and soil tests.

    PubMed

    Lin, Dasong; Xie, Xiujie; Zhou, Qixing; Liu, Yao

    2012-07-01

    Triclosan (TCS) is a broad-spectrum bactericide that is used for a variety of antimicrobial functions. TCS is frequently detected in the terrestrial environment due to application of sewage sludge to agricultural land. In the present study, 48-h paper contact and 28-day spiked soil tests were conducted to examine the toxic effects of TCS on the antioxidative and genetic indices of earthworms (Eisenia fetida). The activity of antioxidative enzymes (superoxide dismutase, SOD; catalase, CAT) and the content of the lipid peroxidation product (malondialdehyde, MDA) were determined as biomarkers of oxidative stress in E. fetida. Moreover, single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) was used as a biomarker of genotoxicity. The results showed that triclosan induced a significant increase (P < 0.05) in antioxidative enzyme activities and MDA content. Of all of the biomarkers examined, CAT activity was most sensitive to TCS, and the CAT activity increased significantly (P < 0.05) at bactericidal concentrations of 7.86 ng cm?² in the contact test and 10 mg kg?¹ in the spiked soil test. The comet assay showed that TCS treatments significantly induced (P < 0.05) DNA damage in E. fetida, and that 78.6 ng cm?² caused significant genotoxic effects in the acute test (48 h). Clear dose-dependent DNA damage to E. fetida was observed both in contact and spiked soil tests. These results imply that TCS may have potential biochemical and genetic toxicity toward earthworms (E. fetida). A battery of biomarkers covering multiple molecular targets of acute toxicity can be combined to better understand the impacts of TCS on E. fetida. PMID:22707219

  19. Biomarker responses in earthworm Eisenia andrei exposed to pirimiphos-methyl and deltamethrin using different toxicity tests.

    PubMed

    Velki, Mirna; Hackenberger, Branimir K

    2013-01-01

    The effects of two widely used insecticides - organophosphate pirimiphos-methyl and pyrethroid deltamethrin - were investigated under laboratory conditions following OECD guidelines using the epigeic earthworm Eisenia andrei as the test organism. The overall aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of these pesticides on molecular biomarkers of earthworm E. andrei using the in vitro, filter paper contact and artificial soil test. In this study for the first time the equivalent concentrations of investigated pesticide applied in different tests were calculated. Although the response of measured molecular biomarkers in different toxicity tests had certain similarities, some distinct differences were also evident. Both pesticides inhibited AChE and CES activities in all three applied toxicity tests; however only in the filter paper test the hormetic effect was recorded. The artificial soil test showed that duration of the exposure significantly changed the effects of the investigated pesticides on CAT and GST activities. Namely, after the initial increase, the prolongation of exposure caused the reduction of the CAT and GST activities. Both pesticides significantly inhibited the efflux pump activity. In the artificial soil test, the significant changes in measured biomarkers after application of doses lower than doses recommended for use in the agriculture indicate that the investigated pesticides could have a harmful effect on earthworms in the context of the realistic environment. PMID:23063481

  20. Flight Tests Validate Collision-Avoidance System - Duration: 13 minutes.

    NASA Video Gallery

    Flights tests of a smartphone-assisted automatic ground collision avoidance system at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center consistently commanded evasive maneuvers when it sensed that the unmanned ...

  1. Evaluation of alternative reference toxicants for use in the earthworm toxicity test

    SciTech Connect

    Yeardley, R.B. Jr.; Lazorchak, J.M.; Pence, M.A.

    1995-07-01

    The use of the 14-d earthworm toxicity test to aid in the evaluation of the ecological impact of contaminated soils is becoming increasingly widespread. However, the method is in need of further standardization. As part of this continuing process, the choice of reference toxicants was evaluated. Reference toxicants were rated in relation to the following criteria: (a) reproducibility, (b) low human health hazard, (c) feasibility of measurement, and (d) chemical stability. Potassium chloride (KCl) and ammonium chloride (NH{sub 4}Cl) were evaluated as possible alternatives to the one currently in common use, 2-chloroacetamide. Potassium chloride rated the best for the combination of the four criteria, followed by NH{sub 4}Cl and 2-chloroacetamide. Coefficients of variation (C.V.s) from control charts of six definitive tests were use to measure reproducibility. The best reproducibility (lowest C.V.) was shown by KCl, followed by NH{sub 4}Cl and 2-chloroacetamide. Toxicants ranked KCl < NH{sub 4}Cl {much_lt} 2-chloroacetamide in terms of health hazard; and KCl = NH{sub 4}Cl > 2-chloroacetamide in terms of measurement feasibility. Both 2-chloroacetamide and NH{sub 4}Cl changed in concentration during testing. Evidence is also presented that 2-chloroacetamide degrades rapidly during testing, and that, as dead worms decay, ammonification may be adding another toxicant, ammonia, to tests.

  2. Development of a standardized reproduction toxicity test with the earthworm species Eisenia fetida andrei using copper, pentachlorophenol and 2,4-dichloroaniline

    SciTech Connect

    van Gestel, C.A.; van Dis, W.A.; van Breemen, E.M.; Sparenburg, P.M. )

    1989-12-01

    This article describes a standardized test method for determining the effect of chemical substances on the reproduction of the earthworm Eisenia fetida andrei. It is based on the existing guidelines for acute toxicity testing with earthworms, and for reasons of standardization the same artificial soil substrate and earthworm species were chosen as prescribed by these guidelines. After being preconditioned for one week in untreated soil, earthworms are exposed to the chemical substances for 3 weeks. The number of cocoons produced is determined, and cocoons are incubated in untreated artificial soil for 5 weeks to assess hatchability. Results are presented from toxicity experiments with pentachlorophenol, copper, and 2,4-dichloroaniline. For these compounds no-effect levels (NEL) for cocoon production were 32, 60-120, and 56 mg.kg-1 dry soil, respectively. Hatching of cocoons was influenced by pentachlorophenol (NEL, 10 mg.kg-1), but not by copper and dichloroaniline. Following exposure, earthworms were incubated in clean soil again to study the possibility of recovery of cocoon production. For copper and dichloroaniline earthworms did recover cocoon production to a level as high as the control level or even higher; in case of pentachlorophenol, cocoon production was still reduced after 3 weeks in clean soil.

  3. Longitudinal in vivo MR imaging of live earthworms.

    PubMed

    Budán, Ferenc; Kovács, Noémi; Engelmann, Péter; Horváth, Ildikó; Veres, Dániel S; Németh, Péter; Szigeti, Krisztián; Máthé, Domokos

    2014-11-01

    Earthworm (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae) species are used widely in eco-toxicological tests especially with contaminated soils. These long-term tests are reliable, but a high sample size is needed. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can produce fast, robust, sensitive, and longitudinal morphological results using a small sample size. Performing longitudinal in vivo examinations of earthworms using MRI requires the need for anesthetics to completely avoid earthworm's moving. Our goal was to develop a simple and non-invasive method to anesthetize earthworms for in vivo longitudinal imaging studies. We investigated a number of different anesthesia methods and found that propan-2-ol and its vapor was optimal. We used a commercial sequential nanoScan® PET/MRI system (Mediso Ltd, Hungary, Budapest) to explore feasibility of MR imaging in immobilized earthworms. It was possible to visualize via micro MRI the brain, gastrointestinal tract, seminal vesicles, calciferous gland (Morren gland), and main blood vessels of the circulatory system. Our findings show the possibilities to examine changes in morphology using MRI of certain organs using a reversible, long-term immobilization method. PMID:25059556

  4. Comparison of sublethal and lethal criteria for nine different chemicals in standardized toxicity tests using the earthworm Eisenia andrei

    SciTech Connect

    Van Gestel, C.A.; Dirven-Van Breemen, E.M.; Baerselman, R.; Emans, H.J.; Janssen, J.A.; Postuma, R.; Van Vliet, P.J. )

    1992-04-01

    In this study, the effects of nine different chemicals on the survival, growth, and reproduction of the earthworm species Eisenia andrei were determined using a recently developed method. Earthworms were exposed for 3 weeks to the test chemicals in an artificial soil substrate. Additional data on the acute toxicity of these chemicals were derived from the literature. For some chemicals, cocoon production was the most sensitive parameter (cadmium, chromium, paraquat, fentin, benomyl, phenmedipham), while for others cocoon hatchability was most sensitive (pentachlorophenol, parathion, carbendazim). In the case of parathion, growth of the worms seemed to be even more sensitive than reproduction. As an overall parameter for the effect on earthworm reproduction, the total number of juveniles produced per worm appeared to be a useful parameter. Differences between (acute) LC50 values and the lowest NOEC value for effects on growth and reproduction were different for each chemical. Difference was greatest for cadmium (a factor of greater than 100) and smallest for fentin, benomyl, and pentachlorophenol (a factor of 5-6).

  5. Herbivory of an invasive slug is affected by earthworms and the composition of plant communities

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Biodiversity loss and species invasions are among the most important human-induced global changes. Moreover, these two processes are interlinked as ecosystem invasibility is considered to increase with decreasing biodiversity. In temperate grasslands, earthworms serve as important ecosystem engineers making up the majority of soil faunal biomass. Herbivore behaviour has been shown to be affected by earthworms, however it is unclear whether these effects differ with the composition of plant communities. To test this we conducted a mesocosm experiment where we added earthworms (Annelida: Lumbricidae) to planted grassland communities with different plant species composition (3 vs. 12 plant spp.). Plant communities had equal plant densities and ratios of the functional groups grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Later, Arion vulgaris slugs (formerly known as A. lusitanicus; Gastropoda: Arionidae) were added and allowed to freely choose among the available plant species. This slug species is listed among the 100 worst alien species in Europe. We hypothesized that (i) the food choice of slugs would be altered by earthworms’ specific effects on the growth and nutrient content of plant species, (ii) slug herbivory will be less affected by earthworms in plant communities containing more plant species than in those with fewer plant species because of a more readily utilization of plant resources making the impacts of earthworms less pronounced. Results Slug herbivory was significantly affected by both earthworms and plant species composition. Slugs damaged 60% less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Percent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40% lower in communities containing 12 plant species; in communities containing only three species earthworms increased slug leaf area consumption. Grasses were generally avoided by slugs. Leaf length and number of tillers was increased in mesocosms containing more plant species but little influenced by earthworms. Overall shoot biomass was decreased, root biomass increased in plant communities with more plant species. Earthworms decreased total shoot biomass in mesocosms with more plant species but did not affect biomass production of individual functional groups. Plant nitrogen concentrations across three focus species were 18% higher when earthworms were present; composition of plant communities did not affect plant quality. Conclusions Given the important role that both herbivores and earthworms play in structuring plant communities the implications of belowground-aboveground linkages should more broadly be considered when investigating global change effects on ecosystems. PMID:23668239

  6. COMPARATIVE TOXICITY OF TEN ORGANIC CHEMICALS TO FOUR EARTHWORM SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ten organic chemicals were tested for toxicity to four earthworm species: Allolobophora tuberculata, Eisenia fetida, Eudrilus eugeniae and Perionyx excavatus, using the European Economic Community's (EEC) earthworm artificial soil and contact testing procedure. The phenols were t...

  7. Avoidance-preference testing in density stratified solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, E.H.; Logan, D.T.; Hansen, S.

    1994-12-31

    Toxicity testing is sometimes required where density stratifies test and reference solutions. Examples include freshwater effluents that float in estuarine and marine waters and desalinating plant effluents that sink. Standard avoidance-preference testing methods and apparatus are designed to test horizontal rather than vertical gradients and so are inappropriate for density stratified solutions. To overcome associated deficiencies, the authors modified testing chambers to take advantage of density stratification. Exposure levels for tests were selected based on NOELs from standard toxicity testing. Behavior of 10 striped bass was simultaneously observed using electronic surveillance. Measure of behavior include position in two axes and swimming speed. Avoidance-preference between several types of high density byproducts of salt water evaporation and lower density receiving water were tested. Results indicate that the modified test protocols allowed the authors to determine behavior responses to test materials.

  8. Improvement of the applicability of ecotoxicological tests with earthworms, springtails, and plants for the assessment of metals in natural soils.

    PubMed

    Römbke, Jorg; Jänsch, Stephan; Junker, Thomas; Pohl, Britta; Scheffczyk, Adam; Schallnass, Hans-Joachim

    2006-03-01

    The environmental risk assessment of metals in the soil compartment is based mainly on tests performed in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) artificial soil, but ecologically, the use of natural soils would be more relevant. In this contribution, the reproduction and growth of three standard species (an earthworm, a collembolan, and a dicotyledonous plant, respectively) was evaluated in nine natural soils (covering a wide range of pH values, organic matter content, texture, and so on) and in OECD artificial soil. Afterward, the effects of the model chemical zinc nitrate were assessed in all soils that were identified as being suitable for these species. The test results indicate that the toxicity of zinc nitrate can be higher by a factor of approximately four compared to artificial soil for invertebrates (earthworms and collembolans), whereas plants are only slightly more sensitive in some natural soils than in artificial soil. When comparing the different endpoints, it could be confirmed that the median effective concentration (EC50) is the most robust compared to the highly uncertain 10% effective concentration. Decreasing toxicity of zinc nitrate to collembolans was significantly correlated with an increase in soil pH but not with cation exchange capacity (CEC) or organic carbon (OC) content. No significant correlation was found between the toxicity of zinc nitrate to earthworms or plants and soil pH, CEC, or OC content. Possible consequences of the results are discussed, such as the testing of natural soils in addition to the OECD artificial soil or the inclusion of an additional safety factor to use the EC50 in current risk assessment schemes focusing on no-observed-effect concentrations. PMID:16566163

  9. Legacy of earthworms' engineering effects enlarges the actual effects of earthworms on plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mudrák, Obd?ej; Frouz, Jan

    2015-04-01

    Earthworms were recognized as key factor responsible for changes from early to late successional plant communities. They incorporate organic matter into the soil and creates there persistent structures, which improves conditions for plant growth. Earthworm activity might be therefore expected to be more important in early stages of the succession, when earthworm colonization of previously earthworm free soil starts, than in the late stages of the succession, where the soil was previously modified by earthworms. However, earthworms affect plants also via other effects such as increase of nutrient availability. The relative importance of soil structure modification and other earthworm effects on plants is poorly known, despite it is important for both theoretical and applied ecology. To test the effect of earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus and Aporrectodea caliginosa) on plants we performed microcosm laboratory experiment, where earthworms were affecting early successional (Poa compressa, Medicago lupulina, and Daucus carota) and late successional (Arrhenatherum elatius, Lotus corniculatus, and Plantago laceolata) plat species in soil previously unaffected by earthworms and in soil with previous long term effect of earthworms. These soils were taken from the early and late successional monitoring sites of the Sokolov coal mining district with known history. Earthworms increased plant biomass proportionally more in late successional soil. It was mainly because they increased availability of nutrients (nitrate and potassium) and plants get higher advantage out of this in late successional soil. Earthworms increased plant biomass of both early and late successional species, but late successional species suppressed early successional species in competition. This suppression was more intensive in presence of earthworms and in late successional soil. We therefore found multiplicative effect between earthworm soil engineering activity and their other effects, which might be responsible for changes in plant communities during the succession.

  10. Effects of Earthworms on the Dispersal of Steinernema spp.

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, D. I.; Tylka, G. L.; Berry, E. C.; Lewis, L. C.

    1995-01-01

    Previous studies indicated that dispersal of S. carpocapsae may be enhanced in soil with earthworms. The objective of this research was to determine and compare the effects of earthworms on dispersal of other Steinernema spp. Vertical dispersal of Steinernema carpocapsae, S. feltiae, and S. glaseri was tested in soil columns in the presence and absence of earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris). Dispersal was evaluated by a bioassay and by direct extraction of nematodes from soil. Upward dispersal of S. carpocapsae and S. feltiae increased in the presence of earthworms, whereas upward dispersal of S. glaseri was not affected by earthworms. No significant differences were detected in downward dispersal of S. carpocapsae and S. feltiae in soil with earthworms compared to soil without earthworms. Downward dispersal of S. glaseri, however, was greater in soil without earthworms relative to soil with earthworms. In soil void of earthworms, dispersal of S. glaseri was greatest followed by dispersal of S. carpocapsae. The presence of earthworm burrows in soil did not influence nematode dispersal. Nematodes were recovered from the surface, interior, and casts of earthworms. Therefore, nematodes may have a phoretic association with earthworms. PMID:19277257

  11. Teacher's Guide for Earthworms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bruno, Merle S.; And Others

    This teacher's guide on earthworms includes four major sections: (1) introduction, (2) caring for earthworms in the classroom, (3) classroom activities, and (4) the appendix. The introduction includes information concerning grade level, scheduling, materials, obtaining earthworms, field study, classroom clean-up, and records. Caring for earthworms

  12. Sequential Probability Ratio Test for Collision Avoidance Maneuver Decisions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carpenter, J. Russell; Markley, F. Landis

    2010-01-01

    When facing a conjunction between space objects, decision makers must chose whether to maneuver for collision avoidance or not. We apply a well-known decision procedure, the sequential probability ratio test, to this problem. We propose two approaches to the problem solution, one based on a frequentist method, and the other on a Bayesian method. The frequentist method does not require any prior knowledge concerning the conjunction, while the Bayesian method assumes knowledge of prior probability densities. Our results show that both methods achieve desired missed detection rates, but the frequentist method's false alarm performance is inferior to the Bayesian method's

  13. Can earthworms survive fire retardants?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.; Olson, A.

    1996-01-01

    Most common fire retardants are foams or are similar to common agricultural fertilizers, such as ammonium sulfate and ammonium phosphate. Although fire retardants are widely applied to soils, we lack basic information about their toxicities to soil organisms. We measured the toxicity of five fire retardants (Firetrol LCG-R, Firetrol GTS-R, Silv-Ex Foam Concentrate, Phos-chek D-75, and Phos-chek WD-881) to earthworms using the pesticide toxicity test developed for earthworms by the European Economic Community. None was lethal at 1,000 ppm in the soil, which was suggested as a relatively high exposure under normal applications. We concluded that the fire retardants tested are relatively nontoxic to soil organisms compared with other environmental chemicals and that they probably do not reduce earthworm populations when applied under usual firefighting conditions.

  14. Sequential Probability Ratio Test for Spacecraft Collision Avoidance Maneuver Decisions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carpenter, J. Russell; Markley, F. Landis

    2013-01-01

    A document discusses sequential probability ratio tests that explicitly allow decision-makers to incorporate false alarm and missed detection risks, and are potentially less sensitive to modeling errors than a procedure that relies solely on a probability of collision threshold. Recent work on constrained Kalman filtering has suggested an approach to formulating such a test for collision avoidance maneuver decisions: a filter bank with two norm-inequality-constrained epoch-state extended Kalman filters. One filter models the null hypotheses that the miss distance is inside the combined hard body radius at the predicted time of closest approach, and one filter models the alternative hypothesis. The epoch-state filter developed for this method explicitly accounts for any process noise present in the system. The method appears to work well using a realistic example based on an upcoming, highly elliptical orbit formation flying mission.

  15. Earthworm in the 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friberg, Paul; Lisowski, Stefan; Dricker, Ilya; Hellman, Sidney

    2010-05-01

    Earthworm (Johnson et al., 1995) is a fully open-source earthquake data acquisition and processing package that is in widespread use through out the world. Earthworm includes basic seismic data acquistion for the majority of the dataloggers currently available and provides network transport mechanisms and common formats as output for data transferral. In addition, it comes with network seismology tools to compute network detections, perform automated arrival picking, and automated hypocentral and magnitude estimations. More importantly it is an open and free framework in the C-programming language that can be used to create new modules that process waveform and earthquake data in near real time. The number of Earthworm installations is growing annually as are the number of contributions to the system. Furthermore its growth into other areas of waveform data acquistion (namely Geomagnetic observatories and Infrasound arrays) show its adaptability to other waveform technologies and processing strategies. In this presentation we discuss the coming challenges to growing Earthworm and new developments in its use; namely the open source add-ons that have become interfaces to Earthworm's core. These add-ons include GlowWorm, MagWorm, Hydra, SWARM, Winston, EarlyBird, Iworm, and most importantly, AQMS (formerly known as CHEETAH). The AQMS, ANSS Quake Monitoring System, is the Earthworm system created in California which has now been installed in the majority of Regional Seismic Networks (RSNs) in the United States. AQMS allows additional real-time and post-processing of Earthworm generated data to be stored and manipulated in a database using numerous database oriented tools. The use of a relational database for persistence provides users with the ability to implement configuration control and research capabilities not available in earlier Earthworm add-ons. By centralizing on AQMS, the RSNs will be able to leverage new developments by easily sharing Earthworm and AQMS modules and avoid the duplication and one-off/custom developments of the past.

  16. COMPARATIVE TOXICITY OF CHEMICALS TO EARTHWORMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The concentration-response (mortality) relationships of four species of earthworms, Eisentia fetida, Allolobophora tuberculata, Eudrilus eugeniae, and Perionyx excavatus are summarized for 62 chemicals and two test protocols. eibull function is used to summarize these data for ea...

  17. Earthworms and Soil Pollutants

    PubMed Central

    Hirano, Takeshi; Tamae, Kazuyoshi

    2011-01-01

    Although the toxicity of metal contaminated soils has been assessed with various bioassays, more information is needed about the biochemical responses, which may help to elucidate the mechanisms involved in metal toxicity. We previously reported that the earthworm, Eisenia fetida, accumulates cadmium in its seminal vesicles. The bio-accumulative ability of earthworms is well known, and thus the earthworm could be a useful living organism for the bio-monitoring of soil pollution. In this short review, we describe recent studies concerning the relationship between earthworms and soil pollutants, and discuss the possibility of using the earthworm as a bio-monitoring organism for soil pollution. PMID:22247659

  18. Off to the (Earthworm) Races: A Quick and Flexible Lab Experiment for Introductory Zoology Courses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Switzer, Paul V.; Fritz, Ann H.

    2001-01-01

    Presents a hands-on, investigative lab activity for use in an introductory zoology course. Tests the behavioral hypothesis that substrate texture affects earthworm locomotor ability. Provides background information on earthworm locomotion followed by details of the lab exercise. (NB)

  19. ACAT Ground Collision Avoidance Flight Tests Over - Duration: 2 minutes, 41 seconds.

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center has concluded flight tests of an Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS) under the joint U.S. Air Force/NASA F-16D Automatic Collision Avoidance...

  20. Earthworms lost from pesticides application in potato crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Santos, Glenda; Forrer, Karin; Binder, Claudia R.

    2010-05-01

    Bioturbation from earthworm's activity contributes to soil creep and soil carbon dynamics, and provide enough aeration conditions for agricultural practices all over the world. In developing countries where there is a long term misuse of pesticides for agricultural purposes, lost of these benefits from earthworms activity might already yielded negative effects in the current crop production. Little research has been performed on earthworms avoidance to pesticides in developing countries located in the tropics. Furthermore, the complete avoidance reaction (from attraction to 100% avoidance) from earthworms to most of the pesticides used in potato cultivation in developing countries like Colombia is incomplete as yet. Hence the aim of this study is to assess the lost of earthworm on the soils caused by different concentrations of pesticides and associated agricultural impacts caused by a lost in the soil bioturbation. As a first stage, we have studied earthworm's avoidance to pesticide concentration in a potato agricultural area located in Colombia. Local cultivated Eisenia fetida were exposed to four of the most frequent applied active ingredients in potato crops i.e. carbofuran, mancozeb, methamidophos and chlorpyriphos. Adult earthworm toxicity experiments were carried out in two soils, untreated grasslands under standard (ISO guidelines) and undisturbed conditions, and exposed to six different concentrations of the active ingredients. The results of the avoidance reaction on the standard soils were significant for carbofuran, mancoceb and chlorpyrifos. For each of the three active ingredients, we found i) overuse of pesticide, ii) applied dose of carbofuran, mancoceb and chlorpyrifos by the farmers potentially caused 20%, 11% and 9% of earthworms avoidance on the cultivated soils, respectively.

  1. Avoidance test with Enchytraeus albidus (Enchytraeidae): effects of different exposure time and soil properties.

    PubMed

    Amorim, Mónica J B; Novais, Sara; Römbke, Jörg; Soares, Amadeu M V M

    2008-09-01

    Enchytraeids are ecologically relevant soil species and are commonly used in standardized toxicity tests. Their rapid reaction to a chemical exposure can be used as a toxicological measurement endpoint that assesses the avoidance behavior. The objectives of this investigation were to determine the effects of soil properties on the avoidance behavior of Enchytraeus albidus and to optimize the duration of avoidance test. The avoidance tests included (1) exposures in OECD artificial soil with standard or modified properties (pH, clay or peat content), and (2) exposures to copper chloride, cadmium chloride, and to the organic pesticides dimethoate and phenmedipham for different time periods. Results showed that alteration of OECD soil constituents significantly affected the avoidance behavior of enchytraeids, and that the 48-h exposure was the optimal duration of the test. Consideration of soil properties is important for selecting appropriate experimental design and interpreting the results of the enchytraeid avoidance test. PMID:18069103

  2. Measuring Experiential Avoidance: A Preliminary Test of a Working Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayes, Steven C.; Strosahl, Kirk; Wilson, Kelly G.; Bissett, Richard T.; Pistorello, Jacqueline; Toarmino, Dosheen; Polusny, Melissa A.; Dykstra, Thane A.; Batten, Sonja V.; Bergan, John; Stewart, Sherry H.; Zvolensky, Michael J.; Eifert, Georg H.; Bond, Frank W.; Forsyth, John P.; Karekla, Maria; Mccurry, Susan M.

    2004-01-01

    The present study describes the development of a short, general measure of experiential avoidance, based on a specific theoretical approach to this process. A theoretically driven iterative exploratory analysis using structural equation modeling on data from a clinical sample yielded a single factor comprising 9 items. A fully confirmatory factor…

  3. Darwin, Earthworms & Circadian Rhythms: A Fertile Field for Science Fair Experiments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burns, John T.; Scurti, Paul J.; Furda, Amy M.

    2009-01-01

    This article discusses why the study of earthworms has fascinated many scientists, and why earthworms make ideal experimental animals for students to test in the laboratory. Although earthworms may appear to be primitive, they are governed by both circadian and seasonal rhythms, just as more advanced organisms are. They possess an intelligence…

  4. Effects of silver nanoparticles (NM-300K) on Lumbricus rubellus earthworms and particle characterization in relevant test matrices including soil.

    PubMed

    van der Ploeg, Merel J C; Handy, Richard D; Waalewijn-Kool, Pauline L; van den Berg, Johannes H J; Herrera Rivera, Zahira E; Bovenschen, Jan; Molleman, Bastiaan; Baveco, Johannes M; Tromp, Peter; Peters, Ruud J B; Koopmans, Gerwin F; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M; van den Brink, Nico W

    2014-04-01

    The impact of silver nanoparticles (AgNP; at 0 mg Ag/kg, 1.5 mg Ag/kg, 15.4 mg Ag/kg, and 154 mg Ag/kg soil) and silver nitrate (AgNO3 ; 15.4 mg Ag/kg soil) on earthworms, Lumbricus rubellus, was assessed. A 4-wk exposure to the highest AgNP treatment reduced growth and reproduction compared with the control. Silver nitrate (AgNO3 ) exposure also impaired reproduction, but not as much as the highest AgNP treatment. Long-term exposure to the highest AgNP treatment caused complete juvenile mortality. All AgNP treatments induced tissue pathology. Population modeling demonstrated reduced population growth rates for the AgNP and AgNO3 treatments, and no population growth at the highest AgNP treatment because of juvenile mortality. Analysis of AgNP treated soil samples revealed that single AgNP and AgNP clusters were present in the soil, and that the total Ag in soil porewater remained high throughout the long-term experiment. In addition, immune cells (coelomocytes) of earthworms showed sensitivity to both AgNP and AgNO3 in vitro. Overall, the present study indicates that AgNP exposure may affect earthworm populations and that the exposure may be prolonged because of the release of a dissolved Ag fraction to soil porewater. PMID:24318461

  5. Implementation and testing of a real-time 3-component phase picking program for Earthworm using the CECM algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, B. I.; Friberg, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    Modern seismic networks typically deploy three component (3C) sensors, but still fail to utilize all of the information available in the seismograms when performing automated phase picking for real-time event location. In most cases a variation on a short term over long term average threshold detector is used for picking and then an association program is used to assign phase types to the picks. However, the 3C waveforms from an earthquake contain an abundance of information related to the P and S phases in both their polarization and energy partitioning. An approach that has been overlooked and has demonstrated encouraging results is the Component Energy Comparison Method (CECM) by Nagano et al. as published in Geophysics 1989. CECM is well suited to being used in real-time because the calculation is not computationally intensive. Furthermore, the CECM method has fewer tuning variables (3) than traditional pickers in Earthworm such as the Rex Allen algorithm (N=18) or even the Anthony Lomax Filter Picker module (N=5). In addition to computing the CECM detector we study the detector sensitivity by rotating the signal into principle components as well as estimating the P phase onset from a curvature function describing the CECM as opposed to the CECM itself. We present our results implementing this algorithm in a real-time module for Earthworm and show the improved phase picks as compared to the traditional single component pickers using Earthworm.

  6. EARTHWORMS AS ECOTOXICOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT TOOLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increased interest for earthworm research and the need for soil assessment methods has encouraged the use of earthworms as assessment organisms. Earthworms exhibit many advantages for use in assessing the impact of toxic and hazardous materials on soil systems. Earthworms are kno...

  7. Influence of feeding and earthworm density on compound bioaccumulation in earthworms Eisenia andrei.

    PubMed

    Šmídová, Klára; Šerá, Jana; Bielská, Lucie; Hofman, Jakub

    2015-12-01

    Earthworm density and feeding during exposure to contaminated soil have been used inconsistently in bioaccumulation studies, which may lead to possible errors in risk assessment and modeling. Hydrophobic organic pollutants with a wide range of environmental properties (phenanthrene, pyrene, lindane, p,p'-DDT, and PCB 153) were used to study the effect of different earthworm densities in combination with the presence or absence of feeding on bioaccumulation factors (BAFs). Similar BAFs were found at various soil-to-worm ratios, with the exception of phenanthrene. We recommend using at least 15 gsoil dw per earthworm. The absence of feeding doubled the BAFs and, thus, using no food ration can be considered as "the worst case scenario". Whenever food is to be applied (i.e. to ensure the validity of the test in earthworm mass loss), we suggest feeding depending on the organic carbon content of the studied soil. PMID:26378968

  8. Effects of metals on earthworm life cycles: a review.

    PubMed

    Sivakumar, S

    2015-08-01

    Earthworms are abundant and ecologically very important organisms in the soil ecosystem. Impacts by pollutants on earthworm communities greatly influence the fertility of the terrestrial environment. In ecotoxicology, earthworms are good indicators of metal pollution. The observed median lethal concentrations (LC50) and the effective concentrations that cause 50% reduction of earthworm growth and reproduction (EC50) are referred to as toxicity concentrations or endpoints. In addition, the 'no observed effective concentration' (NOEC) is the estimation of the toxicity of metals on earthworms expressed as the highest concentration tested that does not show effects on growth and reproduction compared to controls. This article reviews the ecotoxicological parameters of LC50, EC50 and NOEC of a set of worms exposed to a number of metals in various tested media. In addition, this article reviews metal accumulation and the influences of soil characteristics on metal accumulation in earthworms. Morphological and behavioural responses are often used in earthworm toxicity studies. Therefore, earthworm responses due to metal toxicity are also discussed in this article. PMID:26215824

  9. Portable conduction velocity experiments using earthworms for the college and high school neuroscience teaching laboratory.

    PubMed

    Shannon, Kyle M; Gage, Gregory J; Jankovic, Aleksandra; Wilson, W Jeffrey; Marzullo, Timothy C

    2014-03-01

    The earthworm is ideal for studying action potential conduction velocity in a classroom setting, as its simple linear anatomy allows easy axon length measurements and the worm's sparse coding allows single action potentials to be easily identified. The earthworm has two giant fiber systems (lateral and medial) with different conduction velocities that can be easily measured by manipulating electrode placement and the tactile stimulus. Here, we present a portable and robust experimental setup that allows students to perform conduction velocity measurements within a 30-min to 1-h laboratory session. Our improvement over this well-known preparation is the combination of behaviorally relevant tactile stimuli (avoiding electrical stimulation) with the invention of minimal, low-cost, and portable equipment. We tested these experiments during workshops in both a high school and college classroom environment and found positive learning outcomes when we compared pre- and posttests taken by the students. PMID:24585472

  10. Portable conduction velocity experiments using earthworms for the college and high school neuroscience teaching laboratory

    PubMed Central

    Shannon, Kyle M.; Gage, Gregory J.; Jankovic, Aleksandra; Wilson, W. Jeffrey

    2014-01-01

    The earthworm is ideal for studying action potential conduction velocity in a classroom setting, as its simple linear anatomy allows easy axon length measurements and the worm's sparse coding allows single action potentials to be easily identified. The earthworm has two giant fiber systems (lateral and medial) with different conduction velocities that can be easily measured by manipulating electrode placement and the tactile stimulus. Here, we present a portable and robust experimental setup that allows students to perform conduction velocity measurements within a 30-min to 1-h laboratory session. Our improvement over this well-known preparation is the combination of behaviorally relevant tactile stimuli (avoiding electrical stimulation) with the invention of minimal, low-cost, and portable equipment. We tested these experiments during workshops in both a high school and college classroom environment and found positive learning outcomes when we compared pre- and posttests taken by the students. PMID:24585472

  11. Disposal of dredged sediments in tropical soils: ecotoxicological effects on earthworms.

    PubMed

    Cesar, Ricardo; Natal-da-Luz, Tiago; Sousa, José Paulo; Colonese, Juan; Bidone, Edison; Castilhos, Zuleica; Egler, Silvia; Polivanov, Helena

    2014-03-01

    The upper limit concentrations of metals established by international legislations for dredged sediment disposal and soil quality do not take into consideration the properties of tropical soils (generally submitted to more intense weathering processes) on metal availability and ecotoxicity. Aiming to perform an evaluation on the suitability of these threshold values in tropical regions, the ecotoxicity of metal-contaminated dredged sediment from the Guanabara Bay (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) was investigated. Acute and avoidance tests with Eisenia andrei were performed with mixtures of dredged sediment with a ferralsol (0.00, 6.66, 13.12, 19.98, and 33.30 %) and a chernosol (0.00, 6.58, 13.16, 19.74, and 32.90 %). Mercury, lead, nickel, chromium, copper, and zinc concentrations were measured in test mixtures and in tissues of surviving earthworms from the acute tests. While ferralsol test mixtures provoked significant earthworm avoidance response at concentrations ?13.31 %, the chernosol mixtures showed significant avoidance behavior only at the 19.74 % concentration. The acute tests showed higher toxicity in ferralsol mixtures (LC50?=?9.9 %) compared to chernosol mixtures (LC50?=?16.5 %), and biomass increased at the lowest sediment doses in treatments of both test soils. Most probably, the expansive clay minerals present in chernosol contributed to reduce metal availability in chernosol mixtures, and consequently, the ecotoxicity of these treatments. The bioconcentration factors (BCF) for zinc and copper were lower with increasing concentrations of the dredged sediment, indicating the existence of internal regulating processes. Although the BCF for mercury also decreased with the increasing test concentrations, the known no biological function of this metal in the earthworms metabolism lead to suppose that Hg measured was not present in bioaccumulable forms. BCFs estimated for the other metals were generally higher in the highest dredged sediment doses. PMID:24122142

  12. A new test to avoid arterial complications during pancreaticoduodenectomy.

    PubMed

    Machado, Marcel Autran C; Herman, Paulo; Montagnini, André L; Costa, Marcelo L V; Nishinari, Kenji; Wolosker, Nelson; Machado, Marcel C C

    2004-01-01

    Celiac trunk or superior mesenteric artery stenosis are usually innocuous conditions. In such patients, arterial blood supply to the stomach, spleen, liver and bowel is sustained through extraordinarily well-developed pathways through the pancreas. If division of these collateral vessels is necessary during a surgical procedure such as pancreaticoduodenectomy, life-threatening celiac organ or bowel ischemia may occur. The authors describe a new test, using pancreatic inflow occlusion, to reliably identify celiac trunk or superior mesentery artery stenosis. The authors describe two cases of celiac axis occlusion and one case of superior mesenteric artery stenosis. In all three presented cases the gastroduodenal artery clamping test was negative and ischemia was only noticed after pancreatic section, suggesting that in severe occlusions this test may fail in diagnosing the vascular abnormality. All patients were successfully treated by revascularization with no operative mortality. If the diagnosis is unsuspected and in cases where appropriate angiographic studies have not been obtained before pancreatic resection, a test occlusion of the gastroduodenal artery should always precede its ligation. However, this test may not be effective in all cases and in instances where high suspicion of celiac axis or mesenteric stenosis is present, other maneuvers, such as pancreatic inflow test, could be helpful for the diagnosis of these rare and morbid situations. PMID:15532801

  13. Earthworm Effects without Earthworms: Inoculation of Raw Organic Matter with Worm-Worked Substrates Alters Microbial Community Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Aira, Manuel; Domínguez, Jorge

    2011-01-01

    Background Earthworms are key organisms in organic matter decomposition because of the interactions they establish with soil microorganisms. They enhance decomposition rates through the joint action of direct effects (i.e. effects due to direct earthworm activity such as digestion, burrowing, etc) and indirect effects (i.e. effects derived from earthworm activities such as cast ageing). Here we test whether indirect earthworm effects affect microbial community functioning in the substrate, as when earthworms are present (i. e., direct effects). Methodology/Principal Findings To address these questions we inoculated fresh organic matter (pig manure) with worm-worked substrates (vermicompost) produced by three different earthworm species. Two doses of each vermicompost were used (2.5 and 10%). We hypothesized that the presence of worm-worked material in the fresh organic matter will result in an inoculum of different microorganisms and nutrients. This inoculum should interact with microbial communities in fresh organic matter, thus promoting modifications similar to those found when earthworms are present. Inoculation of worm-worked substrates provoked significant increases in microbial biomass and enzyme activities (?-glucosidase, cellulase, phosphatase and protease). These indirect effects were similar to, although lower than, those obtained in pig manure with earthworms (direct and indirect earthworm effects). In general, the effects were not dose-dependent, suggesting the existence of a threshold at which they were triggered. Conclusion/Significance Our data reveal that the relationships between earthworms and microorganisms are far from being understood, and suggest the existence of several positive feedbacks during earthworm activity as a result of the interactions between direct and indirect effects, since their combination produces stronger modifications to microbial biomass and enzyme activity. PMID:21298016

  14. Young Men's Aggressive Tactics to Avoid Condom Use: A Test of a Theoretical Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Kelly Cue; Logan-Greene, Patricia

    2012-01-01

    Although research has demonstrated that men's aggression against women and inconsistent condom use are related phenomena, little is known about what factors increase risk for aggression to avoid condom use. The present article tests a theory-based model of condom avoidance through use of sexual aggression. Adult male participants (N = 289) were…

  15. Measuring and Improving Latency to Avoid Test Suite Wear Out Shin Yoo & Mark Harman

    E-print Network

    Harman, Mark

    Measuring and Improving Latency to Avoid Test Suite Wear Out Shin Yoo & Mark Harman King's College London Centre for Research on Evolution, Search & Testing (CREST) London, UK {shin.yoo, mark introduces the concept of test suite latency. The more latent a test suite, the more it is possible

  16. Nutrition Studies with Earthworms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tobaga, Leandro

    1980-01-01

    Describes experiments which demonstrate how different diets affect the growth rate of earthworms. Procedures for feeding baby worms are outlined, the analysis of results are discussed, and various modifications of the exercise are provided. (CS)

  17. The evaluation of the activity of medicinal remedies of plant and animal origin on the regeneration of the earthworms' tail segments.

    PubMed

    Bybin, Viktor Alexandrovich; Stom, Daevard Iosifovich

    2014-01-01

    Now, in the global community there is enough hard recommendation to replace the vertebrate test animals into simpler organisms at the development, testing, and evaluation of the quality pharmaceuticals. The feature of planarian to regenerate in new individual planarian from a piece, which is only 1/7 of the original animal, allowed to create the alternative methods of testing of drugs, dietary supplements, water quality, influence of electromagnetic fields, and other radiations. The tests on planarian can replace the ones that are held today on mammals. However, the lacks of the bioassays based on the planarian regeneration are the need for complex and expensive video equipment for recording the regrowth of worms' body, the difficulties of culturing of flatworms and fairly long period of response. These difficulties can be avoided by using another group of the worms of type Annelida. The new individual can be fully recovered only from the front half of the body in many species of earthworms. Thus, the influence of the pharmaceuticals from earthworms, mummy, and Orthilia secunda on the ability of earthworms to regenerate lost tail segments has been investigated. The relations of the activity of preparations tested with doses and the time of the storage have been revealed. The principal possibility of applicability of the test reaction studied as a way to evaluate the effects and quality of remedies based on medicinal plants and earthworms has been shown. PMID:26692755

  18. Effect of earthworms on the biochemical characterization of biofilms in vermifiltration treatment of excess sludge.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jian; Liu, Jing; Xing, Meiyan; Lu, Zhibo; Yan, Qiong

    2013-09-01

    In this study, the biofilms formed in a vermifilter (VF) with earthworms and a conventional biofilter (BF) without earthworms were compared to investigate the effects of earthworms on the characteristics of biofilms during an excess sludge treatment period of 4months. Typical macrographs and micrographs of the biofilms showed that the feeding and casting actions of earthworms remarkably modified the VF morphology. Elemental analysis and fluorescence spectra indicated that earthworms enhanced the stabilization of organic matter by accelerating the mineralization and humification of organic materials during vermiconversion. In addition, bacterial communities inhabiting the VF biofilm showed that earthworms increased both bacterial diversity and metabolic activities in the film, as revealed by automatic testing bacteriology (ATB) expression and sequencing data. These results demonstrate that earthworms influence the structure and biochemical characteristics of biofilms and enhance their bacterial diversity and functions for improved sludge stabilization. PMID:23774291

  19. Native and exotic earthworms affect orchid seed loss

    PubMed Central

    McCormick, Melissa K.; Parker, Kenneth L.; Szlavecz, Katalin; Whigham, Dennis F.

    2013-01-01

    Non-native earthworms have invaded ecosystems around the world but have recently received increased attention as they invaded previously earthworm-free habitats in northern North America. Earthworms can affect plants by ingesting seeds and burying them in the soil. These effects can be negative or positive but are expected to become increasingly negative with decreasing seed size. Orchids have some of the smallest seeds of any plants, so we hypothesized that earthworm consumption of seeds would decrease seed viability and lead to burial of ingested seeds. We used a combination of mesocosms and field measurements to determine whether native and non-native earthworms would affect Goodyera pubescens seed germination by decreasing seed viability through digestion or burial. To determine soil depths at which seed burial would decrease chances of germination, we used field measurements of the abundance of mycorrhizal fungi needed for G. pubescens germination at different soil depths. We found that the combined effects of earthworm ingestion and burial would be expected to result in a loss of 49 % of orchid seeds in mature forests and 68 % of those in successional forests over an average year. Differences in seed ingestion and burial among soils from mature and successional forests were probably driven by differences in their ability to support earthworm biomass and not by differences in earthworm behaviour as a function of soil type. The combined effects of earthworm ingestion and burial have the potential to result in substantial loss of orchid seeds, particularly in successional forests. This effect may slow the ability of orchids to recolonize forests as they proceed through succession. Determining whether this strong effect of earthworms on G. pubescens viability and germination also applies to other orchid species awaits further testing.

  20. Avoidance behaviour of Enchytraeus albidus: effects of benomyl, carbendazim, phenmedipham and different soil types.

    PubMed

    Amorim, Mónica J B; Römbke, Jörg; Soares, Amadeu M V M

    2005-04-01

    Enchytraeids are typical inhabitants of many soils, contributing to vital processes of this environmental compartment. Indirectly they are involved in regulating the degradation of organic matter, as well as improving the pore structure of the soil. Due to their behaviour, they are able to avoid unfavourable environmental conditions. Avoidance tests with enchytraeids, initially developed with earthworms by several authors, are quick and easy to perform. With these tests a first assessment of the toxicity of a (contaminated or spiked) soil is possible in just 48 h by using the reaction of the enchytraeids as measurement endpoint. In this period of time the organisms can choose between the control soil and the other soil (a contaminated or spiked or another soil with different physico-chemical properties). In the tests reported here, the enchytraeids were exposed to control soils spiked with the fungicides Benomyl and Carbendazim and the herbicide Phenmedipham. Several chemical concentrations were tested in order to evaluate the avoidance behaviour to toxic substances. In fact, often these short-term screening tests gave results showing avoidance at concentrations in a range similar to the acute test results but, higher than in chronic tests. Further tests are needed to decide whether the results gained in this study can be extrapolated to other chemicals. It is proposed to standardize the Enchytraeid Avoidance Test as it is currently done for the Earthworm Avoidance Test by the International Standard Organization (ISO). PMID:15788173

  1. Toxicokinetics of metals in the earthworm Lumbricus rubellus exposed to natural polluted soils--relevance of laboratory tests to the field situation.

    PubMed

    Giska, Iwona; van Gestel, Cornelis A M; Skip, Borys; Laskowski, Ryszard

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this study was to estimate the bioavailability of essential (Zn, Cu) and non-essential metals (Cd, Pb) to the earthworm Lumbricus rubellus exposed to soils originating from a gradient of metal pollution in Southern Poland. Metal uptake and elimination kinetics were determined and related to soils properties. Experimental results were compared with tissue metal concentrations observed in earthworms from the studied transect. Cd and Pb were intensively accumulated by the earthworms, with very slow or no elimination. Their uptake rate constants, based on 0.01 M CaCl2-extractable concentrations in the soils, increased with soil pH. Internal concentrations of Cu and Zn were maintained by the earthworms at a stable level, suggesting efficient regulation of these metals by the animals. The estimated uptake and elimination kinetics parameters enabled fairly accurate prediction of metal concentrations reached within a life span of L. rubellus in nature. PMID:24747106

  2. Earthworm immune responses.

    PubMed

    Jarosz, J; Gli?ski, Z

    1997-01-01

    The knowledge of the immunity in annelids started with the use of earthworms as biomarkers indicating changes caused by environmental pollution. Defence strategies effectively protect earthworms against bacterial infections and parasitic invasion. A natural immunity formed by anatomical and chemical protective barriers prevents damage of the underlying tissues, body fluid losses, and microbial infections of the body cavity. The internal defence mechanisms of annelids involve phagocytosis, nodule formation and encapsulation, blood coagulation and wound repair, and antibacterial immune proteins. The antibacterial activity of coelomic fluid associated with lysozyme-like substances and inducible humoral molecules support haemocytic reactions in the annelid defence system. PMID:9557138

  3. Avoidance behaviour of Eisenia fetida to carbofuran, chlorpyrifos, mancozeb and metamidophos in natural soils from the highlands of Colombia.

    PubMed

    García-Santos, Glenda; Keller-Forrer, Karin

    2011-07-01

    Earthworm avoidance behaviour test is an important screening tool in soil eco-toxicology. This test has been developed and validated under North American and European conditions. However, little research has been performed on the avoidance test in the tropics. This work demonstrates the potential suitability of the avoidance behaviour test as screening method in the highlands of Colombia using Eisenia fetida as the bio-indicator species on contaminated soils with carbofuran and chlorpyrifos. Though for the two active ingredients 100% avoidance was not reached, a curve with six meaningful concentrations is provided. No significant avoidance behaviour trend was found for mancozeb and methamidophos. Tests were conducted in the field yielded similar results to the tests carried out in the laboratory for chlorpyrifos and mancozeb. However, for the case of carbofuran and methamidophos, differences of more than double in avoidance were obtained. Divergence might be explained by soil and temperature conditions. PMID:21489597

  4. Fighting Testing ACAT/FRRP: Automatic Collision Avoidance Technology/Fighter Risk Reduction Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skoog, Mark A.

    2009-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the work of the Flight testing Automatic Collision Avoidance Technology/Fighter Risk Reduction Project (ACAT/FRRP). The goal of this project is to develop common modular architecture for all aircraft, and to enable the transition of technology from research to production as soon as possible to begin to reduce the rate of mishaps. The automated Ground Collision Avoidance System (GCAS) system is designed to prevent collision with the ground, by avionics that project the future trajectory over digital terrain, and request an evasion maneuver at the last instance. The flight controls are capable of automatically performing a recovery. The collision avoidance is described in the presentation. Also included in the presentation is a description of the flight test.

  5. Cooperative Collision Avoidance Step 1 - Technology Demonstration Flight Test Report. Revision 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trongale, Nicholas A.

    2006-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Access 5 Project Office sponsored a cooperative collision avoidance flight demonstration program for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). This flight test was accomplished between September 21st and September 27th 2005 from the Mojave Airport, Mojave, California. The objective of these flights was to collect data for the Access 5 Cooperative Collision Avoidance (CCA) Work Package simulation effort, i.e., to gather data under select conditions to allow validation of the CCA simulation. Subsequent simulation to be verified were: Demonstrate the ability to detect cooperative traffic and provide situational awareness to the ROA pilot; Demonstrate the ability to track the detected cooperative traffic and provide position information to the ROA pilot; Demonstrate the ability to determine collision potential with detected cooperative traffic and provide notification to the ROA pilot; Demonstrate that the CCA subsystem provides information in sufficient time for the ROA pilot to initiate an evasive maneuver to avoid collision; Demonstrate an evasive maneuver that avoids collision with the threat aircraft; and lastly, Demonstrate the ability to assess the adequacy of the maneuver and determine that the collision potential has been avoided. The Scaled Composites, LLC Proteus Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) was chosen as the test platform. Proteus was manned by two on-board pilots but was also capable of being controlled from an Air Vehicle Control Station (AVCS) located on the ground. For this demonstration, Proteus was equipped with cooperative collision sensors and the required hardware and software to place the data on the downlink. Prior to the flight phase, a detailed set of flight test scenarios were developed to address the flight test objectives. Two cooperative collision avoidance sensors were utilized for detecting aircraft in the evaluation: Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System-II (TCAS-II) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B). A single intruder aircraft was used during all the flight testing, a NASA Gulfstream III (G-III). During the course of the testing, six geometrically different near-collision scenarios were evaluated. These six scenarios were each tested using various combinations of sensors and collision avoidance software. Of the 54 planned test points 49 were accomplished successfully. Proteus flew a total of 21.5 hours during the testing and the G-III flew 19.8 hours. The testing fully achieved all flight test objectives. The Flight IPT performed an analysis to determine the accuracy of the simulation model used to predict the location of the host aircraft downstream during an avoidance maneuver. The data collected by this flight program was delivered to the Access 5 Cooperative Collision Avoidance (CCA) Work Package Team who was responsible for reporting on their analysis of this flight data.

  6. Experimental Testing of Semi-autonomous Multi-vehicle Control for Collision Avoidance at Intersections

    E-print Network

    Del Vecchio, Domitilla

    Experimental Testing of Semi-autonomous Multi-vehicle Control for Collision Avoidance is mostly concerned with full vehicle dynamics, it has computational difficulties in dealing with collisions: alessandro.colombo@polimi.it has been studied using only the longitudinal dynamics of vehicles [11], [12

  7. Math Anxiety: Relation with Situational Test Anxiety, Performance, Physiological Arousal, and Math Avoidance Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dew, K. M. Harriss; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Investigated factors associated with mathematics anxiety in 63 undergraduates who completed four anxiety measures prior to completing three math tasks. Results indicated math anxiety measures were more related to each other than to test anxiety. Ability, physiological and avoidance measures showed little relation to math anxiety. (JAC)

  8. Phi Index: A New Metric to Test the Flush Early and Avoid the Rush Hypothesis

    E-print Network

    Blumstein, Daniel T.

    , 2 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles to monitor an approaching threat, a phenomena codified as the ``Flush Early and Avoid the Rush'' (FEAR) hypothesis. Typically, the FEAR hypothesis is tested using correlational statistics and is supported when

  9. Simulation and Flight Test Capability for Testing Prototype Sense and Avoid System Elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howell, Charles T.; Stock, Todd M.; Verstynen, Harry A.; Wehner, Paul J.

    2012-01-01

    NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) and The MITRE Corporation (MITRE) have developed, and successfully demonstrated, an integrated simulation-to-flight capability for evaluating sense and avoid (SAA) system elements. This integrated capability consists of a MITRE developed fast-time computer simulation for evaluating SAA algorithms, and a NASA LaRC surrogate unmanned aircraft system (UAS) equipped to support hardware and software in-the-loop evaluation of SAA system elements (e.g., algorithms, sensors, architecture, communications, autonomous systems), concepts, and procedures. The fast-time computer simulation subjects algorithms to simulated flight encounters/ conditions and generates a fitness report that records strengths, weaknesses, and overall performance. Reviewed algorithms (and their fitness report) are then transferred to NASA LaRC where additional (joint) airworthiness evaluations are performed on the candidate SAA system-element configurations, concepts, and/or procedures of interest; software and hardware components are integrated into the Surrogate UAS research systems; and flight safety and mission planning activities are completed. Onboard the Surrogate UAS, candidate SAA system element configurations, concepts, and/or procedures are subjected to flight evaluations and in-flight performance is monitored. The Surrogate UAS, which can be controlled remotely via generic Ground Station uplink or automatically via onboard systems, operates with a NASA Safety Pilot/Pilot in Command onboard to permit safe operations in mixed airspace with manned aircraft. An end-to-end demonstration of a typical application of the capability was performed in non-exclusionary airspace in October 2011; additional research, development, flight testing, and evaluation efforts using this integrated capability are planned throughout fiscal year 2012 and 2013.

  10. Monte Carlo Tests of SLE Predictions for the 2D Self-Avoiding Walk

    E-print Network

    Tom Kennedy

    2001-12-21

    The conjecture that the scaling limit of the two-dimensional self-avoiding walk (SAW) in a half plane is given by the stochastic Loewner evolution (SLE) with $\\kappa=8/3$ leads to explicit predictions about the SAW. A remarkable feature of these predictions is that they yield not just critical exponents, but probability distributions for certain random variables associated with the self-avoiding walk. We test two of these predictions with Monte Carlo simulations and find excellent agreement, thus providing numerical support to the conjecture that the scaling limit of the SAW is SLE$_{8/3}$.

  11. Comparison of heavy-metal uptake by Eisenia foetida with that of other common earthworms. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Stafford, E.A.; Edwards, C.A.

    1986-01-01

    Earthworms have been used in the field to indicate levels of soil pollution and in the laboratory for the ecotoxicological testing of industrial chemicals. An earthworm bioassay procedure developed at the Waterways Experiment Station (Vicksburg, Mississippi) was modified and evaluated as a method of providing information on heavy-metal bioavailability in contaminated soils and sediments from Europe. Eight soils/sediments containing elevated levels of a least one of the elements Zn, Cu, Cd and Pb were selected as well as a control and a reference soil. Six species of earthworm, including the WES bioassay earthworm E. foetida, and five field species were grown in the soils/sediments for periods of 15, 28 or 56 days. Concentrations of the elements Zn, Cu, Cd, Ni, Cr and Pb present in the earthworm samples (corrected for the presence of soil-derived metals within the earthworm gut) were compared between earthworm species from the same soil and for each earthworm species from a range of metal contaminated soils/sediments. A close linear relationship between metal uptake by E.foetida and the field species of earthworm emerged and good correlation between total (HNO3/HC104) soil Pb and Cd levels and earthworm tissue concentrations and between DTPA extractable soil Cu and Cc levels and earthworm tissue concentrations was observed.

  12. Interaction of plant and earthworm during primary succession in heaps after coal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roubí?ková, Alena; Frouz, Jan

    2015-04-01

    These results of field manipulation experiment show that earthworms can remarkably influence vegetation succession on spoil heaps, namely promoting grasses and late succession species. This is in agreement with concurrent appearance of earthworms and some plant species typical for late-succession communities of meadows and forests aren't purely coincidental. On the other hand, facilitation of soil conditions by plant communities during succession is an important factor in earthworm distribution on the spoil heaps; earthworms showed a low survival on sites with sparse vegetation cover and thin litter layer, which means that their occurrence in certain stages of succession isn't determined only by migration abilities or passive dispersal. More field experiments are needed to test if earthworms could be used in directed succession management practices to speed up the natural rate of succession. Preliminary results from an experiment with introduction earthworms to a 20- year old, earthworm-free site indicate that colonization of this site from a single deposition of about 100 specimen of epigeic and 100 endogeic earthworms is slow and not very efficient. Results show that interaction between earthworm and vegetation are important in ecosystem development in post mining sites.

  13. Small UAV Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System Design Considerations and Flight Test Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sorokowski, Paul; Skoog, Mark; Burrows, Scott; Thomas, SaraKatie

    2015-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Armstrong Flight Research Center Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (SUAV) Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS) project demonstrated several important collision avoidance technologies. First, the SUAV Auto GCAS design included capabilities to take advantage of terrain avoidance maneuvers flying turns to either side as well as straight over terrain. Second, the design also included innovative digital elevation model (DEM) scanning methods. The combination of multi-trajectory options and new scanning methods demonstrated the ability to reduce the nuisance potential of the SUAV while maintaining robust terrain avoidance. Third, the Auto GCAS algorithms were hosted on the processor inside a smartphone, providing a lightweight hardware configuration for use in either the ground control station or on board the test aircraft. Finally, compression of DEM data for the entire Earth and successful hosting of that data on the smartphone was demonstrated. The SUAV Auto GCAS project demonstrated that together these methods and technologies have the potential to dramatically reduce the number of controlled flight into terrain mishaps across a wide range of aviation platforms with similar capabilities including UAVs, general aviation aircraft, helicopters, and model aircraft.

  14. Effect of chiral differences of metolachlor and its (S)-isomer on their toxicity to earthworms.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dongmei; Wen, Yuezhong; Wang, Kaixiong

    2010-11-01

    The effects of (Rac)-metolachlor and (S)-metolachlor on the avoidance behavior, bodyweight change and in vivo enzyme activity of earthworms (Eisenia foetida) were determined and compared in this study. The effects of (Rac)-metolachlor on the enzyme activities of E. foetida and bodyweight were more significant than those of (S)-metolachlor at the same concentrations. In the short term (2 d, 7 d), (S)-metolachlor had faster effects on cellulase and catalase activities of E. foetida. However, in the relatively long term (14 d, 28 d), (Rac)-metolachlor had higher toxic effects on cellulase and catalase activities. The inter-group difference between (Rac)-metolachlor and (S)-metolachlor on E. foetida enzyme activities was the most significant for catalase, and the least significant for cellulase. The test of avoidance behavior shows that earthworms are more sensitive to the stimulation of (Rac)-metolachlor than to that of (S)-metolachlor. The results will help to develop an understanding of the biologically mediated environmental processes of these two herbicides. PMID:20723980

  15. Non-native earthworms promote plant invasion by ingesting seeds and modifying soil properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clause, Julia; Forey, Estelle; Lortie, Christopher J.; Lambert, Adam M.; Barot, Sébastien

    2015-04-01

    Earthworms can have strong direct effects on plant communities through consumption and digestion of seeds, however it is unclear how earthworms may influence the relative abundance and composition of plant communities invaded by non-native species. In this study, earthworms, seed banks, and the standing vegetation were sampled in a grassland of central California. Our objectives were i) to examine whether the abundances of non-native, invasive earthworm species and non-native grassland plant species are correlated, and ii) to test whether seed ingestion by these worms alters the soil seed bank by evaluating the composition of seeds in casts relative to uningested soil. Sampling locations were selected based on historical land-use practices, including presence or absence of tilling, and revegetation by seed using Phalaris aquatica. Only non-native earthworm species were found, dominated by the invasive European species Aporrectodea trapezoides. Earthworm abundance was significantly higher in the grassland blocks dominated by non-native plant species, and these sites had higher carbon and moisture contents. Earthworm abundance was also positively related to increased emergence of non-native seedlings, but had no effect on that of native seedlings. Plant species richness and total seedling emergence were higher in casts than in uningested soils. This study suggests that there is a potential effect of non-native earthworms in promoting non-native and likely invasive plant species within grasslands, due to seed-plant-earthworm interactions via soil modification or to seed ingestion by earthworms and subsequent cast effects on grassland dynamics. This study supports a growing body of literature for earthworms as ecosystem engineers but highlights the relative importance of considering non-native-native interactions with the associated plant community.

  16. Behavioral avoidance test for childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder: a home-based observation.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Paula; Healy, Lara; March, John S

    2003-01-01

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the most debilitating of the anxiety disorders. As our knowledge about this childhood condition continues to grow, there is a need for controlled treatment-outcome trials with precise assessments that are sensitive to treatment change, to guide the development of effective interventions. To evaluate the efficacy of a treatment protocol, it is necessary to have reliable and sensitive measures of OCD symptoms, including measures of obsessions, compulsions, and related levels of distress and avoidance. Whilst structured diagnostic interviews, semistructured clinical interviews, and self-report measures have been widely used in the assessment of childhood OCD, related levels of behavioral distress and avoidance have not been measured in treatment-outcome trials. This study investigated the sensitivity of a behavioral avoidance test (BAT), conducted in the home environment, in assessing treatment-outcome effects for children and adolescents with OCD following a 14-week cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) family intervention, in comparison to children in an 8-week "waitlist" control group. The results of the current study strongly support the sensitivity of a standardized BAT in assessing treatment-related changes in children and adolescents with OCD. Implications and future directions for research are discussed. PMID:12647571

  17. Flight test of a low-altitude helicopter guidance system with obstacle avoidance capability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zelenka, Richard E.; Clark, Raymond F.; Branigan, Robert G.

    1995-01-01

    Military aircraft regularly conduct missions that include low-atltitude, near-terrain flight in order to increase covertness and payload effectiveness. Civilian applications include airborne fire fighting, police surveillance, search and rescue, and helicopter emergency medical service. Several fixed-wing aircraft now employ terrain elevation maps and forward-pointed radars to achieve automated terrain following or terrain avoidance flight. Similar systems specialized to helicopters and their flight regime have not received as much attention. A helicopter guidance system relying on digitized terrain elevation maps has been developed that employs airborne navigation, mission requirements, aircraft performance limits, and radar altimeter returns to generate a valley-seeking, low-altitude trajectory between waypoints. The guidance trajectory is symbolically presented to the pilot on a helmet mounted display. This system has been flight tested to 150 ft (45.7 m) above ground level altitude at 80 kts, and is primarily limited by the ability of the pilot to perform manual detection and avoidance of unmapped hazards. In this study, a wide field of view laser radar sensor has been incorporated into this guidance system to assist the pilot in obstacle detection and avoidance, while expanding the system's operational flight envelope. The results from early flight tests of this system are presented. Low-altitude missions to 100 ft (30.5 m) altitude at 80n kts in the presence of unmapped natural and man-made obstacles were demonstrated while the pilot maintained situational awareness and tracking of the guidance trajectory. Further reductions in altitude are expected with continued flight testing.

  18. Initial test of an emotional avoidance model of restriction in anorexia nervosa using ecological momentary assessment.

    PubMed

    Haynos, Ann F; Crosby, Ross D; Engel, Scott G; Lavender, Jason M; Wonderlich, Stephen A; Mitchell, James E; Peterson, Carol B; Crow, Scott J; Le Grange, Daniel

    2015-09-01

    It has been hypothesized that restrictive eating allows individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) to avoid contact with negative emotions; however, this presumption has not been directly tested. In this study, we conducted an initial investigation examining whether restrictive eating serves an emotional avoidance function among individuals with AN. Females with AN (n = 118) reported on negative and positive affect, anxiety/tension, and eating behaviors at multiple time points daily over a 2-week period using ecological momentary assessment methodology. Affective patterns were compared using generalized estimating equation models between days in which participants reported either: (1) relatively high restriction (without binge eating); (2) relatively low restriction (without binge eating); (3) binge eating; or (4) no restriction or binge eating. We hypothesized that, if restriction were functioning to avoid negative affect, average negative affect and anxiety/tension, as well as average negative and positive affect lability, would be lower and average positive affect would be higher on days characterized by high levels of restriction compared to other eating patterns. Contrary to hypotheses: (1) average negative affect, anxiety/tension, and positive affect were not significantly different between days characterized by high restriction and those characterized by low or no restriction; (2) Negative affect and anxiety/tension lability were higher on days characterized by high restriction compared to no restriction or binge eating days; (3) Anxiety/tension lability was higher on days characterized by high versus low levels of restriction. This patterns of findings does not support an avoidance model of restrictive eating for individuals with AN. PMID:26228412

  19. Literature-derived bioaccumulation models for earthworms: Development and validation

    SciTech Connect

    Sample, B.E.; Suter, G.W. II; Beauchamp, J.J.; Efroymson, R.A.

    1999-09-01

    Estimation of contaminant concentrations in earthworms is a critical component in many ecological risk assessments. Without site-specific data, literature-derived uptake factors or models are frequently used. Although considerable research has been conducted on contaminant transfer from soil to earthworms, most studies focus on only a single location. External validation of transfer models has not been performed. The authors developed a database of soil and tissue concentrations for nine inorganic and two organic chemicals. Only studies that presented total concentrations in departed earthworms were included. Uptake factors and simple and multiple regression models of natural-log-transformed concentrations of each analyte in soil and earthworms were developed using data from 26 studies. These models were then applied to data from six additional studies. Estimated and observed earthworm concentrations were compared using nonparametric Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Relative accuracy and quality of different estimation methods were evaluated by calculating the proportional deviation of the estimate from the measured value. With the exception of Cr, significant, single-variable (e.g., soil concentration) regression models were fit for each analyte. Inclusion of soil Ca improved model fits for Cd and Pb. Soil pH only marginally improved model fits. The best general estimates of chemical concentrations in earthworms were generated by simple ln-ln regression models for As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Mn, Pb, Zn, and polychlorinated biphenyls. No method accurately estimated Cr or Ni in earthworms. Although multiple regression models including pH generated better estimates for a few analytes, in general, the predictive utility gained by incorporating environmental variables was marginal.

  20. Earthworm biomarker responses on exposure to commercial cypermethrin.

    PubMed

    Muangphra, Ptumporn; Sengsai, Supanyika; Gooneratne, Ravi

    2015-05-01

    Cypermethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide used worldwide in agriculture, home pest control, disease vector control, and food safety. It accumulates in soil. Therefore, traces of cypermethrin may frequently appear in vegetables grown in contaminated soil. There is a push now to develop biomarkers as early warning indicators of environmental pollution. In this study, DNA damage (tail DNA%, tail length, and olive tail moment), the micronucleus, neutral red retention (NRR) time, and pinocytic adherence ability of coelomocytes were investigated in Pheretima peguana earthworms exposed to cypermethrin in filter paper tests. The NRR time of earthworm coelomocytes decreased significantly at a concentration of 3.5 × 10(-3) µg · cm(-2) (1/100 LC50 ) after 48 h exposure, with a highly negative correlation with cypermethrin concentration. Pinocytic adherence ability of coelomocytes also declined significantly at a cypermethrin concentration of 3.5 × 10(-2) µg · cm(-2) (1/10 LC50 ). The DNA damage to earthworm coelomocytes (tail DNA%, tail length, and olive tail moment) increased considerably at the highest concentration (3.5 × 10(-1) µg · cm(-2) ) although the correlation between tail DNA% and cypermethrin concentration was low. Thus, physiological biomarkers were more sensitive than the genotoxic effects in earthworms exposed to commercial cypermethrin. Although a suite of earthworm biomarkers could be used to evaluate cypermethrin terrestrial pollution, the NRR test is easier to conduct and a more sensitive indicator. PMID:24376091

  1. Methods for the assessment of the toxicity of environmental chemicals to earthworms

    SciTech Connect

    Dean-Ross, D.

    1983-03-01

    In view of the impending publication of standards for earthworm toxicity testing by the Commission of the European Communities, a review has been made of the recent literature on earthworm toxicology. Relevant studies are reviewed from the standpoints of methods used, reproducibility of results, and ability to extrapolate laboratory results to field situations. Eisenia foetida, a commonly used test species, is much less sensitive to agricultural chemicals than other, native earthworms and is of doubtful utility for extrapolating laboratory data to field conditions, but when native soil organisms are used, such extrapolations show good general agreement. Standardization of test conditions and broadening of the data base are encouraged.

  2. Effects of anesthetic compounds on responses of earthworms to electrostimulation.

    PubMed

    Podolak-Machowska, Agnieszka; Kostecka, Joanna; Librowski, Tadeusz; Santocki, Michal; Bigaj, Janusz; Plytycz, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    Earthworms play an important role in biomedical research, and some surgical procedures require anesthesia. Anesthetic treatments used so far usually induce convulsive body movements connected with extrusion of coelomocyte-containing coelomic fluid that may affect experimental results. Extensive movements connected with the expulsion of coelomic fluid are exploited by immunologists as a method of harvesting immunocompetent coelomocytes from worms subjected to mild electrostimulation (4.5V). The aim of the investigations was to find anesthetic drugs without unintentional coelomocyte depletion. Experiments were performed on adult specimens of Dendrobaena veneta, the coelomocytes of which consist of amoebocytes and riboflavin-storing eleocytes. Earthworm mobility was filmed and extrusion of coelomocytes was quantified by detection of eleocyte-derived riboflavin in immersion fluid. Treatments included earthworms (1) immersed either in physiological saline (controls) or in a solution of one of the tested anesthetic drugs; (2) electrostimulated immediately after anesthesia, and (3) electrostimulated a second time after a 1-hour recovery period. The well-established fish and amphibian anesthetic agent MS-222 induced coelomocyte expulsion. In contrast, solutions of the mammalian local anesthetic drug, prilocaine hydrochloride (0.25-0.5%, 5-10 min) caused temporal earthworm immobilization followed by recovery, thus showing utility as an efficient earthworm anesthetic. PMID:25134346

  3. For Better Soil, Let Earthworms Toil.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swinehart, Rebecca, Ed.

    1995-01-01

    This activity involves elementary students in investigating how earthworms affect soil fertility. An introduction discusses topsoil loss and the connections between soil and earthworm ecology. Materials needed and step-by-step procedure are provided. (LZ)

  4. A new technique for avoiding barotrauma-induced complications in apnea testing for brain death.

    PubMed

    Denny, John T; Burr, Andrew; Tse, James; Denny, Julia E; Chyu, Darrick; Cohen, Shaul; Patel, Arpit N

    2015-06-01

    Prompted by our experience with complications occurring with apnea testing (AT), we discuss complications reported in the literature. AT is an integral part of brain death assessment. Many complications of AT have been described, including hypoxemia, arterial hypotension, tension pneumothorax and cardiac arrest. We conclude that a commonly used technique in conducting AT can create auto-positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) and contributes to many complications. The mechanism of occult auto-PEEP in AT is discussed. Intensive care unit patients may have a compensated and asymptomatic relative hypovolemia that can be decompensated by a small amount of auto-PEEP produced by air trapping during insufflating oxygen (O2) through a 7.0 endotracheal tube (ETT). It could then lead to decreased preload, decreased stroke volume, decreased cardiac output and thus, to hypotension and a compensatory tachycardia. The placement of the standard O2 tubing (6mm outside diameter [OD]) inside the 7.0 ETT (7mm inside diameter [ID]) greatly decreased the ETT lumen (73%). We changed our practice to instead use readily available small pressure tubing to insufflate O2 for AT to avoid excessive reduction in the ETT lumen. The change from standard O2 tubing (6mm OD) to pressure tubing (3mm OD) will greatly decrease the reduction in cross-sectional area of 7.0 ETT lumen from 73 to 18% and avoid potential complications of air trapping, auto-PEEP and barotrauma. We have successfully used this new simple technique with readily available equipment to eliminate auto-PEEP in AT while preserving oxygenation. PMID:25769255

  5. Phi index: a new metric to test the flush early and avoid the rush hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Samia, Diogo S M; Blumstein, Daniel T

    2014-01-01

    Optimal escape theory states that animals should counterbalance the costs and benefits of flight when escaping from a potential predator. However, in apparent contradiction with this well-established optimality model, birds and mammals generally initiate escape soon after beginning to monitor an approaching threat, a phenomena codified as the "Flush Early and Avoid the Rush" (FEAR) hypothesis. Typically, the FEAR hypothesis is tested using correlational statistics and is supported when there is a strong relationship between the distance at which an individual first responds behaviorally to an approaching predator (alert distance, AD), and its flight initiation distance (the distance at which it flees the approaching predator, FID). However, such correlational statistics are both inadequate to analyze relationships constrained by an envelope (such as that in the AD-FID relationship) and are sensitive to outliers with high leverage, which can lead one to erroneous conclusions. To overcome these statistical concerns we develop the phi index (?), a distribution-free metric to evaluate the goodness of fit of a 1:1 relationship in a constraint envelope (the prediction of the FEAR hypothesis). Using both simulation and empirical data, we conclude that ? is superior to traditional correlational analyses because it explicitly tests the FEAR prediction, is robust to outliers, and it controls for the disproportionate influence of observations from large predictor values (caused by the constrained envelope in AD-FID relationship). Importantly, by analyzing the empirical data we corroborate the strong effect that alertness has on flight as stated by the FEAR hypothesis. PMID:25405872

  6. Phi Index: A New Metric to Test the Flush Early and Avoid the Rush Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Samia, Diogo S. M.; Blumstein, Daniel T.

    2014-01-01

    Optimal escape theory states that animals should counterbalance the costs and benefits of flight when escaping from a potential predator. However, in apparent contradiction with this well-established optimality model, birds and mammals generally initiate escape soon after beginning to monitor an approaching threat, a phenomena codified as the “Flush Early and Avoid the Rush” (FEAR) hypothesis. Typically, the FEAR hypothesis is tested using correlational statistics and is supported when there is a strong relationship between the distance at which an individual first responds behaviorally to an approaching predator (alert distance, AD), and its flight initiation distance (the distance at which it flees the approaching predator, FID). However, such correlational statistics are both inadequate to analyze relationships constrained by an envelope (such as that in the AD-FID relationship) and are sensitive to outliers with high leverage, which can lead one to erroneous conclusions. To overcome these statistical concerns we develop the phi index (?), a distribution-free metric to evaluate the goodness of fit of a 1?1 relationship in a constraint envelope (the prediction of the FEAR hypothesis). Using both simulation and empirical data, we conclude that ? is superior to traditional correlational analyses because it explicitly tests the FEAR prediction, is robust to outliers, and it controls for the disproportionate influence of observations from large predictor values (caused by the constrained envelope in AD-FID relationship). Importantly, by analyzing the empirical data we corroborate the strong effect that alertness has on flight as stated by the FEAR hypothesis. PMID:25405872

  7. Earthworms Use Odor Cues to Locate and Feed on Microorganisms in Soil

    PubMed Central

    Zirbes, Lara; Mescher, Mark; Vrancken, Véronique; Wathelet, Jean-Paul; Verheggen, François J.; Thonart, Philippe; Haubruge, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Earthworms are key components of temperate soil ecosystems but key aspects of their ecology remain unexamined. Here we elucidate the role of olfactory cues in earthworm attraction to food sources and document specific chemical cues that attract Eisenia fetida to the soil fungi Geotrichum candidum. Fungi and other microorganisms are major sources of volatile emissions in soil ecosystems as well as primary food sources for earthworms, suggesting the likelihood that earthworms might profitably use olfactory cues to guide foraging behavior. Moreover, previous studies have documented earthworm movement toward microbial food sources. But, the specific olfactory cues responsible for earthworm attraction have not previously been identified. Using olfactometer assays combined with chemical analyses (GC-MS), we documented the attraction of E. fetida individuals to filtrate derived from G. candidum colonies and to two individual compounds tested in isolation: ethyl pentanoate and ethyl hexanoate. Attraction at a distance was observed when barriers prevented the worms from reaching the target stimuli, confirming the role of volatile cues. These findings enhance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying key trophic interactions in soil ecosystems and have potential implications for the extraction and collection of earthworms in vermiculture and other applied activities. PMID:21799756

  8. Earthworms drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities in post-mining sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mudrák, Obd?ej; Frouz, Jan

    2015-04-01

    Previous field observations indicated that earthworms promote late-successional plant species and reduce collembolan numbers at post-mining sites in the Sokolov coal mining district (Czech Republic). Here, we established a laboratory pot experiment to test the effect of earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa Savigny and Lumbricus rubellus Hoffm.) and litter of low, medium, and high quality (the grass Calamagrostis epigejos, the willow Salix caprea, and the alder Alnus glutinosa, respectively) on late successional plants (grasses Arrhenatherum elatius and Agrostis capillaris, legumes Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium medium, and non-leguminous dicots Centaurea jacea and Plantago lanceolata) in spoil substrate originating from Sokolov post-mining sites and naturally inhabited by abundant numbers of Collembola. The earthworms increased plant biomass, especially that of the large-seeded A. elatius, but reduced the number of plant individuals, mainly that of the small-seeded A. capillaris and both legumes. Litter quality affected plant biomass, which was highest with S. caprea litter, but did not change the number of plant individuals. Litter quality did not modify the effect of earthworms on plants; the effect of litter quality and earthworms was only additive. Species composition of Collembola community was altered by litter quality, but earthworms reduced the number of individuals, increased the number of species, and increased species evenness consistently across the litter qualities. Because the results of this experiment were consistent with the field observations, we conclude that earthworms help drive succession of both plant and Collembola communities on post-mining sites.

  9. Toxicity assessment of free form of heavy metals in aqueous media on earthworm Eudrillus eugeniae.

    PubMed

    Sharma, V; Chaudhari, P R; Satyanarayan, S

    2011-01-01

    Metals are found in free and also in combined forms. In order to get information on the effect of free forms of heavy metals on earthworms the aqueous extracts of metals were tested on earthworms both in individual form and also in combined form. Different concentrations, i.e. 1 ppm, 5 ppm, and 10 ppm, were selected arbitrarily and were used in the experiments. Metals like copper, cadmium, chromium, zinc and lead were used. Earthworms' Eudrillus eugeniae activity, i.e. their response to the toxicity of metals, was monitored continuously for 5 h. It can be concluded that free form/ionic form/dissolved form of heavy metals are more toxic for earthworms, concurrent with findings of workers who have drawn same inference during studies on aquatic organisms. Earthworms can serve as biomarkers for wastewater and sludge treatment studies as they have shown typical adverse body reactions and symptoms altogether different in reaction to each of the metals during aqueous medium studies. It can be inferred that, if earthworms are utilised for treating wastewater and sludges containing these five heavy metals, one can ascertain the presence of individual metal concentrations in the wastewaters and sludges by studying the typical body reactions of earthworms during the treatment. PMID:21977671

  10. Warming shifts 'worming': effects of experimental warming on invasive earthworms in northern North America.

    PubMed

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Stefanski, Artur; Fisichelli, Nicholas A; Rice, Karen; Rich, Roy; Reich, Peter B

    2014-01-01

    Climate change causes species range shifts and potentially alters biological invasions. The invasion of European earthworm species across northern North America has severe impacts on native ecosystems. Given the long and cold winters in that region that to date supposedly have slowed earthworm invasion, future warming is hypothesized to accelerate earthworm invasions into yet non-invaded regions. Alternatively, warming-induced reductions in soil water content (SWC) can also decrease earthworm performance. We tested these hypotheses in a field warming experiment at two sites in Minnesota, USA by sampling earthworms in closed and open canopy in three temperature treatments in 2010 and 2012. Structural equation modeling revealed that detrimental warming effects on earthworm densities and biomass could indeed be partly explained by warming-induced reductions in SWC. The direction of warming effects depended on the current average SWC: warming had neutral to positive effects at high SWC, whereas the opposite was true at low SWC. Our results suggest that warming limits the invasion of earthworms in northern North America by causing less favorable soil abiotic conditions, unless warming is accompanied by increased and temporally even distributions of rainfall sufficient to offset greater water losses from higher evapotranspiration. PMID:25363633

  11. Warming shifts ‘worming': effects of experimental warming on invasive earthworms in northern North America

    PubMed Central

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Stefanski, Artur; Fisichelli, Nicholas A.; Rice, Karen; Rich, Roy; Reich, Peter B.

    2014-01-01

    Climate change causes species range shifts and potentially alters biological invasions. The invasion of European earthworm species across northern North America has severe impacts on native ecosystems. Given the long and cold winters in that region that to date supposedly have slowed earthworm invasion, future warming is hypothesized to accelerate earthworm invasions into yet non-invaded regions. Alternatively, warming-induced reductions in soil water content (SWC) can also decrease earthworm performance. We tested these hypotheses in a field warming experiment at two sites in Minnesota, USA by sampling earthworms in closed and open canopy in three temperature treatments in 2010 and 2012. Structural equation modeling revealed that detrimental warming effects on earthworm densities and biomass could indeed be partly explained by warming-induced reductions in SWC. The direction of warming effects depended on the current average SWC: warming had neutral to positive effects at high SWC, whereas the opposite was true at low SWC. Our results suggest that warming limits the invasion of earthworms in northern North America by causing less favorable soil abiotic conditions, unless warming is accompanied by increased and temporally even distributions of rainfall sufficient to offset greater water losses from higher evapotranspiration. PMID:25363633

  12. Toxic effects of acetochlor and methamidophos on earthworm Eisenia fetida in phaiozem, northeast China.

    PubMed

    Qi-xing, Zhou; Qian-ru, Zhang; Ji-dong, Liang

    2006-01-01

    Acetochlor and methamidophos are two important agrochemicals which are widely applied to agricultural production in northeast China. The investigation on the earthworm Eisenia fetida as an important type of soil animals exposed to single and binary-combined contamination of acetochlor and methamidophos was thus carried out. The single toxic effect test showed that the two agrochemicals had their toxicity to the earthworms living in phaiozem. Acetochlor had a stronger acute toxic effect on the earthworms than methamidophos. The mortality of the earthworms exposed to individual acetochlor and methamidophos changed with an increase in the exposure time and the exposed concentrations. The LD50 value of acetochlor and methamidophos toxic to the earthworms was 115.6-275.3 and 29.5-228.6 mg/kg, respectively. The weight of the earthworms was a more sensitive index compared to the mortality in indicating toxic effects of acetochlor and methamidophos in phaiozem. When considering both the mortality and the body-weight change, the combined pollution of acetochlor and methamidophos in phaiozem resulted in their synergic toxic effects on the earthworms. PMID:17078554

  13. Warming shifts `worming': effects of experimental warming on invasive earthworms in northern North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenhauer, Nico; Stefanski, Artur; Fisichelli, Nicholas A.; Rice, Karen; Rich, Roy; Reich, Peter B.

    2014-11-01

    Climate change causes species range shifts and potentially alters biological invasions. The invasion of European earthworm species across northern North America has severe impacts on native ecosystems. Given the long and cold winters in that region that to date supposedly have slowed earthworm invasion, future warming is hypothesized to accelerate earthworm invasions into yet non-invaded regions. Alternatively, warming-induced reductions in soil water content (SWC) can also decrease earthworm performance. We tested these hypotheses in a field warming experiment at two sites in Minnesota, USA by sampling earthworms in closed and open canopy in three temperature treatments in 2010 and 2012. Structural equation modeling revealed that detrimental warming effects on earthworm densities and biomass could indeed be partly explained by warming-induced reductions in SWC. The direction of warming effects depended on the current average SWC: warming had neutral to positive effects at high SWC, whereas the opposite was true at low SWC. Our results suggest that warming limits the invasion of earthworms in northern North America by causing less favorable soil abiotic conditions, unless warming is accompanied by increased and temporally even distributions of rainfall sufficient to offset greater water losses from higher evapotranspiration.

  14. Automated analysis of two-dimensional positions and body lengths of earthworms (Oligochaeta); MimizuTrack.

    PubMed

    Kodama, Naomi; Kimura, Toshifumi; Yonemura, Seiichiro; Kaneda, Satoshi; Ohashi, Mizue; Ikeno, Hidetoshi

    2014-01-01

    Earthworms are important soil macrofauna inhabiting almost all ecosystems. Their biomass is large and their burrowing and ingestion of soils alters soil physicochemical properties. Because of their large biomass, earthworms are regarded as an indicator of "soil heath". However, primarily because the difficulties in quantifying their behavior, the extent of their impact on soil material flow dynamics and soil health is poorly understood. Image data, with the aid of image processing tools, are a powerful tool in quantifying the movements of objects. Image data sets are often very large and time-consuming to analyze, especially when continuously recorded and manually processed. We aimed to develop a system to quantify earthworm movement from video recordings. Our newly developed program successfully tracked the two-dimensional positions of three separate parts of the earthworm and simultaneously output the change in its body length. From the output data, we calculated the velocity of the earthworm's movement. Our program processed the image data three times faster than the manual tracking system. To date, there are no existing systems to quantify earthworm activity from continuously recorded image data. The system developed in this study will reduce input time by a factor of three compared with manual data entry and will reduce errors involved in quantifying large data sets. Furthermore, it will provide more reliable measured values, although the program is still a prototype that needs further testing and improvement. Combined with other techniques, such as measuring metabolic gas emissions from earthworm bodies, this program could provide continuous observations of earthworm behavior in response to environmental variables under laboratory conditions. In the future, this standardized method will be applied to other animals, and the quantified earthworm movement will be incorporated into models of soil material flow dynamics or behavior in response to chemical substances present in the soil. PMID:24886977

  15. Automated Analysis of Two-Dimensional Positions and Body Lengths of Earthworms (Oligochaeta); MimizuTrack

    PubMed Central

    Yonemura, Seiichiro; Kaneda, Satoshi; Ohashi, Mizue; Ikeno, Hidetoshi

    2014-01-01

    Earthworms are important soil macrofauna inhabiting almost all ecosystems. Their biomass is large and their burrowing and ingestion of soils alters soil physicochemical properties. Because of their large biomass, earthworms are regarded as an indicator of “soil heath”. However, primarily because the difficulties in quantifying their behavior, the extent of their impact on soil material flow dynamics and soil health is poorly understood. Image data, with the aid of image processing tools, are a powerful tool in quantifying the movements of objects. Image data sets are often very large and time-consuming to analyze, especially when continuously recorded and manually processed. We aimed to develop a system to quantify earthworm movement from video recordings. Our newly developed program successfully tracked the two-dimensional positions of three separate parts of the earthworm and simultaneously output the change in its body length. From the output data, we calculated the velocity of the earthworm's movement. Our program processed the image data three times faster than the manual tracking system. To date, there are no existing systems to quantify earthworm activity from continuously recorded image data. The system developed in this study will reduce input time by a factor of three compared with manual data entry and will reduce errors involved in quantifying large data sets. Furthermore, it will provide more reliable measured values, although the program is still a prototype that needs further testing and improvement. Combined with other techniques, such as measuring metabolic gas emissions from earthworm bodies, this program could provide continuous observations of earthworm behavior in response to environmental variables under laboratory conditions. In the future, this standardized method will be applied to other animals, and the quantified earthworm movement will be incorporated into models of soil material flow dynamics or behavior in response to chemical substances present in the soil. PMID:24886977

  16. Leaf Litter Disappearance in Earthworm-Invaded Northern

    E-print Network

    Minnesota, University of

    Leaf Litter Disappearance in Earthworm-Invaded Northern Hardwood Forests: Role of Tree Species, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia ABSTRACT Earthworm invasion in North American temperate forest reduces forest floor mass, yet the interactions between litter composition, invasive earthworm community composition

  17. Partial order techniques for vehicle collision avoidance: application to an autonomous roundabout test-bed

    E-print Network

    Desaraju, Vishnu Rajeswar

    In this paper, we employ partial order techniques to develop linear complexity algorithms for guaranteed collision avoidance between vehicles at highway and roundabout mergings. These techniques can be employed by virtue ...

  18. Antioxidant defense system responses and DNA damage of earthworms exposed to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).

    PubMed

    Xu, Dongmei; Li, Chandan; Wen, Yuezhong; Liu, Weiping

    2013-03-01

    The use of earthworms as a sublethal endpoint has significantly contributed to the ecological risk assessment of contaminated soils. Few studies have focused on the potential toxicity of PFOS to earthworms in the soil. In this work, artificial soils were tested, and contact filter paper studies were used. The results showed that earthworm growth was generally inhibited. The antioxidant activities of the enzymes superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase were initially activated and then inhibited. Reduced glutathione content was observed, and malondialdehyde content was elevated over the duration of the exposure. These results suggested that PFOS induced oxidative stress in earthworms. In addition, the values of olive tail moment, tail DNA% and tail length using SCGE showed similar frequency distributions and increased with increases in the PFOS concentration. These results suggest that all concentrations of PFOS cause DNA damage. PMID:23257261

  19. Earthworm contamination by PCBs and heavy metals

    SciTech Connect

    Diercxsens, P.; de Weck, D.; Borsinger, N.; Rosset, B.; Tarradellas, J.

    1985-01-01

    A comparison is made of soil and earthworm contamination by PCBs and heavy metals between a nature reserve and two sites conditioned by the addition of sewage sludge and compost. The tissues and gut content of the earthworms shows a higher PCB concentration than that of the surrounding soil and also a difference in the fingerprint of some single PCB compounds. Earthworms display a selective accumulation of cadmium and zinc in their tissues and gut content.

  20. Why Do Fearful Facial Expressions Elicit Behavioral Approach? Evidence From a Combined Approach-Avoidance Implicit Association Test

    PubMed Central

    Hammer, Jennifer L.; Marsh, Abigail A.

    2015-01-01

    Despite communicating a “negative” emotion, fearful facial expressions predominantly elicit behavioral approach from perceivers. It has been hypothesized that this seemingly paradoxical effect may occur due to fearful expressions’ resemblance to vulnerable, infantile faces. However, this hypothesis has not yet been tested. We used a combined approach-avoidance/implicit association test (IAT) to test this hypothesis. Participants completed an approach-avoidance lever task during which they responded to fearful and angry facial expressions as well as neutral infant and adult faces presented in an IAT format. Results demonstrated an implicit association between fearful facial expressions and infant faces and showed that both fearful expressions and infant faces primarily elicit behavioral approach. The dominance of approach responses to both fearful expressions and infant faces decreased as a function of psychopathic personality traits. Results suggest that the prosocial responses to fearful expressions observed in most individuals may stem from their associations with infantile faces. PMID:25603135

  1. Do alterations in mesofauna community affect earthworms?

    PubMed

    Uvarov, Alexei V; Karaban, Kamil

    2015-11-01

    Interactions between the saprotrophic animal groups that strongly control soil microbial activities and the functioning of detrital food webs, such as earthworms and mesofauna, are not well understood. Earthworm trophic and engineering activities strongly affect mesofauna abundance and diversity through various direct and indirect pathways. In contrast, mesofauna effects on earthworm populations are less evident; however, their importance may be high, considering the keystone significance of earthworms for the functioning of the soil system. We studied effects of a diverse mesofauna community of a deciduous forest on two earthworm species representing epigeic (Lumbricus rubellus) and endogeic (Aporrectodea caliginosa) ecological groups. In microcosms, the density of total mesofauna or its separate groups (enchytraeids, collembolans, gamasid mites) was manipulated (increased) and responses of earthworms and soil systems were recorded. A rise in mesofauna density resulted in a decrease of biomass and an increased mortality in L. rubellus, presumably due to competition with mesofauna for litter resources. In contrast, similar mesofauna manipulations promoted reproduction of A. caliginosa, suggesting a facilitated exploitation of litter resources due to increased mesofauna activities. Changes of microcosm respiration rates, litter organic matter content and microbial activities across the manipulation treatments indicate that mesofauna modify responses of soil systems in the presence of earthworms. However, similar mesofauna manipulations could induce different responses in soil systems with either epigeic or endogeic lumbricids, which suggests that earthworm/mesofauna interactions are species-specific. Thus, mesofauna impacts should be treated as a factor affecting the engineering activities of epigeic and endogeic earthworms in the soil. PMID:26188519

  2. Vermistabilization of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L) waste produced from sugar factory using earthworm Eisenia fetida: Genotoxic assessment by Allium cepa test.

    PubMed

    Bhat, Sartaj Ahmad; Singh, Jaswinder; Vig, Adarsh Pal

    2015-08-01

    In the present study, sugar beet mud (SBM) and pulp (SBP) produced as a waste by-products of the sugar industry were mixed with cattle dung (CD) at different ratios on dry weight basis for vermicomposting with Eisenia fetida. Minimum mortality and highest population of worms were observed in 20:80 (SBM20) mixture of SBM and 10:90 (SBP10) ratios. However, increased percentages of wastes significantly affected the growth and fecundity of worms. Nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, sodium, increased from initial feed mixture to final products (i.e., vermicompost), while organic carbon (OC), C:N ratio and electrical conductivity (EC) declined in all the products of vermicomposting. Although there was an increase in the contents of all the heavy metals except copper, chromium, and iron in SBM, the contents were less than the international standards for compost which indicates that the vermicompost can be used in the fields without any ill effects on the soil. Allium cepa root chromosomal aberration assay was used to evaluate the genotoxicity of pre- and post-vermicomposted SBM to understand the effect of vermicomposting on the reduction of toxicity. Genotoxicity analysis of post-vermicomposted samples of SBM revealed 18-75% decline in the aberration frequencies. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was recorded to identify the changes in texture in the control and vermicomposted samples. The vermicomposted mixtures in the presence of earthworms confirm more numerous surface irregularities that prove to be good manure. PMID:25794577

  3. Predatory beetles facilitate plant growth by driving earthworms to lower soil layers.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Chuan; Griffin, John N; Wu, Xinwei; Sun, Shucun

    2013-07-01

    Theory suggests that predators of soil-improving, plant-facilitating detritivores (e.g. earthworms) should suppress plant growth via a negative tri-trophic cascade, but the empirical evidence is still largely lacking. We tested this prediction in an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau by manipulating predatory beetles (presence/absence) and quantifying (i) direct effects on the density and behaviour of earthworms; and (ii) indirect effects on soil properties and above-ground plant biomass. In the absence of predators, earthworms improved soil properties, but did not significantly affect plant biomass. Surprisingly, the presence of predators strengthened the positive effect of earthworms on soil properties leading to the emergence of a positive indirect effect of predators on plant biomass. We attribute this counterintuitive result to: (i) the inability of predators to suppress overall earthworm density; and (ii) the predator-induced earthworm habitat shift from the upper to lower soil layer that enhanced their soil-modifying, plant-facilitating, effects. Our results reveal that plant-level consequences of predators as transmitted through detritivores can hinge on behaviour-mediated indirect interactions that have the potential to overturn predictions based solely on trophic interactions. This work calls for a closer examination of the effects of predators in detritus food webs and the development of spatially explicit theory capable of predicting the occurrence and consequences of predator-induced detritivore behavioural shifts. PMID:23419174

  4. Node-avoiding Levy flight - A numerical test of the epsilon expansion. [random walk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halley, J. W.; Nakanishi, H.

    1985-01-01

    A study is conducted of an extension of Levy flight to include self-repulsion in the path of the walk. The extension is called node-avoiding Levy flight and its equivalence to the n approaches 0 limit of a statistical mechanical model for a magnetic system with long-range interactions between the spins is shown. By use of this equivalence it is possible to make a detailed comparison beween the results of the epsilon expansion for the magnetic model, a Monte Carlo simulation of the Levy flight model, and the results of a Flory-type argument. This is the first comparison of the epsilon expansion for epsilon much less than 1 with a numerical simulation for any model. Some speculations are made on applications of the model of node-avoiding Levy flight.

  5. The Effects of Social Anxiety and State Anxiety on Visual Attention: Testing the Vigilance-Avoidance Hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Singh, J Suzanne; Capozzoli, Michelle C; Dodd, Michael D; Hope, Debra A

    2015-01-01

    A growing theoretical and research literature suggests that trait and state social anxiety can predict attentional patterns in the presence of emotional stimuli. The current study adds to this literature by examining the effects of state anxiety on visual attention and testing the vigilance-avoidance hypothesis, using a method of continuous visual attentional assessment. Participants were 91 undergraduate college students with high or low trait fear of negative evaluation (FNE), a core aspect of social anxiety, who were randomly assigned to either a high or low state anxiety condition. Participants engaged in a free view task in which pairs of emotional facial stimuli were presented and eye movements were continuously monitored. Overall, participants with high FNE avoided angry stimuli and participants with high state anxiety attended to positive stimuli. Participants with high state anxiety and high FNE were avoidant of angry faces, whereas participants with low state and low FNE exhibited a bias toward angry faces. The study provided partial support for the vigilance-avoidance hypothesis. The findings add to the mixed results in the literature that suggest that both positive and negative emotional stimuli may be important in understanding the complex attention patterns associated with social anxiety. Clinical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed. PMID:25767901

  6. EARTHWORMS AND THEIR IMPACT ON SLUG CONTROL

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increases in the anecic earthworm species, Lumbricus terrestris L., have occurred in western Oregon grass fields due to increases in surface residue since the phase-out of open field burning. The use of earthworm toxic chemicals has been reduced through concerns for other important vertebrate and in...

  7. Acute and sublethal effects of sequential exposure to the pesticide azinphos-methyl on juvenile earthworms (Eisenia andrei).

    PubMed

    Jordaan, Martine S; Reinecke, Sophié A; Reinecke, Adriaan J

    2012-04-01

    The use of organophosphate pesticides is an integral part of commercial farming activities and these substances have been implicated as a major source of environmental contamination and may impact on a range of non-target fauna. The extent to which soil dwelling non-target organisms are affected by exposure to the organophosphate azinphos-methyl was investigated through monitoring selected biomarker responses and life cycle effects under laboratory conditions in the earthworm Eisenia andrei. Standard acute toxicity tests were conducted followed by a sequential exposure regime experiment, in order to assess the effects of multiple pesticide applications on biomarker (cholinesterase activity and neutral red retention time), life-cycle (growth and reproduction) and behaviour (avoidance and burrowing activity) responses. The present study indicates that the time between exposure events was a more important variable than concentration and that a longer interval between exposures may mitigate the effects of pesticide exposure provided that the exposure concentration is low. Additionally, it was shown that E. andrei was unable to avoid the presence of azinphos-methyl in soil, even at concentrations as high as 50% of the LC(50) value, indicating that the presence of azinphos-methyl in the soil pose a realistic threat to earthworms and other soil dwelling organisms. The ChE inhibition test showed a high percentage inhibition of the enzyme in all exposure groups that survived and NRR times of exposed organisms were lower than that of the controls. The present study yielded important results that contribute to the understanding of biological impacts of pesticide pollution on the environment. Extrapolating these results can aid in optimising pesticide application regimes to mitigate the environmental effects thereof and thus ensuring sustained soil biodiversity in agricultural areas. PMID:22086221

  8. COMPARISON OF THREE EARTHWORM BIOASSAY PROCEDURES FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLES CONTAINING HAZARDOUS WASTES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Three different laboratory earthworm protocols for assessing the potential toxicity of environmental samples were evaluated using Eisenia fetida. The 48-h Contact Test (CT) is a short test and may indicate the presence of water-soluble chemicals. The 14-day Soil Test (ST) is best...

  9. Approach-Avoidance Motivational Profiles in Early Adolescents to the PACER Fitness Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garn, Alex; Sun, Haichun

    2009-01-01

    The use of fitness testing is a practical means for measuring components of health-related fitness, but there is currently substantial debate over the motivating effects of these tests. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the cross-fertilization of achievement and friendship goal profiles for early adolescents involved in the…

  10. Helicopter Field Testing of NASA's Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) System fully Integrated with the Morpheus Vertical Test Bed Avionics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Epp, Chirold D.; Robertson, Edward A.; Ruthishauser, David K.

    2013-01-01

    The Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) Project was chartered to develop and mature to a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of six an autonomous system combining guidance, navigation and control with real-time terrain sensing and recognition functions for crewed, cargo, and robotic planetary landing vehicles. The ALHAT System must be capable of identifying and avoiding surface hazards to enable a safe and accurate landing to within tens of meters of designated and certified landing sites anywhere on a planetary surface under any lighting conditions. This is accomplished with the core sensing functions of the ALHAT system: Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN), Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA), and Hazard Relative Navigation (HRN). The NASA plan for the ALHAT technology is to perform the TRL6 closed loop demonstration on the Morpheus Vertical Test Bed (VTB). The first Morpheus vehicle was lost in August of 2012 during free-flight testing at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), so the decision was made to perform a helicopter test of the integrated ALHAT System with the Morpheus avionics over the ALHAT planetary hazard field at KSC. The KSC helicopter tests included flight profiles approximating planetary approaches, with the entire ALHAT system interfaced with all appropriate Morpheus subsystems and operated in real-time. During these helicopter flights, the ALHAT system imaged the simulated lunar terrain constructed in FY2012 to support ALHAT/Morpheus testing at KSC. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the highest fidelity testing of a system of this kind to date. During this helicopter testing, two new Morpheus landers were under construction at the Johnson Space Center to support the objective of an integrated ALHAT/Morpheus free-flight demonstration. This paper provides an overview of this helicopter flight test activity, including results and lessons learned, and also provides an overview of recent integrated testing of ALHAT on the second Morpheus vehicle.

  11. Helicopter Field Testing of NASA's Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) System fully integrated with the Morpheus Vertical Test Bed Avionics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rutishauser, David; Epp, Chirold; Robertson, Edward

    2013-01-01

    The Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) Project was chartered to develop and mature to a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of six an autonomous system combining guidance, navigation and control with real-time terrain sensing and recognition functions for crewed, cargo, and robotic planetary landing vehicles. The ALHAT System must be capable of identifying and avoiding surface hazards to enable a safe and accurate landing to within tens of meters of designated and certified landing sites anywhere on a planetary surface under any lighting conditions. This is accomplished with the core sensing functions of the ALHAT system: Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN), Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA), and Hazard Relative Navigation (HRN). The NASA plan for the ALHAT technology is to perform the TRL6 closed loop demonstration on the Morpheus Vertical Test Bed (VTB). The first Morpheus vehicle was lost in August of 2012 during free-flight testing at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), so the decision was made to perform a helicopter test of the integrated ALHAT System with the Morpheus avionics over the ALHAT planetary hazard field at KSC. The KSC helicopter tests included flight profiles approximating planetary approaches, with the entire ALHAT system interfaced with all appropriate Morpheus subsystems and operated in real-time. During these helicopter flights, the ALHAT system imaged the simulated lunar terrain constructed in FY2012 to support ALHAT/Morpheus testing at KSC. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the highest fidelity testing of a system of this kind to date. During this helicopter testing, two new Morpheus landers were under construction at the Johnson Space Center to support the objective of an integrated ALHAT/Morpheus free-flight demonstration. This paper provides an overview of this helicopter flight test activity, including results and lessons learned, and also provides an overview of recent integrated testing of ALHAT on the second Morpheus vehicle.

  12. Using artificial intelligence for automating testing of a resident space object collision avoidance system on an orbital spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straub, Jeremy

    2014-06-01

    Resident space objects (RSOs) pose a significant threat to orbital assets. Due to high relative velocities, even a small RSO can cause significant damage to an object that it strikes. Worse, in many cases a collision may create numerous additional RSOs, if the impacted object shatters apart. These new RSOs will have heterogeneous mass, size and orbital characteristics. Collision avoidance systems (CASs) are used to maneuver spacecraft out of the path of RSOs to prevent these impacts. A RSO CAS must be validated to ensure that it is able to perform effectively given a virtually unlimited number of strike scenarios. This paper presents work on the creation of a testing environment and AI testing routine that can be utilized to perform verification and validation activities for cyber-physical systems. It reviews prior work on automated and autonomous testing. Comparative performance (relative to the performance of a human tester) is discussed.

  13. Plant genetic variation mediates an indirect ecological effect between belowground earthworms and aboveground aphids

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Interactions between aboveground and belowground terrestrial communities are often mediated by plants, with soil organisms interacting via the roots and aboveground organisms via the shoots and leaves. Many studies now show that plant genetics can drive changes in the structure of both above and belowground communities; however, the role of plant genetic variation in mediating aboveground-belowground interactions is still unclear. We used an earthworm-plant-aphid model system with two aphid species (Aphis fabae and Acyrthosiphon pisum) to test the effect of host-plant (Vicia faba) genetic variation on the indirect interaction between the belowground earthworms (Eisenia veneta) on the aboveground aphid populations. Results Our data shows that host-plant variety mediated an indirect ecological effect of earthworms on generalist black bean aphids (A. fabae), with earthworms increasing aphid growth rate in three plant varieties but decreasing it in another variety. We found no effect of earthworms on the second aphid species, the pea aphid (A. pisum), and no effect of competition between the aphid species. Plant biomass was increased when earthworms were present, and decreased when A. pisum was feeding on the plant (mediated by plant variety). Although A. fabae aphids were influenced by the plants and worms, they did not, in turn, alter plant biomass. Conclusions Previous work has shown inconsistent effects of earthworms on aphids, but we suggest these differences could be explained by plant genetic variation and variation among aphid species. This study demonstrates that the outcome of belowground-aboveground interactions can be mediated by genetic variation in the host-plant, but depends on the identity of the species involved. PMID:25331082

  14. Epigeic Earthworms Exert a Bottleneck Effect on Microbial Communities through Gut Associated Processes

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Brandón, María; Aira, Manuel; Lores, Marta; Domínguez, Jorge

    2011-01-01

    Background Earthworms play a critical role in organic matter decomposition because of the interactions they establish with microorganisms. The ingestion, digestion, assimilation of organic material in the gut and then casting is the first step in earthworm-microorganism interactions. The current knowledge of these direct effects is still limited for epigeic earthworm species, mainly those living in man-made environments. Here we tested whether and to what extent the earthworm Eisenia andrei is capable of altering the microbiological properties of fresh organic matter through gut associated processes; and if these direct effects are related to the earthworm diet. Methodology To address these questions we determined the microbial community structure (phospholipid fatty acid profiles) and microbial activity (fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis) in the earthworm casts derived from three types of animal manure (cow, horse and pig manure), which differed in microbial composition. Principal Findings The passage of the organic material through the gut of E. andrei reduced the total microbial biomass irrespective of the type of manure, and resulted in a decrease in bacterial biomass in all the manures; whilst leaving the fungi unaffected in the egested materials. However, unlike the microbial biomass, no such reduction was detected in the total microbial activity of cast samples derived from the pig manure. Moreover, no differences were found between cast samples derived from the different types of manure with regards to microbial community structure, which provides strong evidence for a bottleneck effect of worm digestion on microbial populations of the original material consumed. Conclusions/Significance Our data reveal that earthworm gut is a major shaper of microbial communities, thereby favouring the existence of a reduced but more active microbial population in the egested materials, which is of great importance to understand how biotic interactions within the decomposer food web influence on nutrient cycling. PMID:21935465

  15. [Single and binary-combined toxicity of methamidophos, acetochlor and Cu on earthworm Eisenia foetida].

    PubMed

    Liang, Jidong; Zhou, Qixing

    2003-04-01

    A population of earthworm Eisenia foetida was exposed to single and binary-combined contamination of phaeozem by methamidophos, acetochlor and Cu. The result showed that one of three test chemicals had its toxicity on the earthworm population, and the single toxic sequence of the chemicals was acetochlor > methamidophos > Cu. The values of their LD50 were 0.307, 0.708 and 118.70 mg.kg-1, respectively. The difference was depended on the biological mechanisms of the earthworm population. Acetochlor and Cu in soil could be absorbed by the earthworm population through penetrating through the skin of an earthworm. The result also showed that Cu could swell the toxicity of methamidophos, whether it was in low or high concentration by the binary-combined toxic effect test. Cu in low concentration could decrease the toxicity of acetochlor, but in high concentration, Cu could increase the acetochlor toxicity in soil. Therefore, these three pollutants were dangerous to the ecological security of soil ecosystem and soil-health quality. Furthermore, when the chemicals in same soil environment act one another, they could boost up the potential danger of soil ecosystem contaminated by the three pollutants. The joint toxic effects of various chemicals were in relation to their different concentration combinations in soil. PMID:12920910

  16. Effects of non-native earthworms on on below- and aboveground processes in the Mid-Atlantic region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szlavecz, K. A.; McCormick, M. K.; Xia, L.; Pitz, S.; O'Neill, J.; Bernard, M.; Chang, C.; Whigham, D. F.

    2011-12-01

    Many biotic and abiotic disturbances have shaped the structure of the deciduous forests in the Mid-Atlantic region. One major anthropogenic factor is land use history. Agricultural practices in the past undoubtedly facilitated non-native earthworm colonization and establishment. Today most secondary forests are dominated by European lumbricid earthworms, although native species also occur in some habitats. To investigate how earthworm community composition and abundance affect belowground processes and tree seedling growth we set up a field manipulation experiment at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD. A total of 66 experimental plots were set up in successional (70 yrs) and mature (150 yrs) Tulip-poplar-Oak associations. We manipulated earthworm abundance and leaf litter input, and planted seedlings of Tulip poplar, Red maple, Red oak, and American beech. The experiment lasted for two years during which we regularly monitored density, biomass and species composition of earthworm assemblages and measured soil respiration. Soil moisture, temperature and air temperature were also continuously monitored using a wireless sensor network. At harvest, soil bulk density, pH, N pools, C:N ratio, potential N-mineralization rates, and enzyme activity were determined. We used quantitative PCR to assess the community composition of soil fungi. We also determined the extent of mycorrhizal colonization and biomass of roots, shoots and leaves. We conducted likelihood ratio tests for random and fixed effects based on mixed model analyses of variance. Differences between soil depths and among sites and plots accounted for a large portion of the variation in many soil properties. Litter quality affected soil pH and N mineralization. Earthworm densities affected bulk density, inorganic N content, and N mineralization. Both mycorrhizal groups were more abundant in mature than in successional forests. Both ectomycorrhizal (ECM) and arbuscular (AM) fungi were less abundant in the earthworm removal plots. There was a significant positive earthworm effect on the rate and thermal sensitivity of soil respiration. Soil respiration was consistently higher in plots with tulip poplar litter than those with beech litter, indicating a strong influence of plant residue quality. However, the differences were smaller in the second year than in the first one indicating an adaptation of the soil system. Oak and beech seedlings were smaller in high density earthworm plots, while the reverse was true for maple and tulip poplar seedlings. Non-native earthworms affect below- and aboveground processes, however, these effects depend on forest type and land use history. The earthworm effects also appear to be dynamic, as witnessed by a recent invasion of an Asian earthworm species in one of our forest stands.

  17. Comparative toxicity of chemicals to earthworms

    SciTech Connect

    Callahan, C.A.; Shirazi, M.A. ); Neuhauser, E.F. )

    1994-02-01

    The concentration-response (mortality) relationships of four species of earthworms, Eisenia fetida (Savigny), Allolobophora tuberculata (Eisen), Eudrilus eugeniae (Kinberg), and Perionyx excavatus (Perrier) are summarized for 62 chemicals and two test protocols. A Weibull function is used to summarize these data for each chemical in terms of sensitivity and toxicity, in addition to the LC50. The estimation of the Weibull parameters a and k summarize the entire concentration-response relationship. This technique should be applicable to a variety of testing protocols with different species whenever the goal is summarizing the shape of the concentration-response curves to fully evaluate chemical impact on organisms. In some cases for these data four orders of magnitude separate LC50s of the soil test and the contact test for the same chemical and species. All four species appear to be similar in range of toxicity and tolerance to these chemicals, suggesting that Eisenia fetida and may be representative of these four species and these chemicals.

  18. Avoiding Split Attention in Computer-Based Testing: Is Neglecting Additional Information Facilitative?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarodzka, Halszka; Janssen, Noortje; Kirschner, Paul A.; Erkens, Gijsbert

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether design guidelines for computer-based learning can be applied to computer-based testing (CBT). Twenty-two students completed a CBT exam with half of the questions presented in a split-screen format that was analogous to the original paper-and-pencil version and half in an integrated format. Results show that students…

  19. School Avoidance

    MedlinePLUS

    ... School avoidance This school avoidance – sometimes called school refusal or school phobia – is not uncommon and occurs ... to have a physical basis, are uncommon. School refusal symptoms occur most often on school days, and ...

  20. Unique metabolites protect earthworms against plant polyphenols

    PubMed Central

    Liebeke, Manuel; Strittmatter, Nicole; Fearn, Sarah; Morgan, A. John; Kille, Peter; Fuchser, Jens; Wallis, David; Palchykov, Vitalii; Robertson, Jeremy; Lahive, Elma; Spurgeon, David J.; McPhail, David; Takáts, Zoltán; Bundy, Jacob G.

    2015-01-01

    All higher plants produce polyphenols, for defence against above-ground herbivory. These polyphenols also influence the soil micro- and macro-fauna that break down plant leaf litter. Polyphenols therefore indirectly affect the fluxes of soil nutrients and, ultimately, carbon turnover and ecosystem functioning in soils. It is unknown how earthworms, the major component of animal biomass in many soils, cope with high-polyphenol diets. Here, we show that earthworms possess a class of unique surface-active metabolites in their gut, which we term ‘drilodefensins'. These compounds counteract the inhibitory effects of polyphenols on earthworm gut enzymes, and high-polyphenol diets increase drilodefensin concentrations in both laboratory and field populations. This shows that drilodefensins protect earthworms from the harmful effects of ingested polyphenols. We have identified the key mechanism for adaptation to a dietary challenge in an animal group that has a major role in organic matter recycling in soils worldwide. PMID:26241769

  1. Unique metabolites protect earthworms against plant polyphenols.

    PubMed

    Liebeke, Manuel; Strittmatter, Nicole; Fearn, Sarah; Morgan, A John; Kille, Peter; Fuchser, Jens; Wallis, David; Palchykov, Vitalii; Robertson, Jeremy; Lahive, Elma; Spurgeon, David J; McPhail, David; Takáts, Zoltán; Bundy, Jacob G

    2015-01-01

    All higher plants produce polyphenols, for defence against above-ground herbivory. These polyphenols also influence the soil micro- and macro-fauna that break down plant leaf litter. Polyphenols therefore indirectly affect the fluxes of soil nutrients and, ultimately, carbon turnover and ecosystem functioning in soils. It is unknown how earthworms, the major component of animal biomass in many soils, cope with high-polyphenol diets. Here, we show that earthworms possess a class of unique surface-active metabolites in their gut, which we term 'drilodefensins'. These compounds counteract the inhibitory effects of polyphenols on earthworm gut enzymes, and high-polyphenol diets increase drilodefensin concentrations in both laboratory and field populations. This shows that drilodefensins protect earthworms from the harmful effects of ingested polyphenols. We have identified the key mechanism for adaptation to a dietary challenge in an animal group that has a major role in organic matter recycling in soils worldwide. PMID:26241769

  2. A SMA Actuated Earthworm-Like Robot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Y. K.; Song, C. N.; Wang, Z. L.; Guo, C.; Tan, Q. Y.

    Inspired by locomotion principle of earworms, a shape memory alloy (SMA) actuated earthworm-like robot is designed and developed in this paper. Four groups of SMA wires as actuator and one spring as accumulator were introduced. The SMA wires and spring play a role in contraction and extension of an earthworm muscle respectively. For temporal position stopping control, two groups of electromagnets were used as setae of earthworm. By SMA wires were driven independently or simultaneity according to defined movement patterns, the all-round movement of the artificial earthworm freely to different directions was realized. A series of experiments on the self-developed robot moving and turning with different actuation frequencies were carried out. The results showed the validity of the locomotion mobility of the SMA actuated earworm-like robot.

  3. Nanomaterials: Earthworms lit with quantum dots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tilley, Richard D.; Cheong, Soshan

    2013-01-01

    Yeast, bacteria and fungi have been used to synthesize a variety of nanocrystals. Now, the metal detoxification process in the gut of an earthworm is exploited to produce biocompatible cadmium telluride quantum dots.

  4. Synaptic remodeling in hippocampal CA1 region of aged rats correlates with better memory performance in passive avoidance test.

    PubMed

    Platano, Daniela; Fattoretti, Patrizia; Balietti, Marta; Giorgetti, Belinda; Casoli, Tiziana; Di Stefano, Giuseppina; Bertoni-Freddari, Carlo; Aicardi, Giorgio

    2008-04-01

    Aging is associated with deficits in long-term declarative memory formation, and wide differences in performance can be observed among aged individuals. The cellular substrates of these deficits and the reasons for such marked individual differences are not yet fully understood. In the present study, morphologic parameters of synapses and synaptic mitochondria in stratum molecolare of CA1 hippocampal region were investigated in aged (26- to 27-month-old) female rats after a single trial inhibitory avoidance task. In this memory protocol animals learn to avoid a dark compartment in which they received a mild, inescapable foot shock. Rats were tested 3 and 6 or 9 hours after the training, divided into good and bad responders according to their performance (retention times above or below 100 seconds, respectively) and immediately sacrificed. The number of synapses and synaptic mitochondria per cubic micrometer of tissue (numeric density), the average area of synapses and volume of synaptic mitochondria, the total area of synapses per cubic micrometer of tissue, the percentage of perforated synapses and the overall volume of mitochondria per cubic micrometer of tissue were evaluated. In the good responder group, the numeric density of synapses and mitochondria was significantly higher and the average mitochondrial volume was significantly smaller 9 hours versus 6 hours after the training. No significant differences were observed among bad responders. Thus, better performances in passive avoidance memory task are correlated with more efficient plastic remodeling of synaptic contacts and mitochondria in hippocampal CA1. Present findings indicate that maintenance of synaptic plastic reactivity during aging is a critical requirement for preserving long-term memory consolidation. PMID:18442322

  5. Biochemical diversity of betaines in earthworms

    SciTech Connect

    Liebeke, Manuel; Bundy, Jacob G.

    2013-01-25

    Highlights: ? We develop a method for rapid untargetted analysis of betaines. ? We profile betaines in a comparative study of ten earthworm species. ? Earthworms contain a surprisingly high number of different betaine metabolites. ? Earthworms contain betaines normally seen only in plants or marine animals. -- Abstract: The ability to accumulate osmoprotectant compounds, such as betaines, is an important evolutionary feature in many organisms. This is particularly the case for organisms that live in variable environments, which may have fluctuations in moisture and salinity levels. There is, surprisingly, very little known about betaines in soil invertebrates in general, and there is almost no information about earthworms – a group that are important ‘ecosystem engineers’ and key indicators of soil health. Here, we describe a fast and reliable {sup 1}H–{sup 13}C heteronuclear single quantum coherence (HSQC) 2D NMR approach for the metabolic profiling of a series of betaines and related metabolites in tissue extracts, and list {sup 1}H and {sup 13}C chemical shifts for the trimethylammonium signal for 23 such compounds. The analysis of ten different species from three different families (Lumbricidae, Megascolecidae and Glossoscolecidae) showed an unexpected diversity of betaines present in earthworms. In total ten betaines were identified, including hydroxyproline-betaine, proline-betaine, taurine-betaine, GABA-betaine and histidine-betaine, and a further eleven as-yet unassigned putative betaine metabolites detected. The findings clearly indicate a hitherto-unappreciated important role for betaine metabolism in earthworms.

  6. Copper avoidance and mortality of juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta) in tests with copper-sulfate-treated water from West Branch Reservoir, Putnam County, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baldigo, B.P.; Baudanza, T.P.

    2001-01-01

    Copper-avoidance tests and acute-toxicity (mortality) tests on hatchery-reared, young-of- the-year brown trout (salmo trutta) were conducted with water from West Branch Reservoir to assess the avoidance response to copper sulfate treatment, which is used occasionally by New York City Department of Environmental Protection to decrease phytoplankton populations in the reservoir. Avoidance-test results indicate that juvenile brown trout tend to avoid dissolved copper concentrations greater than about 55 ?g/L (micrograms per liter), which is the approximate avoidance-response threshold. The mean net avoidance response of brown trout to dissolved copper concentrations of 70 and 100 ?g/L, and possibly 80 ?g/L, was significantly different (at a = 0.1) from the mean net avoidance response of fish to control (untreated) water and to treated water at most other tested concentrations. Mortality-test results indicate that the 96-hr median lethal concentration (LC50) of dissolved copper was 61.5 ?g/L. All (100 percent) of the brown trout died at a dissolved copper concentration of 85 ?g/L, many died at concentrations of 62 ?g/L and 70 ?g/L, and none died in the control waters (7 ?g/L) or at concentrations of 10, 20, or 45 ?g/L. The estimated concentration of dissolved copper that caused fish mortality (threshold) was 53.5 ?g/L, virtually equivalent to the avoidance-response threshold. Additional factors that could affect the copper-avoidance and mortality response of individual brown trout and their populations in West Branch Reservoir include seasonal variations in certain water-quality parameters, copper-treatment regimes, natural fish distributions during treatment, and increased tolerance due to acclimation. These warrant additional study before the findings from this study can be used to predict the effects that copper sulfate treatments have on resident fish populations in New York City reservoirs.

  7. The second wave of earthworm invasion: soil organic matter dynamics from the stable isotope perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, C.; Szlavecz, K. A.; Bernard, M.; Pitz, S.

    2013-12-01

    Through transformation of plant litter into soil organic matter (SOM) and translocation of ingested organic material among different soil depths, soil organisms, especially earthworms, are one of the major factors affecting SOM dynamics. In North America temperate soil, historical human activity has lead to invasion of European earthworms into habitats that were previously earthworm-free or inhabited only by native species. By consuming leaf litter and SOM, burrowing, and casting, invasive earthworms have been known for reducing the understory vegetation and leaf litter layer while increasing the thickness of organic soil, causing changes in the soil habitat and the distribution of SOM. Recently, another group of invasive earthworm, namely Amynthas from Asia, has been reported invading habitats already dominated by European species, causing a 'second wave of invasion' where the soil ecosystem, already modified by European species, is going through another transition. The mechanisms through which these functionally (ecologically) different species affect C and N transformation could be better understood by tracing the carbon and nitrogen derived from 13C- and 15N-labeled leaf litter into earthworm tissues and SOM. The objective of this study is to understand how earthworm species that differ ecologically, including the Asian Amynthas, interact with each other and how these interactions affect SOM dynamics. We hypothesized that 1) species feeding on different food resources will have different isotopic signature and their tissue 13C and 15N values will change due to facilitation or interspecific competition on food resources, and 2) the short-term fate of litter-derived carbon differs depending on the presence or absence of different earthworm species. These hypotheses were tested by field sampling and lab mesocosm experiments using 13C and 15N double-enriched Tulip Poplar leaf litter (mean 13C = 124‰, mean 15N = 1667‰) produced from tree saplings growing in an airtight chamber. Stable isotope mass balance calculation is used to estimate the recovery of litter-derived carbon from three pools (earthworm tissue, SOM, remaining litter), the loss of litter-derived carbon through soil respiration, and the contribution of different carbon sources to soil CO2 efflux in different earthworm treatments. Our results show that earthworm species recognized as 'soil feeders' have 13C and 15N values that are 1.2‰ and 3.8‰ higher than those of 'litter feeders', and 15N also differ significantly amount different soil feeders, suggesting different food resource usage even within the same functional group. There are strong species effects on both leaf litter disappearance rate and CO2 efflux rate, both being high when Amynthas earthworms are present. Our results suggest that changing earthworm species composition leads to changing resource use, which alters the fate of organic carbon in the forest floor and soil and could potentially affect long-term SOM dynamics in temperate forests.

  8. Histopathological changes in the earthworm Eisenia andrei associated with the exposure to metals and radionuclides.

    PubMed

    Lourenço, Joana; Silva, Ana; Carvalho, Fernando; Oliveira, João; Malta, Margarida; Mendo, Sónia; Gonçalves, Fernando; Pereira, Ruth

    2011-11-01

    Earthworms were exposed for 56 d to a contaminated soil, from an abandoned uranium mine, and to the natural reference soil LUFA 2.2. Histological changes in earthworm's body wall (epidermis, circular and longitudinal muscles) and gastrointestinal tract (chloragogenous tissue and intestinal epithelium) were assessed, after 0, 14 and 56 d of exposure. Results have shown alterations in all the studied tissues after 14 d of exposure (except for the intestinal epithelium), yet more severe effects were registered after 56 d of exposure. Herein we report histopathological alterations as a good biomarker for the evaluation of soil quality. We also demonstrate that morphological changes in the body wall and gastrointestinal tract, are important endpoints that could be added to earthworm's standardized tests, for the evaluation of soil toxicity, as part of the risk assessment of contaminated areas. PMID:21911243

  9. The relative toxicities of insecticides to earthworms of the Pheretima group (Oligochaeta).

    PubMed

    Mostert, Magdel A; Schoeman, At S; van der Merwe, Mac

    2002-05-01

    An artificial soil test was used to determine the LC50 values of carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, imidacloprid, cyfluthrin and fipronil against earthworms of the Pheretima group. For a 24-h interval, carbaryl was the most toxic to earthworms (LC50 = 77 mg kg-1), followed by imidacloprid (155 mg kg-1), cyfluthrin (351 mg kg-1), chlorpyrifos (390 mg kg-1) and fipronil (> 8550 mg kg-1) as the least toxic. For the 48-h and 7-day intervals, imidacloprid was the most toxic to earthworms (LC50 = 5 mg kg-1 and 3 mg kg-1 respectively), followed by carbaryl (16 mg kg-1; 9 mg kg-1), cyfluthrin (128 mg kg-1; 110 mg kg-1), chlorpyrifos (330 mg kg-1; 180 mg kg-1) and the least toxic was fipronil (> 8550 mg kg-1 both intervals). The surface application rates required to achieve these values are compared with the rates recommended for the control of turfgrass pests. PMID:11997970

  10. Methods using earthworms for the evaluation of potentially toxic materials in soils

    SciTech Connect

    Neuhauser, E.F.; Loehr, R.C.; Malecki, M.R.

    1982-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using earthworms to indicate effects of potentially toxic wastes when such wastes are intentionally or accidentally added to soils. Initial work with metals has shown that earthworms exhibit specific growth and reproductive responses. These responses are related to the concentration and solubility of the metal. Of the metals tested, cadmium was found to be the most toxic, followed by nickel, copper, zinc, and lead. The metal concentration in earthworm tissue and the background manure-metal mixture was measured, permitting the concentration factor to be computed. The concentration factor is the ratio of the metal in the worm tissue to that in the surrounding manure-metal mixture. These and other studies in our laboratory have demonstrated that the methods described in this paper may be used to predict the effect of land-applied or atmospherically deposited residues on the soil biota.

  11. Species-Specific Effects of Epigeic Earthworms on Microbial Community Structure during First Stages of Decomposition of Organic Matter

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Brandón, María; Lores, Marta; Domínguez, Jorge

    2012-01-01

    Background Epigeic earthworms are key organisms in organic matter decomposition because of the interactions they establish with microorganisms. The earthworm species and the quality and/or substrate availability are expected to be major factors influencing the outcome of these interactions. Here we tested whether and to what extent the epigeic earthworms Eisenia andrei, Eisenia fetida and Perionyx excavatus, widely used in vermicomposting, are capable of altering the microbiological properties of fresh organic matter in the short-term. We also questioned if the earthworm-induced modifications to the microbial communities are dependent on the type of substrate ingested. Methodology/Principal Findings To address these questions we determined the microbial community structure (phospholipid fatty acid profiles) and microbial activity (basal respiration and microbial growth rates) of three types of animal manure (cow, horse and rabbit) that differed in microbial composition, after being processed by each species of earthworm for one month. No differences were found between earthworm-worked samples with regards to microbial community structure, irrespective of type of manure, which suggests the existence of a bottleneck effect of worm digestion on microbial populations of the original material consumed. Moreover, in mesocosms containing cow manure the presence of E. andrei resulted not only in a decrease in bacterial and fungal biomass, but also in a reduced bacterial growth rate and total microbial activity, while no such reduction was found with E. fetida and P. excavatus. Conclusions/Significance Our results point to the species of earthworm with its associated gut microbiota as a strong determinant of the process shaping the structure of microbial communities in the short-term. This must nonetheless be weighed against the fact that further knowledge is necessary to evaluate whether the changes in the composition of microbiota in response to the earthworm species is accompanied by a change in the microbial community diversity and/or function. PMID:22363763

  12. Design and experimental gait analysis of a multi-segment in-pipe robot inspired by earthworm's peristaltic locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Hongbin; Wang, Chenghao; Li, Suyi; Xu, Jian; Wang, K. W.

    2014-03-01

    This paper reports the experimental progress towards developing a multi-segment in-pipe robot inspired by earthworm's body structure and locomotion mechanism. To mimic the alternating contraction and elongation of a single earthworm's segment, a robust, servomotor based actuation mechanism is developed. In each robot segment, servomotor-driven cords and spring steel belts are utilized to imitate the earthworm's longitudinal and circular muscles, respectively. It is shown that the designed segment can contract and relax just like an earthworm's body segment. The axial and radial deformation of a single segment is measured experimentally, which agrees with the theoretical predictions. Then a multisegment earthworm-like robot is fabricated by assembling eight identical segments in series. The locomotion performance of this robot prototype is then extensively tested in order to investigate the correlation between gait design and dynamic locomotion characteristics. Based on the principle of retrograde peristalsis wave, a gait generator is developed for the multi-segment earthworm-like robot, following which gaits of the robot can be constructed. Employing the generated gaits, the 8-segment earthworm-like robot can successfully perform both horizontal locomotion and vertical climb in pipes. By changing gait parameters, i.e., with different gaits, locomotion characteristics including average speed and anchor slippage can be significantly tailored. The proposed actuation method and prototype of the multi-segment in-pipe robot as well as the gait generator provide a bionic realization of earthworm's locomotion with promising potentials in various applications such as pipeline inspection and cleaning.

  13. Earthworms, Dirt, and Rotten Leaves: An Exploration in Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLaughlin, Molly

    1994-01-01

    This article provides a model for inviting children to "an exploration in ecology" by observing earthworms. It gives reasons to explore earthworms and guides the investigator through a detailed examination of the worms to answer 21 observation questions. Explores the ways in which earthworms interact with their environment. (LZ)

  14. SUMMARY OF STUDIES INCLUDED IN THE EARTHWORM BIOACCUMULATION DATABASE

    E-print Network

    Pennycook, Steve

    APPENDIX A SUMMARY OF STUDIES INCLUDED IN THE EARTHWORM BIOACCUMULATION DATABASE #12;A-3 A. MODEL: To evaluate the population parameters and uptake of metals by earthworms in areas treated with municipal heavy metal accumulation and distribution throughout earthworm body Study Conclusions: Pb and Cd

  15. Microburst avoidance simulation tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansman, John

    1991-01-01

    Implementation issues for uplinked microburst alerts are presented in the form of view-graphs. The following topics are covered: evaluation, transmission, and presentation of ground-based Doppler weather radar derived information through a limited bandwidth digital data link; electronic cockpit presentation of uplinked wind shear alerts (pilot opinion survey, part-task simulation experiment); presentation modes (verbal, textual, and graphical); and ground evaluation of ground-measures wind shear data.

  16. A better method for assessing sublethal effects of soils to the earthworm Eisenia foetida

    SciTech Connect

    Gibbs, M.H.; Wicker, L.F.; Stewart, A.J.

    1994-12-31

    The authors have developed and tested a procedure which allows quantification of growth and reproductive effects of contaminated soils to the earthworm, Eisenia foetida. The procedure monitors isolated pairs of earthworms and generates a higher ratio of data per organism than other commonly used procedures which require larger numbers of earthworms per experimental unit. The procedure also incorporates an accurate technique for measuring adult growth. The method has high sensitivity and is cost-effective. The method was applied to a variety of soil-testing problems to demonstrate its versatility and provide validation. A food-and-substrate trial demonstrated the sensitivity of the method and the need for food supplementation in OECD artificial soil to stimulate earthworm reproduction. A trial to examine a soil bioremediation technology revealed the advantage of measuring both growth and reproduction and highlighted the usefulness of a single integrated measure of these two responses. The method then was applied as a fast-screening method for field soils in a large-scale ecological risk assessment. Finally, a reference toxicant, applied in dilution series, demonstrated that responses of Eisenia foetida to their method are similar to their responses to the OECD artificial soil test. Collectively, results of this study indicate that their procedure can be used both for regulatory and compliance needs within the framework of ecological risk assessment.

  17. Neurotoxicity and biochemical responses in the earthworm Pheretima hawayana exposed to TiO2NPs.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Abdelmonem M

    2015-12-01

    Serious concerns have been expressed about potential risks of manufactured TiO2NPs. In this research, toxicity of nanoparticulate and bulk TiO2 were examined to the earthworm Pheretima hawayana. The 24-h median lethal concentration (LC50) and sublethal endpoints were assessed. Both NPs and their bulk counterparts were toxic. The 24-h LC50 for TiO2NPs (145.36mgkg(-1)) was highly toxic than that of bulk TiO2 (357.77mgkg(-1)). The aim of the present work is to evaluate the suitability of P. hawayana and its biochemical responses to be used as a bioindicator organism and biomarkers of TiO2 toxicity. Earthworms were exposed to three sublethal concentrations of TiO2NPs (1, 10 and 100µgkg(-1)) for 28 days to test acetylcholinesterase (AChE), antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase: SOD and catalase: CAT) activities and MDA content. The response of the antioxidant enzymes combined with AChE inhibition and MDA accumulation indicated that TiO2NPs could induce significant impairments to the earthworms at the actual environment tested concentrations. The results pointed out the high sensitivity of the antioxidant and oxidative stress related responses to TiO2NPs exposure, demonstrating their usefulness in environmental monitoring and risk assessment. The study highlights also the usefulness of earthworm P. hawayana as potential bioindicator species for assessing the risk of nanoparticles environmental contamination. PMID:26398239

  18. Combined effects of copper, desiccation, and frost on the viability of earthworm cocoons

    SciTech Connect

    Holmstrup, M.; Petersen, B.F. |; Larsen, M.M.

    1998-01-01

    The effects of heavy metal pollution on earthworms have been extensively studied, but no studies have examined how earthworms react if they are simultaneously exposed to metal pollution and climatic stress. This question has been addressed in a laboratory study where cocoons of Aporrectodea caliginosa and Dendrobaena octaedra were initially exposed to copper in aqueous solutions of copper chloride and thereafter exposed to realistic degrees of either desiccation or frost. Earthworm embryos absorbed copper in amounts comparable to concentrations found in various tissues of earthworms from metal-polluted soils. Desiccation and copper exposure in combination had synergistic effects on survival rates for both species. For example, at full saturation, the NOEC (the highest tested concentration with no statistically significant effect) for copper of A. caliginosa was 12 mg/L, whereas at 97% relative humidity it was only 6 mg/L. Frost and copper exposure in combination also showed synergistic effects in some experiments. No cocoons of A. caliginosa exposed to 20 mg copper/L were viable after exposure to {minus}3 C but at 0 C viability was as high as 95%. The same tendency was seen in D. octaedra but not as clearly as in A/. caliginosa. A change of the environmental conditions (moisture, temperature) to increasing severity caused a shift in the statistically derived NOEC toward lower critical values of copper. The involvement of combination effects in ecotoxicological tests could therefore improve risk assessment of soil-polluting compounds.

  19. Bioaccumulation and Elimination of the Herbicide Clomazone in the Earthworms Eisenia fetida.

    PubMed

    Cao, Jia; Li, Ping; Li, Qing X; Zheng, Pengfei; Diao, Xiaoping

    2015-11-01

    Acute toxicity, bioaccumulation, and elimination of herbicide clomazone in the earthworm Eisenia fetida were investigated in the different exposure systems. The LC50 values of clomazone on earthworms were 5.6 ?g cm(-2) in the contact filter paper test (48 h), 174.9 mg kg(-1) (7 days) and 123.4 mg kg(-1) (14 days) in artificial soil test, respectively. Clomazone could rapidly bioaccumulate in earthworms and reached the highest concentration after 3 days exposure, with the maximum concentrations of 9.0, 35.3 and 142.3 mg kg(-1) at 10.0, 40.0 and 160.0 mg kg(-1) of clomazone, respectively. Clomazone uptake showed a good correlation with exposure concentration. After the 14th day, clomazone declined to minimum value. About 74 %-80 % of accumulated clomazone was eliminated within 1 day after exposed to clomazone-free soil. However, a trace amount of clomazone persisted for a relatively long time in earthworms. PMID:26370279

  20. Comparative toxicity in earthworms Eisenia fetida and Lumbricus terrestris exposed to cadmium nitrate using artificial soil and filter paper protocols

    SciTech Connect

    Fitzpatrick, L.C.; Goven, A.J.; Muratti-Ortiz, J.F.

    1996-07-01

    Earthworms are ideal soil organisms for use in terrestrial ecotoxicology. As such, several earthworm protocols have been developed for testing toxic potential of chemicals and contaminated soils. Of these, the 48-h filter paper contact (FP) and the 14-d artificial soil exposure (AS) protocols, using mortality (LC50) as the toxic endpoint and Eisenia fetida as the test species, have received the most attention, with the latter being adopted by both OECD and EEC in Europe and the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in the United States. Although the FP technique, adopted by EEC, provides for inexpensive reproducible toxicity screening for chemicals (i.e. establishing relative toxicities), it has been criticized for lacking the ecotoxicological relevance of the AS protocol. Choice of earthworm species for laboratory testing also has been controversial. The manure worm, E. fetida, is criticized for not being sufficiently sensitive to chemicals or representative of {open_quotes}typical{close_quotes} earthworms. Lumbricus terrestris and Apporectodea caliginosa have been suggested as more sensitive and ecologically relevant earthworms by Dean-Ross and Martin, respectively. This paper compares the AS and FP protocols in assessing toxicity of cadminum to L. terrestris and E. fetida using LC50s and LC50s. 19 refs., 2 tabs.

  1. Testing the nutritional-limitation, predator-avoidance, and storm-avoidance hypotheses for restricted sea otter habitat use in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, Nathan L.; Konar, Brenda; Tinker, M. Tim

    2015-01-01

    Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) inhabiting the Aleutian Islands have stabilized at low abundance levels following a decline and currently exhibit restricted habitat-utilization patterns. Possible explanations for restricted habitat use by sea otters can be classified into two fundamentally different processes, bottom-up and top-down forcing. Bottom-up hypotheses argue that changes in the availability or nutritional quality of prey resources have led to the selective use of habitats that support the highest quality prey. In contrast, top-down hypotheses argue that increases in predation pressure from killer whales have led to the selective use of habitats that provide the most effective refuge from killer whale predation. A third hypothesis suggests that current restricted habitat use is based on a need for protection from storms. We tested all three hypotheses for restricted habitat use by comparing currently used and historically used sea otter foraging locations for: (1) prey availability and quality, (2) structural habitat complexity, and (3) exposure to prevailing storms. Our findings suggest that current use is based on physical habitat complexity and not on prey availability, prey quality, or protection from storms, providing further evidence for killer whale predation as a cause for restricted sea otter habitat use in the Aleutian Islands.

  2. Testing the nutritional-limitation, predator-avoidance, and storm-avoidance hypotheses for restricted sea otter habitat use in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Nathan L; Konar, Brenda; Tinker, M Tim

    2015-03-01

    Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) inhabiting the Aleutian Islands have stabilized at low abundance levels following a decline and currently exhibit restricted habitat-utilization patterns. Possible explanations for restricted habitat use by sea otters can be classified into two fundamentally different processes, bottom-up and top-down forcing. Bottom-up hypotheses argue that changes in the availability or nutritional quality of prey resources have led to the selective use of habitats that support the highest quality prey. In contrast, top-down hypotheses argue that increases in predation pressure from killer whales have led to the selective use of habitats that provide the most effective refuge from killer whale predation. A third hypothesis suggests that current restricted habitat use is based on a need for protection from storms. We tested all three hypotheses for restricted habitat use by comparing currently used and historically used sea otter foraging locations for: (1) prey availability and quality, (2) structural habitat complexity, and (3) exposure to prevailing storms. Our findings suggest that current use is based on physical habitat complexity and not on prey availability, prey quality, or protection from storms, providing further evidence for killer whale predation as a cause for restricted sea otter habitat use in the Aleutian Islands. PMID:25416538

  3. Earthworm-induced N mineralization in fertilized grassland increases N2O emission more than crop N uptake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubbers, I. M.; Brussaard, L.; van Groenigen, J.

    2009-12-01

    Earthworms are known to be important regulators of major soil processes and functions such as structure, organic matter (OM) decomposition, nutrient cycling, microbial composition and activity, and plant production. For instance, they have been reported to increase plant nitrogen (N) availability through increasing mineralization of organic matter. Recent studies have indicated that earthworms can also lead to elevated emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) during crop residue decomposition. It is unclear to what extend these two effects interplay in fertilized grasslands, where earthworm densities are typically highest and N and C inputs are high and continuous. The objectives of this study were therefore to (i) quantify earthworm-induced N uptake and N2O emissions in fertilized grasslands, and (ii) to link these effects to earthworm functional groups. In a factorial lysimeter experiment, we introduced combinations of earthworm species in soil columns with growing grass on a loamy soil during a 73 day incubation period. Main effects as well as all 2- and 3-way interactions were tested for individuals that represented the three ecological earthworm strategies: Lumbricus rubellus [R] (epigeic), Apporectodea longa [L] (anecic), and Apporectodea caliginosa [C] (endogeic). Lysimeters were placed outside and the total amount of fertilizer applied during the incubation period amounted to 250 kg N ha-1. R increased grass biomass with 5.4 % (p=0.032) and grass N uptake from 171.5 to 187.6 kg N ha-1 (p<0.001). C increased grass N uptake from 176.0 to 183.0 kg N ha-1 (p=0.001), and the combination of the three earthworm species together increased N uptake by 18.5% (p=0.006). Soil with R had higher concentrations of NH4+ (p=0.010), further indicating increased mineralization of N due to earthworm activity. Cumulative N2O emissions ranged from 197 ?g N2O-N kg-1 soil in the presence of L to 312 ?g N2O-N kg-1 soil in the presence of R. R increased N2O emissions with 50.8% (p<0.001). In conclusion, these results indicate that the beneficial effect of earthworm presence on plant N availability comes with a negative side-effect: increased emissions of mineral N in the form of N2O.

  4. Glycosaminoglycans from earthworms (Eisenia andrei)

    PubMed Central

    Im, A-Rang; Park, Youmie; Sim, Joon-Soo; Zhang, Zhenqing; Liu, Zhenling

    2012-01-01

    The whole tissue of the earthworm (Eisenia andrei) was lyophilized and extracted to purify glycosaminoglycans. Fractions, eluting from an anion-exchange column at 1.0 M and 2.0 M NaCl, showed the presence of acidic polysaccharides on agarose gel electrophoresis. Monosaccharide compositional analysis showed that galactose and glucose were most abundant monosaccharides in both fractions. Depolymerization of the polysaccharide mixture with glycosaminoglycandegrading enzymes confirmed the presence of chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate and heparan sulfate in the 2.0 M NaCl fraction. The content of GAGs (uronic acid containing polysaccharide) in the 2.0 M NaCl fraction determined by carbazole assay was 2%. Disaccharide compositional analysis using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) analysis after chondroitinase digestion (ABC and ACII), showed that the chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate contained a 4-O-sulfo (76%), 2,4-di-O-sulfo (15%), 6-O-sulfo (6%), and unsulfated (4%) uronic acid linked N-acetylgalactosamine residues. LC-ESI-MS analysis of heparin lyase I/II/III digests demonstrated the presence of N-sulfo (69%), N-sulfo-6-O-sulfo (25%) and 2-O-sulfo-N-sulfo-6-O-sulfo (5%) uronic acid linked N-acetylglucosamine residues. PMID:20013352

  5. Avoidance control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leitmann, G.; Skowronski, J.

    1977-01-01

    Dynamical systems were considered, subject to control by two agents, one of whom desires that no trajectory of the system, emanating from outside a given set, intersects the set no matter what the admissible actions of the other agent. Conditions are given whose satisfaction assures that a given control results in avoidance. Furthermore, these conditions are constructive in that they yield an avoidance feedback control. Some examples are presented.

  6. POPULATION DYNAMICS OF AMBIENT AND ALTERED EARTHWORM COMMUNITIES IN ROW-CROP AGROECOSYSTEMS IN OHIO, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although earthworms are known to influence agroecosystem processes, there are relatively few long-term studies addressing population dynamics under cropping systems in which earthworm populations were intentionally altered. We assessed earthworm communities from fall 1994 to spr...

  7. Transformation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene in soil in the presence of the earthworm Eisenia andrei

    SciTech Connect

    Renoux, A.Y.; Sarrazin, M.; Hawari, J.; Sunahara, G.I.

    2000-06-01

    The ability of the earthworm Eisenia andrei to metabolize 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) was studied in experiments with TNT-spiked soils, dermal contact tests, and with an in vitro assay. Lethality of TNT in a forest sandy soil was first determined. Then TNT at lethal and sublethal concentrations was applied to the same soil and was monitored along with its metabolites in extracts of soil and earthworm tissue for up to 14 d post application. High performance liquid chromatography-ultra violet analyses indicated that TNT was transformed in the presence of E. andrei by a reductive pathway to 2-amino-3,6-dinitrotoluene (2-ADNT), 4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene (4-ADNT), 2,4-diamino-6-nitrotoluene (2.4-DANT), and traces of 2,6-diamino-4-nitrotoluene (2,6-DANT) in earthworm tissues. This transformation could be explained by either a metabolic mechanism within the earthworm or by the enhancement of an earthworm-associated microbial activity or both. The TNT concentrations decreased from the spiked soils. However, the monoamino-dinitrotoluene (2-ADNT and 4-ADNT) concentrations increased with exposure duration and were dependent on the initial TNT soil concentrations. This was also observed to a lesser extent in the TNT-spiked soils with no earthworms present. The biotransformation of TNT into 2-ADNT, 4-ADNT, and 2,4-DANT and the presence of these metabolites in E. andrei after dermal contact on TNT-spiked filter paper showed that dermal uptake can be a significant exposure route for TNT. In vitro experiments showed that earthworm homogenate could metabolize TNT and form 2-ADNT and 4-ADNT at room temperature and at 37 C. This effect was inhibited by heat inactivation prior to incubation or by incubation at 4 C, suggesting that the biotransformation of TNT in the presence of E. andrei may be enzymatic in nature.

  8. Earthworm symbiont Verminephrobacter eiseniae mediates natural transformation within host egg capsules using type IV pili

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Seana K.; Dulla, Glenn F.; Go, Ruth A.; Stahl, David A.; Pinel, Nicolás

    2014-01-01

    The dense microbial communities commonly associated with plants and animals should offer many opportunities for horizontal gene transfer through described mechanisms of DNA exchange including natural transformation (NT). However, studies of the significance of NT have focused primarily on pathogens. The study presented here demonstrates highly efficient DNA exchange by NT in a common symbiont of earthworms. The obligate bacterial symbiont Verminephrobacter eiseniae is a member of a microbial consortium of the earthworm Eisenia fetida that is transmitted into the egg capsules to colonize the embryonic worms. In the study presented here, by testing for transformants under different conditions in culture, we demonstrate that V. eiseniae can incorporate free DNA from the environment, that competency is regulated by environmental factors, and that it is sequence specific. Mutations in the type IV pili of V. eiseniae resulted in loss of DNA uptake, implicating the type IV pilus (TFP) apparatus in DNA uptake. Furthermore, injection of DNA carrying antibiotic-resistance genes into egg capsules resulted in transformants within the capsule, demonstrating the relevance of DNA uptake within the earthworm system. The ability to take up species-specific DNA from the environment may explain the maintenance of the relatively large, intact genome of this long-associated obligate symbiont, and provides a mechanism for acquisition of foreign genes within the earthworm system. PMID:25400622

  9. The influence of earthworms on the mobility of microelements in soil and their availability for plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bityutskii, N. P.; Kaidun, P. I.

    2008-12-01

    The influence of earthworms ( Aporrectodea caliginosa, Lumbricus rubellus, L. terrestris, and Eisenia fetida) on the mobility of microelements and their availability for plants was studied. The contents of water-soluble Fe and Mn compounds extracted from the coprolites were 5-10 times higher than that in the soil (enriched in calcium carbonate and dried) consumed by the earthworms. This digestion-induced effect became higher with the age of the coprolites (up to 9 days) and took place under their alkalization. In the excreta (surface + enteric) of earthworms, the Fe concentration exceeded those of Mn and Zn by many times. Iron and manganese were mostly concentrated (>80% and >60%, respectively) in the organic part of the excrements. In the tests with hydroponics, the excreta were found to be a source of iron compounds available for plants that were similar to Fe2(SO4)3 or Fe-citrate by their physiological effect in the case when the Fe concentration in the excretions was above 0.7 ?M. However, the single application of excreta of different earthworm species into the CaCO3 enriched soil did not significantly affect the plant (cucumber) nutrition. The analysis of the transport of microelements with xylem sap showed that this fact appeared to be due to the absence of an Fe deficit in the cucumber plants because of their high capability for the absorption of weakly soluble iron compounds.

  10. Earthworm symbiont Verminephrobacter eiseniae mediates natural transformation within host egg capsules using type IV pili.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Seana K; Dulla, Glenn F; Go, Ruth A; Stahl, David A; Pinel, Nicolás

    2014-01-01

    The dense microbial communities commonly associated with plants and animals should offer many opportunities for horizontal gene transfer through described mechanisms of DNA exchange including natural transformation (NT). However, studies of the significance of NT have focused primarily on pathogens. The study presented here demonstrates highly efficient DNA exchange by NT in a common symbiont of earthworms. The obligate bacterial symbiont Verminephrobacter eiseniae is a member of a microbial consortium of the earthworm Eisenia fetida that is transmitted into the egg capsules to colonize the embryonic worms. In the study presented here, by testing for transformants under different conditions in culture, we demonstrate that V. eiseniae can incorporate free DNA from the environment, that competency is regulated by environmental factors, and that it is sequence specific. Mutations in the type IV pili of V. eiseniae resulted in loss of DNA uptake, implicating the type IV pilus (TFP) apparatus in DNA uptake. Furthermore, injection of DNA carrying antibiotic-resistance genes into egg capsules resulted in transformants within the capsule, demonstrating the relevance of DNA uptake within the earthworm system. The ability to take up species-specific DNA from the environment may explain the maintenance of the relatively large, intact genome of this long-associated obligate symbiont, and provides a mechanism for acquisition of foreign genes within the earthworm system. PMID:25400622

  11. Zwitterionic digalactosylceramides from the earthworm, Pheretima asiatica.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, R; Miyahara, K; Noda, N

    1996-06-01

    Nine homogeneous glycosphingolipids were isolated from the earthworm, Pheretima asiatica (Annelida). All of them are digalactosylceramides carrying a choline phosphate group in the outer galactose moiety. Their full structures including the position of a phosphocholine unit were determined based on chemical and spectral evidence. PMID:8814945

  12. Visualization of enzyme activities inside earthworm pores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoang, Duyen; Razavi, Bahar S.

    2015-04-01

    In extremely dynamic microhabitats as bio-pores made by earthworm, the in situ enzyme activities are assumed as a footprint of complex biotic interactions. Our study focused on the effect of earthworm on the enzyme activities inside bio-pores and visualizing the differences between bio-pores and earthworm-free soil by zymography technique (Spohn and Kuzyakov, 2013). For the first time, we aimed at quantitative imaging of enzyme activities in bio-pores. Lumbricus terrestris L. was placed into transparent box (15×20×15cm). After two weeks when bio-pore systems were formed by earthworms, we visualized in situ enzyme activities of five hydrolytic enzymes (?-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, chitinase, xylanase, leucine-aminopeptidase, and phosphatase. Zymography showed higher activity of ?-glucosidase, chitinase, xylanase and phosphatase in biopores comparing to bulk soil. However, the differences in activity of cellobiohydrolase and leucine aminopeptidase between bio-pore and bulk soil were less pronounced. This demonstrated an applicability of zymography approach to monitor and to distinguish the in situ activity of hydrolytic enzymes in soil biopores.

  13. Easy Extraction of Roundworms from Earthworm Hosts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eyster, Linda S.; Fried, Bernard

    2000-01-01

    Describes the inexpensive and safe method of using roundworms in the classroom or laboratories. Because parasitic infections are so common, students should learn about worms. Provides statistics on just how many people have a worm infection in the world. Explains how to study living nematodes, and obtain and use earthworms. (Contains 13…

  14. LBP/BPI homologue in Eisenia andrei earthworms.

    PubMed

    Škanta, František; Procházková, Petra; Roubalová, Radka; Dvo?ák, Ji?í; Bilej, Martin

    2016-01-01

    LBP/BPIs are pattern recognition receptors that are often present in vertebrates and in invertebrates, and they play a defense role against pathogens. We have identified 1698 bp cDNA sequence from the Eisenia andrei earthworm with predicted amino acid sequence that shares homology with the LBP/BPI family (EaLBP/BPI). Sequence analysis of EaLBP/BPI proved the existence of two conserved domains with the potential ability to bind LPS. The predicted molecular mass of the EaLBP/BPI protein is 53.5 kDa, and its high basicity (pI 9.8) is caused by its high arginine content. Constitutive transcription of the Ealbp/bpi gene was shown in all tested tissues, with the highest level in coelomocytes and seminal vesicles; the lowest level was detected in the intestine. On the contrary, another earthworm LPS-binding molecule CCF (coelomic cytolytic factor) was expressed only in the intestine and coelomocytes. In E. andrei coelomocytes, the transcription of Ealbp/bpi gene was up-regulated in response to bacterial stimulation, reaching a maximum at 8 and 16 h post stimulation with Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, respectively. PMID:26297397

  15. The bioavailability of chemicals in soil for earthworms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lanno, R.; Wells, J.; Conder, J.; Bradham, K.; Basta, N.

    2004-01-01

    The bioavailability of chemicals to earthworms can be modified dramatically by soil physical/chemical characteristics, yet expressing exposure as total chemical concentrations does not address this problem. In order to understand the effects of modifying factors on bioavailability, one must measure and express chemical bioavailability to earthworms in a consistent, logical manner. This can be accomplished by direct biological measures of bioavailability (e.g., bioaccumulation, critical body residues), indirect biological measures of bioavailability (e.g., biomarkers, reproduction), or indirect chemical measures of bioavailability (e.g., chemical or solid-phase extracts of soil). If indirect chemical measures of bioavailability are to be used, they must be correlated with some biological response. Bioavailability can be incorporated into ecological risk assessment during risk analysis, primarily in the estimation of exposure. However, in order to be used in the site-specific ecological risk assessment of chemicals, effects concentrations must be developed from laboratory toxicity tests based on exposure estimates utilizing techniques that measure the bioavailable fraction of chemicals in soil, not total chemical concentrations. ?? 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Effect of earthworms (Eisenia fetida) on the fractionation and bioavailability of rare earth elements in nine Chinese soils.

    PubMed

    Wen, Bei; Liu, Ying; Hu, Xiao-yu; Shan, Xiao-quan

    2006-05-01

    The effect of earthworm (Eisenia fetida) activity on soil pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), fraction distribution pattern and bioavailability of rare earth elements (REEs) Y, La, Ce, Pr and Nd in nine Chinese soils were investigated using pot experiments. A three-step extraction procedure recommended by the European Community (Standards, Measurements and Testing Programme) was used to fractionate REEs in soils into water soluble, exchangeable and carbonate bound (B1), Fe- and Mn-oxides bound (B2) and organic matter and sulfide bound (B3). Inoculated with earthworms, the soil pH, DOC and water-soluble rare earth elements fraction increased. A significant correlation was obtained between the increased DOC and the increased water-soluble REEs. REEs in fraction B1 increased after earthworm inoculation, while those in fraction B3 decreased. No significant differences were observed for REEs in fraction B2. The biomass and the concentrations of REEs in wheat shoots and roots increased after the treatment with earthworms. The results demonstrated that earthworm activity increased the mobility and bioavailability of REEs in soils. PMID:16289225

  17. Relation of pH and other soil variables to concentrations of Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Se in earthworms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.; Hensler, G.L.; Moore, J.

    1987-01-01

    Various soil treatments (clay, composted peat, superphosphate, sulfur, calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, zinc chloride, selenous acid) were added to experimental field plots to test the effect of different soil variables on the concentrations of 5 elements in earthworms (Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd, Se). Concentrations of the 5 elements were related to 9 soil variables (soil Pb, soil Cu, soil Zn, pH, organic matter, P, K, Mg, and Ca) with linear multiple regression. Lead concentrations in earthworms were positively correlated with soil Pb and soil organic matter, and negatively correlated with soil pH and soil Mg, with an R2 of 64%. Se concentrations were higher in earthworms from plots amended with Se, and Zn concentrations were higher in earthworms from plots amended with Zn. However, none of the other soil variables had important effects on the concentrations of Cu, Zn, Cd and Se in earthworms. Although some significant statistical relations were demonstrated, the values of r2 of all relations (> 20%) were so low that they had little predictive value.

  18. Activity of earthworm in Latosol under simulated acid rain stress.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jia-En; Yu, Jiayu; Ouyang, Ying

    2015-01-01

    Acid rain is still an issue of environmental concerns. This study investigated the impacts of simulated acid rain (SAR) upon earthworm activity from the Latosol (acidic red soil). Laboratory experiment was performed by leaching the soil columns grown with earthworms (Eisenia fetida) at the SAR pH levels ranged from 2.0 to 6.5 over a 34-day period. Results showed that earthworms tended to escape from the soil and eventually died for the SAR at pH = 2.0 as a result of acid toxicity. The catalase activity in the earthworms decreased with the SAR pH levels, whereas the superoxide dismutases activity in the earthworms showed a fluctuate pattern: decreasing from pH 6.5 to 5.0 and increasing from pH 5.0 to 4.0. Results implied that the growth of earthworms was retarded at the SAR pH ? 3.0. PMID:25351717

  19. Lead accumulations and toxic effects in earthworms (Eisenia fetida) in the presence of decabromodiphenyl ether.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Chen, Lin; Liu, Kou; Chen, Lei; Lin, Kuangfei; Guo, Jie; Liu, Lili; Cui, Changzheng; Yan, Zenguang

    2014-03-01

    Lead (Pb) and decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE209) are the main contaminants at e-waste recycling sites, and their potential toxicological effects on terrestrial organisms have received extensive attention. However, the impact on earthworms of exposure to the two chemicals remains almost unknown. Therefore, indoor incubation tests were performed on control and contaminated soil samples to determine the Pb accumulations and toxic effects by earthworms in the presence of BDE209 for the first time. The results have demonstrated that BDE209 presence can affect Pb bioaccumulation efficiency compared with exposure to Pb alone. The Pb contents in earthworms had a highly positive correlation with the Pb concentrations in soils. For different Pb doses, almost contrary response trends were found for Pb uptake examined separately on day 7 or 28, and dose-effect relationships were clearly observed in the presence of BDE209. After 7 days of exposure, the earthworm bodies receiving 1-mg kg(-1) BDE209 dose showed significantly lower Pb contents (average?=?175.85 mg kg(-1)) and bioaccumulation factor (average?=?0.574) than those receiving non-BDE209 treatments (217.39 mg kg(-1) and 1.209, respectively). As the incubation time extended, the influence of BDE209 presence on Pb uptake gradually declined. Additionally, either single or combined exposure to both chemicals can affect the protein synthesis in earthworms (p?

  20. Multilevel assessment of Cry1Ab Bt-maize straw return affecting the earthworm Eisenia fetida.

    PubMed

    Shu, Yinghua; Zhang, Yanyan; Cheng, Miaomiao; Zeng, Huilan; Wang, Jianwu

    2015-10-01

    Non-target effects of two varieties of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)-maize straw (5422Bt1 [event Bt11] and 5422CBCL [MON810]) return on the Eisenia fetida were investigated by using multilevel assessments, compared to near-isogenic non-Bt-maize (5422). 5422Bt1 straw return had no deleterious effects on adult earthworms and had significantly positive effects on juveniles over three generations. Negative, no, and positive effects on adults treated with 5422CBCL straw were observed in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation, respectively. Negative and positive effects were observed on juveniles produced from the 1st- and 2nd-generation adults treated with 5422CBCL straw, respectively. Glutathione peroxidase activity of earthworms from Bt-maize treatments was significantly higher than that of control on the 90th d. Translationally controlled tumour protein (TCTP) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) genes were down-regulated, while annetocin (ANN) expression was up-regulated in 5422Bt1 treatments. TCTP and SOD genes were up-regulated, while ANN and heat shock protein 70 were down-regulated in E. fetida from 5422CBCL treatments. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay revealed that Cry1Ab released from 5422Bt1 and 5422CBCL straw degraded rapidly on the 15th and 30th d and had a slow decline in the rest testing time. Cry1Ab concentrations in the soil, casts and guts of earthworm significantly decreased over the course of the experiment. This study was the first to evaluate generational effects of Bt-maize straw return on earthworms under laboratory conditions. The responses of enzymes activity and genes expression may contribute to better understand above different effects of Bt-maize straw return on earthworms from the 1st generation. PMID:26011413

  1. Biological effects of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE209) and Pb on earthworm (Eisenia fetida) in a soil system.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Zhang, Wei; Chen, Lin; Liang, Jun; Lin, Kuangfei

    2015-12-01

    BDE209 and Pb are ubiquitous contaminants at e-waste recycling sites (EWRSs). This study aimed to determine acute and sub-acute toxicity to earthworm Eisenia fetida induced by BDE209 and Pb in natural soil. Results demonstrated that the inhibition of Pb on growth and reproduction of earthworms followed a dose-dependent pattern. Earthworms exposed to 100 mg kg(-1) of BDE209 displayed avoidance responses, while the soil indicated a more obvious decline of habitat function with the increase of Pb level. Comet assay suggested that increasing concentrations of Pb exposure resulted in a gradual increase in the tail length and olive tail moment, which meant that the degree of DNA damage was promoted. BDE209 addition could reduce the damage; therefore the joint effects of both chemicals showed antagonistic. These results revealed that joint exposure (BDE209-Pb) could elicit pronounced biochemical and physiological responses in earthworms, and the DNA damage might be potential molecular biomarker of the two pollutants. PMID:26412261

  2. Greenhouse-gas emissions from soils increased by earthworms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubbers, Ingrid M.; van Groenigen, Kees Jan; Fonte, Steven J.; Six, Johan; Brussaard, Lijbert; van Groenigen, Jan Willem

    2013-03-01

    Earthworms play an essential part in determining the greenhouse-gas balance of soils worldwide, and their influence is expected to grow over the next decades. They are thought to stimulate carbon sequestration in soil aggregates, but also to increase emissions of the main greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Hence, it remains highly controversial whether earthworms predominantly affect soils to act as a net source or sink of greenhouse gases. Here, we provide a quantitative review of the overall effect of earthworms on the soil greenhouse-gas balance. Our results suggest that although earthworms are largely beneficial to soil fertility, they increase net soil greenhouse-gas emissions.

  3. Root Foraging Influences Plant Growth Responses to Earthworm Foraging

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Erin K.; Cahill, James F.; Bayne, Erin M.

    2014-01-01

    Interactions among the foraging behaviours of co-occurring animal species can impact population and community dynamics; the consequences of interactions between plant and animal foraging behaviours have received less attention. In North American forests, invasions by European earthworms have led to substantial changes in plant community composition. Changes in leaf litter have been identified as a critical indirect mechanism driving earthworm impacts on plants. However, there has been limited examination of the direct effects of earthworm burrowing on plant growth. Here we show a novel second pathway exists, whereby earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris L.) impact plant root foraging. In a mini-rhizotron experiment, roots occurred more frequently in burrows and soil cracks than in the soil matrix. The roots of Achillea millefolium L. preferentially occupied earthworm burrows, where nutrient availability was presumably higher than in cracks due to earthworm excreta. In contrast, the roots of Campanula rotundifolia L. were less likely to occur in burrows. This shift in root behaviour was associated with a 30% decline in the overall biomass of C. rotundifolia when earthworms were present. Our results indicate earthworm impacts on plant foraging can occur indirectly via physical and chemical changes to the soil and directly via root consumption or abrasion and thus may be one factor influencing plant growth and community change following earthworm invasion. More generally, this work demonstrates the potential for interactions to occur between the foraging behaviours of plants and soil animals and emphasizes the importance of integrating behavioural understanding in foraging studies involving plants. PMID:25268503

  4. Shade Avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Casal, Jorge J.

    2012-01-01

    The presence of neighboring vegetation modifies the light environment experienced by plants, generating signals that are perceived by phytochromes and cryptochromes. These signals cause large changes in plant body form and function, including enhanced growth of the hypocotyl and petioles, a more erect position of the leaves and early flowering in Arabidopsis thaliana. Collectively, these so-called shade-avoidance responses tend to reduce the degree of current or future shade by neighbors. Shade light signals increase the abundance of PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 4 (PIF4) and PIF5 proteins, promote the synthesis and redirection of auxin, favor the degradation of DELLA proteins and increase the expression of auxin, gibberellins and brassinosteroid-promoted genes, among other events downstream the photoreceptors. Selectively disrupting these events by genetic or pharmacological approaches affects shade-avoidance responses with an intensity that depends on the developmental context and the environment. Shade-avoidance responses provide a model to investigate the signaling networks used by plants to take advantage of the cues provided by the environment to adjust to the challenges imposed by the environment itself. PMID:22582029

  5. A field test for host discrimination and avoidance behavior for Rhagoletis pomonella flies in the western United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prezygotic isolation due to habitat choice is important to many models of speciation-with-gene-flow. Habitat choice is usually thought to occur through positive preferences of organisms for particular environments. However, avoidance of non-natal environments may also play a role in choice and have ...

  6. Effects of historic metal(loid) pollution on earthworm communities.

    PubMed

    Lévêque, Thibaut; Capowiez, Yvan; Schreck, Eva; Mombo, Stéphane; Mazzia, Christophe; Foucault, Yann; Dumat, Camille

    2015-04-01

    The effects of metal(loid)s (Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, As and Sb) from atmospheric fallout on earthworm communities were investigated in a fallow meadow located close to a 60-year-old lead recycling factory. We examined abundance and species diversity as well as the ratio of adult-to-juvenile earthworms, along five 140 m parallel transects. The influence of soil pollution on the earthworm community at the plot scale was put in context by measuring some physico-chemical soil characteristics (OM content, N content, pH), as well as total and bioavailable metal(loid) concentrations. Earthworms were absent in the highly polluted area (concentration from 30,000 to 5000 mg Pb·kg(-1) of dried soil), just near the factory (0-30 m area). A clear and almost linear relationship was observed between the proportion of juvenile versus mature earthworms and the pollution gradient, with a greater proportion of adults in the most polluted zones (only adult earthworms were observed from 30 to 50 m). Apporectodea longa was the main species present just near the smelter (80% of the earthworms were A. longa from 30 to 50 m). The earthworm density was found to increase progressively from five individuals·m(-2) at 30 m to 135 individuals·m(-2) at 140 m from the factory. On average, metal(loid) accumulation in earthworm tissues decreased linearly with distance from the factory. The concentration of exchangeable metal(loid)s in earthworm surface casts was higher than that of the overall soil. Finally, our field study clearly demonstrated that metal(loid) pollution has a direct impact on earthworm communities (abundance, diversity and proportion of juveniles) especially when Pb concentrations in soil were higher than 2050 mg·kg(-1). PMID:25616191

  7. A method for assessing sublethal effects of contaminants in soils to the earthworm, Eisenia foetida

    SciTech Connect

    Gibbs, M.H.; Wicker, L.F.; Stewart, A.J.

    1996-03-01

    The authors developed and tested a procedure that allows quantification of the effects of soil contaminants on earthworm (Eisenia foetida) growth and reproduction. The procedure monitors isolated pairs of earthworms and generates a higher ratio of data per organisms than other commonly used procedures. It also incorporates an accurate technique for measuring adult growth, has high sensitivity compared to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 14-d acute toxicity test, and is cost effective. The authors applied the method to a variety of soil-testing problems. A food-and-substrate trial using artificial soil demonstrated the sensitivity of the method and the need for food supplementation to stimulate earthworm reproduction. Application of the procedure to assess efficacy of a soil bioremediation technology revealed the advantage of measuring both growth and reproduction and highlighted the usefulness of a single integrated measure of these two responses. The method also was used as a fast-screening analysis for field soils in a large-scale ecological risk assessment. Finally, a reference toxicant, used in dilution series, demonstrated that responses of E. foetida using the authors` method were similar to their responses in the OECD artificial-soil test method. The results of this study indicate that this procedure can be used both for regulatory and compliance needs within the framework of ecological risk assessment.

  8. Endogenous lipids of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris.

    PubMed

    Albro, P W; Corbett, J T; Schroeder, J L

    1993-01-01

    Earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) were given [1-14C]-labeled palmitic acid by gavage on days 0 and 3, and sacrificed on day 7. The distribution of label among lipid classes indicated that glycerides, sterol esters, cerebrosides, sulfatides, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine and (or) phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylcholine, and sphingomyelin turn over in, or are synthesized by, the earthworm. Free fatty acids still had the highest specific radioactivity of any lipid class at the end of the experiment. Incorporation of label into sterol and hydrocarbon fractions was insignificant and there was no detectable label incorporated into gangliosides. Phosphatidylethanolamine apparently turned over quite slowly compared with other lipid classes, while the cerebroside fraction became highly labeled. Elongation of palmitic acid to stearate and oxidation to CO2 occurred extensively, but there was no evidence for desaturation. PMID:8398080

  9. Glycerophosphocholines of the earthworm, Pheretima asiatica.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, R; Noda, N; Miyahara, K

    1999-08-01

    The lipid composition of the earthworm, Pheretima asiatica (Annelida), was analyzed. Four glycerophospholipids, together with four known glycosphingolipids, were isolated in pure form. The former four were 1-alkyl 2-acyl glycerophosphocholines possessing a C17:0 and/or C18:1 fatty acid residue. Their structures, including the position and geometry of the double bond, were determined on the bases of chemical and spectral data. PMID:10478472

  10. Removal of mercury from soil with earthworms

    SciTech Connect

    Dorfman, D.

    1994-12-31

    Earthworms can live in soils containing high quantities of mercury, lead, and zinc. The worms (Lumbricus terrestris) concentrate these heavy metals in their tissues. The use of these worms to reduce the quantities of mercury and other heavy metals in soils may be practical. In July, 1993, a preliminary study was made using earthworms and soils with differing amounts of mercury, The quantities were 0.0 grams, 0.5 grams, and 1.0 grams of mercury as mercuric chloride. Earthworms were placed into these soils for two or more weeks, then harvested. The worms were rinsed with deionized water, then dissolved in nitric acid. Each sample was prepared for analysis with the addition of HNO{sub 3}, H{sub 2}SO{sub 4}, potassium permanganate, and hydrozylamine hydrochloride. A Jerome Instrument gold foil analyzer was used to determine levels of mercury after volatilizing the sample with stannous chloride. Worms exposed to contaminated soils remove 50 to 1,400 times as much mercury as do worms in control soils. In a hypothetical case, a site contaminated with one pound of mercury, 1,000 to 45,000 worms would be required to reduce mercury levels to background levels in the soil (about 250 ppb). After harvesting worms in contaminated soil they could be dried (90% of their weight is water), and the mercury regained by chemical processes. Soil conducive to earthworm survival is required. This includes a well aerated loamy soil, proper pH (7.0), and periodic watering and feeding. There are several methods of harvesting worms, including flooding and electricity. Large numbers of worms can be obtained from commercial growers.

  11. Production and characterization of bacterial cellulose by Leifsonia sp. CBNU-EW3 isolated from the earthworm, Eisenia fetida

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A total of five bacterial strains were isolated from earthworm, Eisenia fetida and examined for bacterial cellulose (BC) production in Hestrin–Schramm medium (HS). Among the five strains tested, CBNU-EW3 exhibited excellent BC production and was identified as Leifsonia sp. by 16S rDNA sequence analy...

  12. Determination of biomarkers for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) toxicity to earthworm (Eisenia fetida).

    PubMed

    Nam, Tae-Hoon; Jeon, Hwang-Ju; Mo, Hyung-Ho; Cho, Kijong; Ok, Yong-Sik; Lee, Sung-Eun

    2015-12-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds are persistent, carcinogenic, and mutagenic. When PAHs enter agricultural soils through sewage sludge, they pose an environmental risk to soil organisms, including earthworms. Therefore, we aimed to determine the toxic effects of PAHs on earthworms. Five PAHs were used: fluorene, anthracene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, and pyrene. Only fluorene and phenanthrene exhibited toxicity (LC50 values 394.09 and 114.02 g L(-1), respectively) against the earthworm Eisenia fetida. None of the other PAHs tested in this study enhanced the mortality of adult earthworm until the concentrations reached to 1000 g L(-1). After exposure to PAHs, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in E. fetida decreased in a concentration-dependent manner, and phenanthrene exhibited the strongest inhibitory effect on AChE, followed by fluorene. Activity of a representative detoxifying enzyme, carboxylesterase, was dramatically reduced in E. fetida exposed to all tested PAHs in comparison with that observed in the control test. The remaining glutathione S-transferase activity significantly decreased in E. fetida after exposure to PAHs. To profile small proteins <20 kDa, SELDI-TOF MS with Q10 ProteinChips was used, and 54 proteins were identified as being significantly different from the control (p = 0.05). Among them, the expressions of three proteins at 4501.8, 4712.4, and 4747.9 m/z were only enhanced in E. fetida exposed to anthracene and pyrene. One protein with 16,174 m/z was selectively expressed in E. fetida exposed to fluorene, phenanthrene, and fluoranthene. These proteins may be potential biomarkers for the five PAHs tested in E. fetida. PMID:25920560

  13. Biochemical diversity of betaines in earthworms.

    PubMed

    Liebeke, Manuel; Bundy, Jacob G

    2013-01-25

    The ability to accumulate osmoprotectant compounds, such as betaines, is an important evolutionary feature in many organisms. This is particularly the case for organisms that live in variable environments, which may have fluctuations in moisture and salinity levels. There is, surprisingly, very little known about betaines in soil invertebrates in general, and there is almost no information about earthworms - a group that are important 'ecosystem engineers' and key indicators of soil health. Here, we describe a fast and reliable (1)H-(13)C heteronuclear single quantum coherence (HSQC) 2D NMR approach for the metabolic profiling of a series of betaines and related metabolites in tissue extracts, and list (1)H and (13)C chemical shifts for the trimethylammonium signal for 23 such compounds. The analysis of ten different species from three different families (Lumbricidae, Megascolecidae and Glossoscolecidae) showed an unexpected diversity of betaines present in earthworms. In total ten betaines were identified, including hydroxyproline-betaine, proline-betaine, taurine-betaine, GABA-betaine and histidine-betaine, and a further eleven as-yet unassigned putative betaine metabolites detected. The findings clearly indicate a hitherto-unappreciated important role for betaine metabolism in earthworms. PMID:23261439

  14. Determination of arsenic compounds in earthworms

    SciTech Connect

    Geiszinger, A.; Goessler, W.; Kuehnelt, D.; Kosmus, W.; Francesconi, K.

    1998-08-01

    Earthworms and soil collected from six sites in Styria, Austria, were investigated for total arsenic concentrations by ICP-MS and for arsenic compounds by HPLC-ICP-MS. Total arsenic concentrations ranged from 3.2 to 17.9 mg/kg dry weight in the worms and from 5.0 to 79.7 mg/kg dry weight in the soil samples. There was no strict correlation between the total arsenic concentrations in the worms and soil. Arsenic compounds were extracted from soil and a freeze-dried earthworm sample with a methanol/water mixture (9:1, v/v). The extracts were evaporated to dryness, redissolved in water, and chromatographed on an anion- and a cation-exchange column. Arsenic compounds were identified by comparison of the retention times with known standards. Only traces of arsenic acid could be extracted from the soil with the methanol/water (9:1, v/v) mixture. The major arsenic compounds detected in the extracts of the earthworms were arsenous acid and arsenic acid. Arsenobetaine was present as a minor constituent, and traces of dimethylarsinic acid were also detected. Two dimethylarsinoyltribosides were also identified in the extracts by co-chromatography with standard compounds. This is the first report of the presence of dimethylarsinoylribosides in a terrestrial organism. Two other minor arsenic species were present in the extract, but their retention times did not match with the retention times of the available standards.

  15. Assembly of the Gigantic Hemoglobin of the Earthworm Lumbricus terrestris

    E-print Network

    Riggs, Austen

    Assembly of the Gigantic Hemoglobin of the Earthworm Lumbricus terrestris ROLES OF SUBUNIT 77030 The extracellular hemoglobin of the earthworm Lum- bricus terrestris has four major kinds of O2 not only by direct quantita- tive analysis of the intact hemoglobin but also by the fact that the addition

  16. Earthworm effects on movement of water and solutes in soil

    SciTech Connect

    Trojan, M.D.

    1993-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine and model the effects of earthworms on water and solute movement in soil. Microrelief and rainfall effects on water and solute movement were determined in packed buckets inoculated with earthworms (Aporrectodea tuberculata). A solution of Br[sup [minus

  17. ORIGINAL PAPER Tree rings detect earthworm invasions and their effects

    E-print Network

    Minnesota, University of

    floor thickness in deciduous forests of northern Minnesota that were eventually linked to the invasionORIGINAL PAPER Tree rings detect earthworm invasions and their effects in northern Hardwood forests of European earthworms into the forests of northern North America are causing dramatic changes in forest floor

  18. Earthworm mucus enhanced cadmium accumulation of tomato seedlings.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shujie; Tang, Chao; Li, Huixin; Wei, Zhenggui; Hu, Feng

    2010-01-01

    A hydroponic experiment was carried out to study the effects of earthworm (Metaphire guillemi) mucus on tomato Hezuo 903 (Lycopersicon esculentum) seedlings growth and cadmium (Cd) accumulation. The experiment included three levels of Cd addition rates (0, 5 and 10 mg L(-1)), two levels of earthworm mucus addition (20 and 40 ml per pot) treatments (EML and EMH), and the control (CK). The results showed that compared with the control earthworm mucus addition significantly increased shoot and root dry weights of tomato seedling by 13.8-44.5% and 12.4-33.2%, respectively. In contrast, high earthworm mucus addition (EMH) led to a 4% shoot weights decrease at 10 mg Cd L(-1) compared with CK. Cadmium concentrations and accumulations in both shoot and root of tomato seedlings were significantly increased (p < 0.01) with increasing Cd and earthworm mucus addition levels. Cadmium concentrations and accumulations in root were much higher than those in corresponding shoot. Present study indicated that earthworm mucus could enhance tomato seedlings growth and Cd accumulation. Our work might be not only very useful for understanding how earthworms enhance plant growth and heavy metals accumulation, but also for further application of earthworms in phytoextraction. PMID:20734626

  19. (-)-Linalool, a naturally occurring monoterpene compound, impairs memory acquisition in the object recognition task, inhibitory avoidance test and habituation to a novel environment in rats.

    PubMed

    Coelho, V R; Gianesini, J; Von Borowski, R; Mazzardo-Martins, L; Martins, D F; Picada, J N; Santos, A R S; Brum, L F S; Pereira, P

    2011-07-15

    It is known that (-)-linalool is a competitive antagonist of NMDA receptors, which play a key role in the learning and memory processes; however, only a few studies have reported a possible interference of (-)-linalool in memory. The purpose of this study was to investigate the (-)-linalool effects on acquisition of short- and long-term memories through the objects recognition task, inhibitory avoidance test and habituation to a novel environment. Furthermore, the open field test was used to investigate the interference of (-)-linalool in motivation, locomotion and exploration by animals. Wistar male adult rats received an intraperitoneal injection (i.p.) of saline (NaCl 0.9%), tween 5% or (-)-linalool (50 or 100 mg/kg) before training in the tasks; MK-801 (0.1 mg/kg), a glutamate antagonist, was used as positive control. Short-term (STM) and long-term (LTM) memories were tested 1.5 and 24 h after training, respectively, in the inhibitory avoidance and recognition objects. The results suggested that (-)-linalool (as 50- and 100-mg/kg doses) impaired LTM acquisition, but not STM acquisition, in the object recognition task. In the inhibitory avoidance test, animals receiving linalool (both doses) showed impairment in acquisition of both memories measured. In the open field test, the animals that received (-)-linalool showed no significant difference in the crossings and latency to start the locomotion in any of the doses tested, although (-)-linalool 100 mg/kg reduced rearing behavior. When re-exposed to open field 24 h after training, the rats that received (-)-linalool 100mg/kg showed no habituation. Taken together, these data suggested that (-)-linalool was able to impair the acquisition of memory in rats, which can be associated to (-)-linalool antagonist capacity as regards NMDA glutamatergic receptors, since other glutamate antagonists also seem to affect memory. PMID:21420842

  20. Evaluation of a remediation process for lead contaminated soil by toxicity bioassays: Plants and earthworms

    SciTech Connect

    Chana, L.W.; Smith, K.

    1995-12-31

    Soil from a site contaminated with heavy metals (predominantly lead) was treated using the TERRAMET{reg_sign} lead extraction process. Earthworm acute toxicity and plant seed germination/root elongation (SG/RE) bioassays were used to evaluate the toxicity of the soil before treatment (BT), after treatment (AT) and after treatment, followed by rinsing with water, intended to simulate exposure to rainfall (RT). The results showed BT and RT were not toxic to earthworms in a 14-day exposure while AT showed significant toxicity. The LC{sub 50} values for Eisenia and Lumbricus were 44.04 and 28.83 (as % AT soil/test soil mixture), respectively. The phytotoxicity data indicated that all 3 test soils significantly inhibited lettuce SG/RE in a dose-related manner, with AT being the most phytotoxic. In oats, RT had no effect on SG/RE and AT was more toxic than BT. For the two local-site grass seeds tested (blue grama and sideoat grama), the AT soil was the most phytotoxic followed by BT and RT. The results suggest that the soil after this remediation process exerts significant toxicity on both plant and earthworm, but after a rain-simulating rinse, the toxicity is the same as, or less than, the toxicity before treatment. Further studies are in progress to confirm the assumption that the high salt concentrations generated by acidification during the leaching process, followed by neutralization are responsible for the increased toxicity of unrinsed soil in both plant and earthworm.

  1. Near infrared spectroscopy for identifying the earthworm's participation to soil macroaggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zangerlé, Anne; Hissler, Christophe; Lavelle, Patrick

    2014-05-01

    As ecosystem engineers, earthworms are major actors of soil aggregation, a process that drives the delivery of ecosystem services by soils. However, our inability to identify the origins of different types of macroaggregates found in soils, the macroaggregates persistence in the soil matrix, their degradation rates, and their role in the dynamics of soil organic matter (SOM) and nutrients remain poorly known. Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) was tested as a tool to discriminate between origins of macroaggregates, collected in the field at the soil surface and in the 25 first cm of the soil. In parallel, NIR spectral signatures of earthworm casts were measured, during the ageing processes of the aggregates. During the first experiment, earthworm casts of unknown origins, collected in the field, were identified by comparing their NIR spectral signatures to the signatures of macroaggregates produced by the same ecosystem engineers in laboratory conditions, living in the same soil. Principal component analysis of NIR spectra permitted us to characterize macroaggregates of each species by a specific spectral signature (p<0.001; total variance explained: 38.3%). The organic matters included in the soil macroaggregates present quantitative and qualitative differences according to the earthworm species that produced them. During the second experiment, realized in laboratory conditions, NIR spectral signatures were measured in subterranean and surface casts of different earthworm species, incubated in controlled laboratory conditions for different periods of time. In parallel, dynamics of total amounts of C and N were assessed in ageing macroaggregates. As casts aged, NIR spectral signatures went through three main stages in the maturation process: (1) rapid changes in the NIR signal during the first 48 h, (2) a maturation period from days 3-30 with much slower change in NIR spectral signatures and (3) a further stage of maturation (days 45-90), where cast spectral signature and C and N contents converged towards those of the control soil. The first two axes of the PCA corresponded closely to the C and N content, respectively, of the casts. These two complementary experiments demonstrate that NIRS allows identifying origins of macroaggregates produced by various earthworm species in different environments. Other complementary experiences we realized in laboratory conditions highlight that OM modifications, caused in aging casts, are large enough to be detected by NIRS in macroaggregates and to estimate a cast's age. We propose a new method to analyse soil macroaggregates origins, to quantify the relative contribution of ecosystem engineers to soil aggregation and to evaluate soil macroaggregates dynamics in the soil structure.

  2. Stimulus conflict triggers behavioral avoidance.

    PubMed

    Dignath, David; Eder, Andreas B

    2015-12-01

    According to a recent extension of the conflict-monitoring theory, conflict between two competing response tendencies is registered as an aversive event and triggers a motivation to avoid the source of conflict. In the present study, we tested this assumption. Over five experiments, we examined whether conflict is associated with an avoidance motivation and whether stimulus conflict or response conflict triggers an avoidance tendency. Participants first performed a color Stroop task. In a subsequent motivation test, participants responded to Stroop stimuli with approach- and avoidance-related lever movements. These results showed that Stroop-conflict stimuli increased the frequency of avoidance responses in a free-choice motivation test, and also increased the speed of avoidance relative to approach responses in a forced-choice test. High and low proportions of response conflict in the Stroop task had no effect on avoidance in the motivation test. Avoidance of conflict was, however, obtained even with new conflict stimuli that had not been presented before in a Stroop task, and when the Stroop task was replaced with an unrelated filler task. Taken together, these results suggest that stimulus conflict is sufficient to trigger avoidance. PMID:25931151

  3. Toxic effects of PCDD/Fs mixtures on Eisenia andrei earthworms.

    PubMed

    Belmeskine, Hayet; Haddad, Sami; Vandelac, Louise; Sauvé, Sébastien; Fournier, Michel

    2012-06-01

    The earthworms Eisenia andrei were used to study the toxicity of PCDD/Fs mixtures to earthworms during 28 day of exposure. The experiments were performed on artificial soils contaminated with dioxins at levels of C1 (0.1 ng 2, 3, 7, 8-TCDD/g soil), C2 (1 ng 2, 3, 7, 8-TCDD/g soil) and C3 (1.5 ng 2, 3, 7, 8-TCDD/g soil). Effects of PCDD/Fs on survival, growth rate and immune responses; phagocytosis and NK-like cell activity, were determined. No mortality was observed at the lowest concentration (C1), while mortalities of 10 and 100% were noted at the highest concentrations tested C2 and C3, respectively. A significant reduction in growth rate was obtained at C2 and no effects at C1. Additionally, an inhibition of phagocytic activity and efficiency was observed at higher concentrations. In contrast, an enhancement of NK-like cell activity was shown at lower concentrations. Based on our results, we hypothesize that the PCDD/Fs mixtures tested at levels equal or higher to C2 (1 ng 2378-TCDD/g soil), lead to adverse effects on biotic potential and immune functions in E. andrei earthworms. PMID:22401954

  4. Diversification patterns in cosmopolitan earthworms: similar mode but different tempo.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Rosa; Novo, Marta; Marchán, Daniel F; Díaz Cosín, Darío J

    2016-01-01

    Comparative phylogeography of widespread species that span the same geographic areas can elucidate the influence of historical events on current patterns of biodiversity, identify patterns of co-vicariance, and therefore aid the understanding of general evolutionary processes. Soil-dwelling animals present characteristics that make them suitable for testing the effect of the palaeogeographical events on their distribution and diversification, such as their low vagility and population structure. In this study, we shed light on the spatial lineage diversification and cladogenesis of two widely-distributed cosmopolitan and invasive earthworms (Aporrectodea rosea and A. trapezoides) in their putative ancestral area of origin, the Western Palearctic, and a few populations in North America. Molecular analyses were conducted on mitochondrial and nuclear markers from 220 (A. rosea) and 198 (A. trapezoides) individuals collected in 56 and 57 localities, respectively. We compared the lineage diversification pattern, genetic variability and cladogenesis in both species. Our findings showed that both species underwent a similar diversification from the Western Mediterranean plates to (i) Northern Europe and (ii) the Iberian Peninsula, establishing their two main lineages. Their diversification was in concordance with the main palaeogeographical events in the Iberian Peninsula and Western Mediterranean, followed by a later colonization of North America from individuals derived exclusively from the Eurosiberian lineage. Their diversification occurred at different times, with the diversification of A. rosea being potentially more ancient. Cladogenesis in both species seems to have been modelled only by the Mediterranean plate shifts, ignoring historical climatic oscillations such as the Messinian salinity crisis. Their high genetic variability, strong population structure, lack of gene flow and stepping-stone-like cladogenesis suggest the existence of different cryptic lineages. Our results may indicate a recurrent event in invasive earthworms within their ancestral distribution areas in the Western Palearctic. PMID:26299880

  5. Earthworms increase plant production: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    van Groenigen, Jan Willem; Lubbers, Ingrid M; Vos, Hannah M J; Brown, George G; De Deyn, Gerlinde B; van Groenigen, Kees Jan

    2014-01-01

    To meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population with minimal environmental impact, we need comprehensive and quantitative knowledge of ecological factors affecting crop production. Earthworms are among the most important soil dwelling invertebrates. Their activity affects both biotic and abiotic soil properties, in turn affecting plant growth. Yet, studies on the effect of earthworm presence on crop yields have not been quantitatively synthesized. Here we show, using meta-analysis, that on average earthworm presence in agroecosystems leads to a 25% increase in crop yield and a 23% increase in aboveground biomass. The magnitude of these effects depends on presence of crop residue, earthworm density and type and rate of fertilization. The positive effects of earthworms become larger when more residue is returned to the soil, but disappear when soil nitrogen availability is high. This suggests that earthworms stimulate plant growth predominantly through releasing nitrogen locked away in residue and soil organic matter. Our results therefore imply that earthworms are of crucial importance to decrease the yield gap of farmers who can't -or won't- use nitrogen fertilizer. PMID:25219785

  6. The comparative effects of metals on the hatching of earthworm cocoons.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Shrawan K; Srivastava, Richa; Kuittinen, Marko; Mathur, Neeraj; Saxena, Prem N

    2006-10-01

    To establish the use of Metaphire posthuma as a sensitive model for ecotoxicological studies, the comparative effects of five metals on the hatching profiles of the cocoons of the earthworms, Metaphire posthuma, Eisenia foetida and Perionyx excavatus, were studied. The cocoons of the three species of earthworms were exposed to copper, chromium (III), chromium (VI), lead and zinc at 1.25, 2.5, 5.0 and 10.0 ppm. Viable cocoons were incubated at 20 +/- degrees C by using the immersion method. The results indicated that the inhibition of cocoon hatching was concentration dependent. The normal hatching, delayed hatching and non-viability of cocoons were recorded. At a concentration of 1.25 ppm, there was almost no effect on the hatching of the cocoons of all three species of earthworms, except when exposed to chromium (VI), but higher concentrations (2.5 and 5.0 ppm) caused severe effects. It was concluded that M. posthuma was more sensitive than the other two species, and that it is a suitable model for use in ecotoxicity testing. PMID:17121473

  7. [Factor optimization for municipal domestic wastes treatment by earthworms and its concentration of heavy metals].

    PubMed

    Chen, Yucheng; Pi, Guangjie; Huang, Lunxian; Ding, Derong; Yang, Yong

    2003-11-01

    Simulated experiments, plot tests and applied stuties were conducted to determine the effects of the composition of municipal domestic wastes, their softening and culturing methods, and circumstance temperature on the treatment of municipal domestic wastes (MDW) by earthworms. The results showed that the decomposition rate of MDW and the multiplication rate of earthworms could be elevated by enhancing the C/N ratio of MDW, softening it with earthworms excrements, and culturing with indoor layer at 20 degrees C. Meanwhile, the treatment of MDW was also improved by the hybridization of tamed Chongqing Aisenia foetida and Caliginsoa. The concentration coefficient of heavy metals had no correlation with intenerating method, but were depended upon the types of heavy metals and the culturing method. Arsenic and cadmium were the most easily concentrated, while mercury oppositely. The concentration element in ridge culture was more easily than that in layer culture, and the concentration element in outdoors culture was more easily than that in indoors culturing. PMID:14997667

  8. A filter circuit board for the Earthworm Seismic Data Acquisition System

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jensen, Edward Gray

    2000-01-01

    The Earthworm system is a seismic network data acquisition and processing system used by the Northern California Seismic Network as well as many other seismic networks. The input to the system is comprised of many realtime electronic waveforms fed to a multi-channel digitizer on a PC platform. The digitizer consists of one or more National Instruments Corp. AMUX–64T multiplexer boards attached to an A/D converter board located in the computer. Originally, passive filters were installed on the multiplexers to eliminate electronic noise picked up in cabling. It was later discovered that a small amount of crosstalk occurred between successive channels in the digitizing sequence. Though small, this crosstalk will cause what appear to be small earthquake arrivals at the wrong time on some channels. This can result in erroneous calculation of earthquake arrival times, particularly by automated algorithms. To deal with this problem, an Earthworm filter board was developed to provide the needed filtering while eliminating crosstalk. This report describes the tests performed to find a suitable solution, and the design of the circuit board. Also included are all the details needed to build and install this board in an Earthworm system or any other system using the AMUX–64T board. Available below is the report in PDF format as well as an archive file containing the circuit board manufacturing information.

  9. Enantiomer-specific toxicity and bioaccumulation of alpha-cypermethrin to earthworm Eisenia fetida.

    PubMed

    Diao, Jinling; Xu, Peng; Liu, Donghui; Lu, Yule; Zhou, Zhiqiang

    2011-09-15

    Alpha-cypermethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, is highly effective against a wide range of chewing and sucking insects in crops, and it is a racemic mixture of two enantiomers ((+)-1R-cis-?S+(-)-1S-cis-?R). Studies about the toxicity of alpha-cypermethrin to non-target organisms are mainly focused on aquatic organisms, whereas information regarding terrestrial organisms is relatively much less. Very little report about its enantioselective toxicity is known, so the present study tested the enantiomer-specific acute toxicity to earthworm Eisenia fetida. Experiment about bioaccumulation of two enantiomers in soil was conducted, peak-shaped accumulation curves were observed for both enantiomers, and the calculated biota to soil accumulations factor (BSAF) have significant difference between the two enantiomers. It was obvious that earthworm can uptake alpha-cypermethrin enantioselectively, preferentially accumulating (-)-(1S-cis-?R)-enantiomer. Great difference in toxicity to earthworm between two enantiomers was found, and the calculated LC(50) values for (+)-(1R-cis-?S)-, (-)-(1S-cis-?R)-, and rac-alpha-cypermethrin were 49.53, 1663.87 and 165.61 ng/cm(2), respectively. The acute toxicity of alpha-cypermethrin enantiomers was enantioselective. PMID:21724328

  10. Application of microcosmic system for assessment of insecticide effects on biomarker responses in ecologically different earthworm species.

    PubMed

    Velki, Mirna; Hackenberger, Branimir K; Lon?ari?, Zeljka; Hackenberger, Davorka K

    2014-06-01

    Earthworms from different ecological categories--epigeic Eisenia andrei and Lumbricus rubellus, endogeic Octolasion lacteum and anecic Lumbricus terrestris--were exposed in a microcosmic system to three commonly used insecticides. The effects of the insecticides were evaluated by measuring the following molecular biomarkers-the activities of AChE, CES, CAT, GST and the concentration of GSH. The results showed that environmentally relevant doses of organophosphates dimethoate and pirimiphos-methyl significantly affected the measured biomarkers, whereas pyrethroid deltamethrin did not affect the earthworms at the recommended agricultural dose. Considering the ecological category of earthworms, the results were inhomogeneous and species-specific differences in the biomarker responses were recorded. Since the biomarker responses of the investigated earthworm species were different after exposure to organophosphates in a microcosm compared to the exposure via standardized toxicity tests, two types of species sensitivity should be distinguished-physiological and environmental sensitivity. In addition, the hormetic effect of organophosphates on AChE and CES activities was recorded. The detection of hormesis in a microcosm is of great importance for future environmental research and soil biomonitoring, since in a realistic environment pollutants usually occur at low concentrations that could cause a hormetic effect. The results demonstrate the importance of the application of microcosmic systems in the assessment of the effects of environmental pollutants and the necessity of taking into account the possible differences between physiological and environmental species sensitivity. PMID:24650551

  11. Analysis of Eisenia fetida earthworm responses to sub-lethal C60 nanoparticle exposure using (1)H-NMR based metabolomics.

    PubMed

    Lankadurai, Brian P; Nagato, Edward G; Simpson, André J; Simpson, Myrna J

    2015-10-01

    The enhanced production and environmental release of Buckminsterfullerene (C60) nanoparticles will likely increase the exposure and risk to soil dwelling organisms. We used (1)H NMR-based metabolomics to investigate the response of Eisenia fetida earthworms to sub-lethal C60 nanoparticle exposure in both contact and soil tests. Principal component analysis of (1)H NMR data showed clear separation between controls and exposed earthworms after just 2 days of exposure, however as exposure time increased the separation decreased in soil but increased in contact tests suggesting potential adaptation during soil exposure. The amino acids leucine, valine, isoleucine and phenylalanine, the nucleoside inosine, and the sugars glucose and maltose emerged as potential bioindicators of exposure to C60 nanoparticles. The significant responses observed in earthworms using NMR-based metabolomics after exposure to very low concentrations of C60 nanoparticles suggests the need for further investigations to better understand and predict their sub-lethal toxicity. PMID:26024814

  12. Different sensitivities of biomarker responses in two epigeic earthworm species after exposure to pyrethroid and organophosphate insecticides.

    PubMed

    Velki, Mirna; Hackenberger, Branimir K

    2013-10-01

    In many studies that investigate the toxic effects of pollutants on earthworms, experiments are performed using only one species of earthworms, most commonly the Eisenia species. However, the differences in sensitivities of different earthworm species could potentially lead to an underestimation of environmental aspects of pollutants. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the sensitivity of biomarker responses of Eisenia andrei, an epigeic compost species commonly used in laboratory experiments, with those of Lumbricus rubellus, an epigeic species widely distributed in temperate regions. The earthworms were exposed to the three commonly used insecticides: organophosphates dimethoate (0.03, 0.3, and 3 mg kg(-1)) and pirimiphos-methyl (0.02, 0.2, and 2 mg kg(-1)), as well as pyrethroid deltamethrin (0.01, 0.1, and 0.5 mg kg(-1)), for 1 and 15 days using an artificial soil test. The effects of the pesticides were assessed by measuring the activities of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterase (CES), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST) as well as the concentration of glutathione (GSH). The pesticides caused a significant inhibition of AChE and CES activities and significant changes in activities of CAT, GST, and GSH concentration in both earthworm species. A comparison of biomarker responses between E. andrei and L. rubellus showed significant differences; E. andrei proved to be less susceptible to pesticide exposure than L. rubellus. In addition, the results from the filter-paper contact test mortality experiments showed that lethal concentrations were lower for L. rubellus compared with the E. andrei, further showing a greater sensitivity of L. rubellus. The difference in sensitivities of these epigeic species should be taken into account when conducting toxicity studies. PMID:23811990

  13. Chronic mild stress in submissive mice: Marked polydipsia and social avoidance without hedonic deficit in the sucrose preference test.

    PubMed

    Gross, Moshe; Pinhasov, Albert

    2016-02-01

    In the Chronic Mild Stress (CMS) protocol, rodents are exposed to unpredictable stressors to induce anxiety-like behavior and hedonic deficit in the Sucrose Preference test (SPT). Since CMS-induced anxiety- and anhedonic-like behavior may depend upon individual vulnerability to stress, we hypothesized that selectively bred Submissive (Sub) mice would exhibit heightened anxiety- and anhedonic-like behavior, in response to CMS exposure. We anticipated that the testing of Sub mice alongside their Wt counterparts in a battery of behavioral assays would identify parameters most sensitive to CMS effects. To test these assumptions, Sub mice and their outbred Sabra (Wt) counterparts underwent a five-week CMS-SPT regimen. CMS exposure led to reduced preference for sucrose (sucrose-sweetened water as percent of total intake) among both mouse strains (p<0.01 Wt; p<0.05 Sub). However, this effect was attributed to CMS-induced polydipsia, indicated by mice's increased water consumption, (p<0.01 Wt and Sub), without changes in sucrose intake. Furthermore, CMS-exposed Sub mice, but not Wt, demonstrated impaired social exploration in the Three Chamber test (p<0.05) and anxiety-like effects in the Elevated Plus Maze (p<0.05). Moreover, in a separate experiment, social isolation alone was sufficient to induce polydipsia in Sub mice, without affecting Wt mice's drinking behavior. The present findings suggest that the EPM and Three Chamber tests may be valuable complementary measures of CMS effects, alongside the Sucrose Preference test, and introduce the Sub mouse strain for use in study of susceptibility to stress. PMID:26522843

  14. Glutathione S-transferases in earthworms (Lumbricidae).

    PubMed Central

    Stenersen, J; Guthenberg, C; Mannervik, B

    1979-01-01

    Glutathione S-transferase activity (EC 2.5.1.18) was demonstrated in six species of earthworms of the family Lumbricidae: Eisenia foetida, Lumbricus terrestris, Lumbricus rebellus, Allolobophora longa, Allolobophora caliginosa and Allolobophora chlorotica. Considerable activity was obtained with 1-chlorl-2,4-dinitrobenzene and low activity with 3,4-dichloro-1-nitrobenzene, but no enzymic reaction was detectable with sulphobromophthalein 1,2-epoxy-3-(p-nitrophenoxy)propane of trans-4-phenylbut-3-en-2-one as substrates. Enzyme prepartations from L. rubellus and A. longa were the most active, whereas A. chlorotica gave the lowest activity. The ratio of the activities obtained with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene and 3,4-cichloro-1-nitrobenzene was very different in the various species, but no phylogenetic pattern was evident. Isoelectric focusing gave rise to various activity peaks as measured with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene as a substrate, and the activity profiles of the species examined appeared to follow a taxonomic pattern. The activity of Allolobophora had the highest peak in the alkaline region, whereas that of Lumbricus had the highest peak in the acid region. Eisenia showed a very complex activity profile, with the highest peak ne pH 7. As determined by an enzymic assay, all the species contained glutathione, on an average about 0.5 mumol/g wet wt. Conjugation with glutathione catalysed by glutathione S-transferases may consequently be an important detoxification mechanism in earthworms. PMID:486159

  15. Earthworms produce phytochelatins in response to arsenic.

    PubMed

    Liebeke, Manuel; Garcia-Perez, Isabel; Anderson, Craig J; Lawlor, Alan J; Bennett, Mark H; Morris, Ceri A; Kille, Peter; Svendsen, Claus; Spurgeon, David J; Bundy, Jacob G

    2013-01-01

    Phytochelatins are small cysteine-rich non-ribosomal peptides that chelate soft metal and metalloid ions, such as cadmium and arsenic. They are widely produced by plants and microbes; phytochelatin synthase genes are also present in animal species from several different phyla, but there is still little known about whether these genes are functional in animals, and if so, whether they are metal-responsive. We analysed phytochelatin production by direct chemical analysis in Lumbricus rubellus earthworms exposed to arsenic for a 28 day period, and found that arsenic clearly induced phytochelatin production in a dose-dependent manner. It was necessary to measure the phytochelatin metabolite concentrations directly, as there was no upregulation of phytochelatin synthase gene expression after 28 days: phytochelatin synthesis appears not to be transcriptionally regulated in animals. A further untargetted metabolomic analysis also found changes in metabolites associated with the transsulfuration pathway, which channels sulfur flux from methionine for phytochelatin synthesis. There was no evidence of biological transformation of arsenic (e.g. into methylated species) as a result of laboratory arsenic exposure. Finally, we compared wild populations of earthworms sampled from the field, and found that both arsenic-contaminated and cadmium-contaminated mine site worms had elevated phytochelatin concentrations. PMID:24278409

  16. Metals and terrestrial earthworms (Annelida: Oligochaeta)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.

    1981-01-01

    The toxicity of metals to earthworms and the residues of metals found in earthworms are reviewed. Meta 1 concentrations are rarely high enough to be toxic to worms, but copper may reduce populations in orchards heavily treated with fungicides and in soil contaminated with pig wastes. The metals in some industrial sewage sludges may interfere with using sludge in vermiculture. Storage ratios (the concentration of a metal in worms divided by the concentration in soil) tend to be highest in infertile soil and lowest in media rich in organic matter, such as sewage sludge. Cadmium, gold, and selenium are highly concentrated by worms. Lead concentrations in worms may be very high, but are generally lower than concentrations in soil. Body burdens of both copper and zinc seem to be regulated by worms. Because worms are part of the food webs of many wildlife species, and also because they are potentially valuable feed supplements for domestic animals, the possible toxic effects of cadmium and other metals should be studied. Worms can make metals more available to food webs and can redistribute them in soil.

  17. Earthworms Produce phytochelatins in Response to Arsenic

    PubMed Central

    Lawlor, Alan J.; Bennett, Mark H.; Morris, Ceri A.; Kille, Peter; Svendsen, Claus; Spurgeon, David J.; Bundy, Jacob G.

    2013-01-01

    Phytochelatins are small cysteine-rich non-ribosomal peptides that chelate soft metal and metalloid ions, such as cadmium and arsenic. They are widely produced by plants and microbes; phytochelatin synthase genes are also present in animal species from several different phyla, but there is still little known about whether these genes are functional in animals, and if so, whether they are metal-responsive. We analysed phytochelatin production by direct chemical analysis in Lumbricus rubellus earthworms exposed to arsenic for a 28 day period, and found that arsenic clearly induced phytochelatin production in a dose-dependent manner. It was necessary to measure the phytochelatin metabolite concentrations directly, as there was no upregulation of phytochelatin synthase gene expression after 28 days: phytochelatin synthesis appears not to be transcriptionally regulated in animals. A further untargetted metabolomic analysis also found changes in metabolites associated with the transsulfuration pathway, which channels sulfur flux from methionine for phytochelatin synthesis. There was no evidence of biological transformation of arsenic (e.g. into methylated species) as a result of laboratory arsenic exposure. Finally, we compared wild populations of earthworms sampled from the field, and found that both arsenic-contaminated and cadmium-contaminated mine site worms had elevated phytochelatin concentrations. PMID:24278409

  18. Unearthing the genome of the earthworm Lumbricus rubellus 

    E-print Network

    Elsworth, Benjamin Lloyd

    2013-06-29

    The earthworm has long been of interest to biologists, most notably Charles Darwin, who was the first to reveal their true role as eco-engineers of the soil. However, to fully understand an animal one needs to combine ...

  19. ORIGINAL PAPER Resident plant diversity and introduced earthworms have

    E-print Network

    Minnesota, University of

    such as earthworms can also affect invasibility by reducing leaf litter stocks and influencing soil conditions, Box G-B225, 34 Olive St., Providence, RI 02912, USA e-mail: whitf015@umn.edu N. Eisenhauer Institute

  20. EPR detection of hydroxyl radical generation and oxidative perturbations in lead-exposed earthworms (Eisenia fetida) in the presence of decabromodiphenyl ether.

    PubMed

    Liu, Kou; Chen, Lin; Zhang, Wei; Lin, Kuangfei; Zhao, Li

    2015-03-01

    Lead (Pb) and decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE209) are the main contaminants at e-waste recycling sites, and their potential toxicological effects on terrestrial organisms have received extensive attention. However, the impacts on the oxidative perturbations and hydroxyl radical (·OH) generation in earthworms of exposure to the two chemicals remain almost unknown. Therefore, indoor incubation tests were performed on control and contaminated soil samples to determine the effects of Pb in earthworms Eisenia fetida in the presence of BDE209 through the use of several biomarkers in microcosms. The results have demonstrated that the addition of BDE209 (1 or 10 mg kg(-1)) decreased the enzymatic activities [superoxide dismutase, catalase (CAT), peroxidase] and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) compared with exposure to BDE209 alone (50, 250 or 500 mg kg(-1)). Electron paramagnetic resonance spectra indicated that ·OH radicals in earthworms were significantly induced by Pb in the presence of BDE209. The changing pattern of malondialdehyde (MDA) contents was accordant with that of ·OH intensity suggested that reactive oxygen species might lead to cellular lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, CAT exhibited more sensitive response to single Pb exposure than the other biomarkers, while T-AOC, ·OH and MDA might be three most sensitive biomarkers in earthworms after simultaneous exposure to Pb and BDE209. The results of these observations suggested that oxidative stress appeared in E. fetida, and it may play an important role in inducing the Pb and BDE209 toxicity to earthworms. PMID:25373545

  1. Earthworm Uptake Routes and Rates of Ionic Zn and ZnO Nanoparticles at Realistic Concentrations, Traced Using Stable Isotope Labeling.

    PubMed

    Laycock, Adam; Diez-Ortiz, Maria; Larner, Fiona; Dybowska, Agnieszka; Spurgeon, David; Valsami-Jones, Eugenia; Rehkämper, Mark; Svendsen, Claus

    2016-01-01

    The environmental behavior of ZnO nanoparticles (NPs), their availability to, uptake pathways by, and biokinetics in the earthworm Lumbricus rubellus were investigated using stable isotope labeling. Zinc isotopically enriched to 99.5% in (68)Zn ((68)Zn-E) was used to prepare (68)ZnO NPs and a dissolved phase of (68)Zn for comparison. These materials enabled tracing of environmentally relevant (below background) NP additions to soil of only 5 mg (68)Zn-E kg(-1). Uptake routes were isolated by introducing earthworms with sealed and unsealed mouthparts into test soils for up to 72 h. The Zn isotope compositions of the soils, pore waters and earthworms were then determined using multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Detection and quantification of (68)Zn-E in earthworm tissue was possible after only 4 h of dermal exposure, when the uptake of (68)Zn-E had increased the total Zn tissue concentration by 0.03‰. The results demonstrate that at these realistic exposure concentrations there is no distinguishable difference between the uptake of the two forms of Zn by the earthworm L. rubellus, with the dietary pathway accounting for ?95% of total uptake. This stands in contrast to comparable studies where high dosing levels were used and dermal uptake is dominant. PMID:26588002

  2. 1H NMR Metabolomics: A New Molecular Level Tool for Assessment of Organic Contaminant Bioavailability to Earthworms in Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKelvie, J. R.; Wolfe, D. M.; Celejewski, M. A.; Simpson, A. J.; Simpson, M. J.

    2009-05-01

    At contaminated field sites, the complete removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is rarely achieved since a portion of these compounds remain tightly bound to the soil matrix. The concentration of PAHs in soil typically decreases until a plateau is reached, at which point the remaining contaminant is considered non- bioavailable. Numerous soil extraction techniques, including cyclodextrin extraction, have been developed to estimate contaminant bioavailability. However, these are indirect methods that do not directly measure the response of organisms to chemical exposure in soil. Earthworm metabolomics offers a promising new way to directly evaluate the bioavailability and toxicity of contaminants in soil. Metabolomics involves the measurement of changes in small-molecule metabolites, including sugars and amino acids, in living organisms due to an external stress, such as contaminant exposure. The objective of this study was to compare cyclodextrin extraction of soil (a bioavailability proxy) and 1H NMR metabolomic analysis of aqueous earthworm tissue extracts as indicators of contaminant bioavailability. A 30 day laboratory experiment was conducted using phenanthrene-spiked sphagnum peat soil and the OECD recommended earthworm species for toxicity testing, Eisenia fetida. The initial phenanthrene concentration in the soil was 320 mg/kg. Rapid biodegradation of phenanthrene occurred and concentrations decreased to 16 mg/kg within 15 days. After 15 days, phenanthrene biodegradation slowed and cyclodextrin extraction of the soil suggested that phenanthrene was no longer bioavailable. Multivariate statistical analysis of the 1H NMR spectra for E. fetida tissue extracts indicated that the metabolic profile of phenanthrene exposed earthworms differed from control earthworms throughout the 30 day experiment. This suggests that the residual phenanthrene remaining in the soil after 15 days continued to elicit a metabolic response, even though it was not extractable using cyclodextrin. Hence, while cyclodextrin extraction may serve as a good proxy for microbial bioavailability, our results suggest that it may not serve as a good proxy for earthworm bioavailability. 1H NMR metabolomics therefore offers considerable promise as a novel, molecular-level method to directly monitor earthworm bioavailability of potentially toxic and persistent compounds in the environment.

  3. Ecotoxicological effects on earthworms of fresh and aged nano-sized zero-valent iron (nZVI) in soil.

    PubMed

    El-Temsah, Yehia S; Joner, Erik J

    2012-09-01

    Although nano-sized zero-valent iron (nZVI) has been used for several years for remediation of contaminated soils and aquifers, only a limited number of studies have investigated secondary environmental effects and ecotoxicity of nZVI to soil organisms. In this study we therefore measured the ecotoxicological effects of nZVI coated with carboxymethyl cellulose on two species of earthworms, Eisenia fetida and Lumbricus rubellus, using standard OECD methods with sandy loam and artificial OECD soil. Earthworms were exposed to nZVI concentrations ranging from 0 to 2000 mg nZVI kg soil(-1) added freshly to soil or aged in non-saturated soil for 30 d prior to exposure. Regarding avoidance, weight changes and mortality, both earthworm species were significantly affected by nZVI concentrations ?500 mg kg(-1)soil. Reproduction was affected also at 100 mg nZVI kg(-1). Toxicity effects of nZVI were reduced after aging with larger differences between soils compared to non-aged soils. We conclude that doses ?500 mg nZVI kg(-1) are likely to give acute adverse effects on soil organisms, and that effects on reproduction may occur at significantly lower concentrations. PMID:22595530

  4. Gene Expression Analysis of CL-20-induced Reversible Neurotoxicity Reveals GABAA Receptors as Potential Target in the Earthworm Eisenia fetida

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Ping; Guan, Xin; Pirooznia, Mehdi; Liang, Chun; Perkins, Edward J.

    2012-01-01

    The earthworm Eisenia fetida is one of the most used species in standardized soil ecotoxicity tests. Endpoints such as survival, growth and reproduction are eco-toxicologically relevant but provide little mechanistic insight into toxicity pathways, especially at the molecular level. Here we applied a toxicogenomic approach to investigate the mode of action underlying the reversible neurotoxicity of hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane (CL-20), a cyclic nitroamine explosives compound. We developed an E. fetida-specific shotgun microarray targeting 15119 unique E. fetida transcripts. Using this array we profiled gene expression in E. fetida in response to exposure to CL-20. Eighteen earthworms were exposed for 6 days to 0.2 ?g/cm2 of CL-20 on filter paper, half of which were allowed to recover in a clean environment for 7 days. Nine vehicle control earthworms were sacrificed at day 6 and 13, separately. Electrophysiological measurements indicated that the conduction velocity of earthworm medial giant nerve fiber decreased significantly after 6-day exposure to CL-20, but was restored after 7 days of recovery. Total RNA was isolated from the four treatment groups including 6-day control, 6-day exposed, 13-day control and 13-day exposed (i.e. 6-day exposure followed by 7-day recovery), and was hybridized to the 15K shot-gun oligo array. Statistical and bioinformatic analyses suggest that CL-20 initiated neurotoxicity by non-competitively blocking the ligand-gated GABAA receptor ion channel, leading to altered expression of genes involved in GABAergic, cholinergic, and Agrin-MuSK pathways. In the recovery phase, expression of affected genes returned to normality, possibly as a result of autophagy and CL-20 dissociation/metabolism. This study provides significant insights into potential mechanisms of CL-20-induced neurotoxicity and the recovery of earthworms from transient neurotoxicity stress. PMID:22191394

  5. Treating swine wastewater by integrating earthworms into constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Nuengjamnong, Chackrit; Chiarawatchai, Nathasith; Polprasert, Chongrak; Otterpohl, Ralf

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the application of integrating earthworms (Pheretima peguana) into two-stage pilot-scale subsurface-flow constructed wetlands (SFCWs) receiving swine wastewater in terms of their treatment performance, namely organic content, total kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), and solid reduction as well as the quantity of sludge production. There was a minor difference in terms of removal efficiency according to each parameter when comparing the unit with earthworms to the one without earthworms. Both achieved the TKN, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total volatile suspended solids (TVSS), suspended solids (SS), and total solids (TS) removal by more than 90 %. The earthworms helped in reducing the sludge production on the surface of constructed wetlands 40 % by volume, which resulted in lowering operational costs required to empty and treat the sludge. The plant biomass production was higher in the wetlands without earthworms. Further research could be undertaken in order to effectively apply earthworms inside the wetlands. PMID:21644160

  6. Toxicity and bioaccumulation of bromadiolone to earthworm Eisenia fetida.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Xiong, Kang; Ye, Xiaoqing; Zhang, Jianyun; Yang, Ye; Ji, Li

    2015-09-01

    Bromadiolone, a potent second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide, has been extensively used worldwide for the field control of rodents. Invertebrates may be at risk from primary poisoning as a result of bromadiolone bait applications. However, there are few data regarding the toxicity and bioaccumulation of bromadiolone to earthworms. In this study, we reported that bromadiolone was toxic to earthworms at 1mg/kg soil, which is a likely concentration in the field following application of bromadiolone baits. Exposure to bromadiolone resulted in a significant inhibition of earthworm growth. The antioxidant activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase were slightly increased in earthworms, while malondialdehyde content (as a molecular marker indicative of the damage to lipid peroxidation) was dominantly elevated over the duration of exposure. Bromadiolone in soil is bioaccumulative to earthworms. The biota to soil accumulation factors (BSAFs) of bromadiolone were concentration dependent and BSAFs decreased as the level of bromadiolone in soil increased. These results suggest earthworms are not only the potential subject to primary poisoning but also the source of secondary exposure for insectivores and scavengers following application of bromadiolone. PMID:25965004

  7. Earthworm populations of highly metal-contaminated soils restored by fly ash-aided phytostabilisation.

    PubMed

    Grumiaux, Fabien; Demuynck, Sylvain; Pernin, Céline; Leprêtre, Alain

    2015-03-01

    Highly metal contaminated soils found in the North of France are the result of intense industrial past. These soils are now unfit for the cultivation of agricultural products for human consumption. Solutions have to be found to improve the quality of these soils, and especially to reduce the availability of trace elements (TEs). Phytostabilisation and ash-aided phytostabilisation applied since 2000 to an experimental site located near a former metallurgical site (Metaleurop-Nord) was shown previously as efficacious in reducing TEs mobility in soils. The aim of the study was to check whether this ten years trial had influenced earthworm communities. This experimental site was compared to plots located in the surroundings and differing by the use of soils. Main results are that: (1) whatever the use of soils, earthworm communities are composed of few species with moderate abundance in comparison with communities found in similar habitats outside the TEs-contaminated area, (2) the highest abundance and specific richness (4-5 species) were observed in afforested plots with various tree species, (3) ash amendments in afforested plots did not increase the species richness and modified the communities favoring anecic worms but disfavoring epigeic ones. These findings raised the questions of when and how to perform the addition of ashes firstly, to avoid negative effects on soil fauna and secondly, to keep positive effects on metal immobilization. PMID:25499051

  8. Effect of earthworms on the performance and microbial communities of excess sludge treatment process in vermifilter.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Lu, Zhibo; Yang, Jian; Xing, Meiyan; Yu, Fen; Guo, Meiting

    2012-08-01

    Previous studies have shown that the stabilization of excess sludge by vermifiltration can be improved significantly through the use of earthworms. To investigate the effect of earthworms on enhancing sludge stabilization during the vermifiltration process, a vermifilter (VF) with earthworms and a conventional biofilter (BF) without earthworms were compared. The sludge reduction capability of the VF was ?85% higher than that of the BF. Specifically, elemental analysis indicated that earthworms enhanced the stabilization of organic matter. Furthermore, earthworm predation strongly regulated microbial biomass while improving microbial activity. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis showed that the most abundant microbes in the VF biofilms and earthworm casts were Flavobacterium, Myroides, Sphingobacterium, and Myxococcales, all of which are known to be highly effective at degrading organic matter. These results indicate that earthworms can improve the stabilization of excess sludge during vermifiltration, and reveal the processes by which this is achieved. PMID:22613898

  9. Construction of an electrical device for sampling earthworm populations in the field

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Well-known methods for estimating earthworm population densities range from laborious handsorting through chemical applications to electrical extraction. Of these methods, only the electrical extraction allows for sampling of earthworms without detrimental soil disturbance or contamination. However,...

  10. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 38 (2006) 16081614 Endogeic earthworms differentially influence bacterial communities

    E-print Network

    Rilli, Matthias C.

    2006-01-01

    Soil Biology & Biochemistry 38 (2006) 1608­1614 Endogeic earthworms differentially influence bacterial communities associated with different soil aggregate size fractions Daniel L. Mummeya,Ã, Matthias influence soil structure. Although soil microorganisms are thought to be central to earthworm

  11. Organochlorine insecticide residues in soil and earthworms in the Delhi area, India, August-October 1974

    SciTech Connect

    Yadav, D.V.; Mittal, P.K.; Agarwal, H.C.; Pillai, M.K.

    1981-09-01

    DDT residues in soil and earthworms from 50 sites in Delhi were monitored. DDT was detected in all but two samples each of soil and earthworms. Among DDT residues, p,p'-DDE was most common and was found in 48 samples each of soil and earthworms; p,p'-DDT was detected in only 43 soil samples and 46 earthworm samples. p,p'-TDE and o,p'-DDT were also present in smaller concentrations in 29 and 15 soil samples and in 43 and 25 earthworm samples, respectively. Maximum total DDT concentration of 2.6 ppm was detected in the soil from Durga Nagar in the vicinity of a DDT factory. The highest concentration of 37.7 ppm total DDT in earthworms was also obtained from the same site. The maximum concentration factor found in the earthworms was 551. The total DDT concentration in the earthworms and soil showed significant correlation.

  12. Influence of temperature on the toxicity of zinc to the earthworm Eisenia fetida

    SciTech Connect

    Spurgeon, D.J.; Tomlin, M.A.; Hopkin, S.P.

    1997-02-01

    A range of toxicity tests have been proposed to assess the potential hazards of pollutants to earthworms. Of these, the two acute toxicity tests using Eisenia fetida recommended by the OECD and EEC have become routinely used in the risk assessment and regulation of new and existing chemicals. In addition to the acute tests, procedures have also been proposed for measuring the sub-lethal effects of chemicals on parameter such as reproduction and weight change. In both the lethal and sub-lethal toxicity tests developed with worms, attempts have been made to standardise test conditions to allow results from different laboratories to be directly compared. However, variability in exposure conditions and responses are fundamental to determine the effects of pollutants under natural conditions. In the field, conditions such as light, moisture availability, pH, temperature and humidity all fluctuate over time. Such variations affect both the sensitivity and exposure of individuals to toxic chemicals. Hence when evaluating the potential effects of pollutants, it may be important to known how changes in test conditions influence toxicity. This study assessed the effects of different temperatures on the lethal and sub-lethal toxicity of zinc for the earthworm Eisenia fetida. 23 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  13. Soil and elemental mixing rates across an earthworm invasion chronosequence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Resner, K. E.; Yoo, K.; Lyttle, A.; Aufdenkampe, A. K.; Sebestyen, S. D.

    2012-12-01

    Burrowing soil fauna significantly contribute to earth surface processes. In particular, earthworms are well known for their ability to move large masses of soil through ingestion and burrowing activities. Over the past decades, humans have increased the geographic range of earthworms through agricultural and recreational activities, exacerbating their invasion into soils devoid of native earthworms since the Last Glacial Maximum. Invasive earthworms, by mixing soils, have substantially altered forest floor ecology and soil morphology. Though the depth extent of mixing can be inferred from altered soil horizonation, mixing rates of various elements in earthworm invaded soils have not previously been calculated. The earthworm invasion chronosequence in a sugar maple forest in Northern Minnesota provides an ideal outdoor laboratory to understand the relationships between dynamics of invasive earthworm populations and soil elemental mixing rates. In this study we used 137-Cs as a tracer for soil mixing due to its strong adsorption to clays and organic matter and its atmospheric origin. Least invaded soils show high 137-Cs activity in the upper 5 centimeters which quickly disappears with depth, while heavily invaded soils show a greater depth reach and homogenized depth profiles of 137-Cs activity. Along the invasion gradient, the depth profiles of many elements are consistent with 137-Cs activities. Currently, a mass balance equation is being combined with 137-Cs activities and total elemental chemistry to determine mixing rates of major elements: Fe, Si, Al and biologically important: Ca, Mg, and P. It is also evident that mixing alone cannot explain the invasive earthworms' impacts on depth profiles of several elements. Geochemical mass balance calculations show a reduction of Ca, Mg, and K in 0-7cm depths. The loss of Ca from the biologically active zone may have ecological consequences. In contrast, we found greater contents of Fe and Al and dithionite-citrate extractable Fe and Al, which may help stabilize organic matter and may impede chemical weathering of minerals by coating their reactive surfaces. We expect that the behavior of a given element will be based upon its biological demand, complexation with organic matter, and hydrological mobility. Understanding how quickly and what extent various elements are mixed by invasive earthworms will help determine the magnitude of invasive earthworms' impact on the future nutrient cycles in hardwood forests.

  14. EARTHWORM ADDITIONS AFFECT LEACHATE PRODUCTION AND NITROGEN LOSSES IN TYPICAL MIDWESTERN AGROECOSYSTEMS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Earthworms affect soil structure and the movement of agrochemicals. Yet, there are few field-scale studies that quantify the effect of earthworms on dissolved nitrogen fluxes in agroecosystems. We investigated the influence of biannual deep-burrowing earthworm additions on leachate production and qu...

  15. Location-dependency of earthworm response to reduced tillage on sandy soil Monika Joschko a,

    E-print Network

    Timmer, Jens

    Location-dependency of earthworm response to reduced tillage on sandy soil Monika Joschko a for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), Albertstr. 19, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany 1. Introduction Earthworms belong., 2008). In these soils earthworms should therefore be impaired as little as possible by management

  16. Abstract Earthworms are keystone detritivores that can influence primary producers by changing

    E-print Network

    Thomas, David D.

    Abstract Earthworms are keystone detritivores that can influence primary producers by changing­herbivore interactions. The invasion of European earth- worms into previously earthworm-free temperate and boreal forests to observe how earthworms engineer ecosystems. Impacts vary with soil parent material, land use history

  17. Abstract This study addressed differences between Dip-locardia spp. (a native North American earthworm) and

    E-print Network

    Blair, John

    earthworm) and Octolasion tyrtaeum (an introduced European species), with respect to behavior, influence on soil microbial bio- mass, and plant uptake of N in tallgrass prairie soils. We manipulated earthworms to addition of earthworms, seedlings of An- dropogon gerardii (a dominant tallgrass) were estab- lished

  18. Effects of Earthworm Invasion on Plant Species Richness in Northern Hardwood Forests

    E-print Network

    Minnesota, University of

    Effects of Earthworm Invasion on Plant Species Richness in Northern Hardwood Forests ANDREW R of non-native earthworms (Lumbricus spp.) into a small number of intensively studied stands of northern forests, which plant species are most vulnerable, or with which earthworm species such changes

  19. INVASION NOTE The wave towards a new steady state: effects of earthworm

    E-print Network

    Minnesota, University of

    INVASION NOTE The wave towards a new steady state: effects of earthworm invasion on soil microbial / Accepted: 25 June 2011 Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011 Abstract Earthworms are ecosystem engineers that cause a long cascade of ecological effects when they invade previously earthworm-free forests

  20. Stoichiometry of Subunits and Heme Content of Hemoglobin from the Earthworm Lumbricus terrestris*

    E-print Network

    Riggs, Austen

    Stoichiometry of Subunits and Heme Content of Hemoglobin from the Earthworm Lumbricus terrestris Carolina 27710 The extracellular hemoglobin (Hb) of the earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, has four major O2 content is much lower than in other Hbs (3). The Hb of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris has

  1. Use of plant and earthworm bioassays to evaluate remediation of soil from a site contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls

    SciTech Connect

    Meier, J.R.; Chang, L.W.; Meckes, M.C.; Smith, M.K.; Jacobs, S.; Torsella, J.

    1997-05-01

    Soil from a site heavily contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was treated with a pilot-scale, solvent extraction technology. Bioassays in earthworms and plants were used to examine the efficacy of the remediation process for reducing the toxicity of the soil. The earthworm toxicity bioassays were the 14-d survival test and 21-d reproduction test, using Lumbricus terrestris and Eisenia fetida andrei. The plant bioassays included phytotoxicity tests for seed germination and root elongation in lettuce and oats, and a genotoxicity test (anaphase aberrations) in Allium cepa (common onion). Although the PCB content of the soil was reduced by 99% (below the remediation goal), toxicity to earthworm reproduction remained essentially unchanged following remediation. Furthermore, phytotoxicity and genotoxicity were higher for the remediated soil compared to the untreated soil. The toxicity remaining after treatment appeared to be due to residual solvent introduced during the remediation process, and/or to heavy metals or other inorganic contaminants not removed by the treatment. Mixture studies involving isopropanol and known toxicants indicated possible synergistic effects of the extraction solvent and soil contaminants. The toxicity in plants was essentially eliminated by a postremediation, water-rinsing step. These results demonstrate a need for including toxicity measurements in the evaluation of technologies used in hazardous waste site remediations, and illustrate the potential value of such measurements for making modifications to remediation processes.

  2. Comparative toxicity of pentachlorophenol to three earthworm species in artificial soil

    SciTech Connect

    Fitzgerald, D.; Lanno, R.P.; Farwell, A.; Dixon, D.G.

    1994-12-31

    Although methods for standardized toxicity tests with earthworms exist, many of the test parameters and conditions have not been validated in actual tests and with different species of worms. This study evaluated the toxicity of pentachlorophenol (PCP) to three species of earthworms, Lumbricus terrestris, Eisenia fetida, and Eudrilus eugeniae using various methods of data analysis and body residues. Tests were conducted in artificial soil for a period of 28 days or until an Acute Lethality Threshold (ALT) was reached. An intensive temporal sampling regime was applied to generate sufficient data for the accurate estimation of ALTs using both LC50/time and time-to-death/soil concentration methods of data analysis. L. terrestris was tested at 15 C, E. eugeniae at 24 C, and E. fetida at both temperatures. Total body residues of PCP were measured by GC following cryogenic separation of the lipid fraction of the worm. ALTs were significantly different between E. fetida and the two larger species of worms. No effect of temperature on the ALT for E. fetida was observed, although the time taken to reach the ALT increased at the lower temperature. The relationship of PCP residues at mortality will be discussed in terms of the effects of species, body size and temperature. Limitations of the artificial soil based upon growth curves of worms will also be examined.

  3. Effects of gypsum on trace metals in soils and earthworms.

    PubMed

    Chen, Liming; Kost, Dave; Tian, Yongqiang; Guo, Xiaolu; Watts, Dexter; Norton, Darrell; Wolkowski, Richard P; Dick, Warren A

    2014-01-01

    Mined gypsum has been beneficially used for many years as an agricultural amendment. A large amount of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum is produced by removal of SO from flue gas streams when fuels with high S content are burned. The FGD gypsum, similar to mined gypsum, can enhance crop production. However, information is lacking concerning the potential environmental impacts of trace metals, especially Hg, in the FGD gypsum. Flue gas desulfurization and mined gypsums were evaluated to determine their ability to affect concentrations of Hg and other trace elements in soils and earthworms. The study was conducted at four field sites across the United States (Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, and Wisconsin). The application rates of gypsums ranged from 2.2 Mg ha in Indiana to 20 Mg ha in Ohio and Alabama. These rates are 2 to 10 times higher than typically recommended. The lengths of time from gypsum application to soil and earthworm sampling were 5 and 18 mo in Ohio, 6 mo in Indiana, 11 mo in Alabama, and 4 mo in Wisconsin. Earthworm numbers and biomass were decreased by FGD and mined gypsums in Ohio. Among all the elements examined, Hg was slightly increased in soils and earthworms in the FGD gypsum treatments compared with the control and the mined gypsum treatments. The differences were not statistically significant except for the Hg concentration in the soil at the Wisconsin site. Selenium in earthworms in the FGD gypsum treatments was statistically higher than in the controls but not higher than in the mined gypsum treatments at the Indiana and Wisconsin sites. Bioaccumulation factors for nondepurated earthworms were statistically similar or lower for the FGD gypsum treatments compared with the controls for all elements. Use of FGD gypsum at normal recommended agricultural rates seems not to have a significant impact on concentrations of trace metals in earthworms and soils. PMID:25602559

  4. Earthworm species influence on carbon-mineral association in a sugar maple forest in northern Minnesota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyttle, A.; Yoo, K.; Aufdenkampe, A. K.; Hale, C. M.; Sebestyen, S. D.

    2011-12-01

    Non-native European earthworms are invading previously earthworm-free hardwood forests in the northern Great Lakes Region. Whereas earthworms' impacts on soil morphology and geochemical properties have been well documented in agricultural settings, the role of earthworms in biogeochemical cycles of undisturbed forests remains poorly understood. The forest soils that were recently invaded by exotic earthworms, therefore, provide a unique opportunity to understand how and how much earthworms contribute to biogeochemistry of non-agricultural environments. Increased degree and extent of soil mixing is one of the better known consequences of the earthworm invasion. Our hypothesis is that invasive earthworms positively affect carbon (C) stabilization by enhancing contacts between organic matter and minerals. We are studying C-mineral complexation along a well-established earthworm chronosequence in a sugar maple forest in northern Minnesota. We have observed changes in total earthworm biomass, A horizon C storage, and total specific surface area (SSA) of minerals as the invasion progresses. Because each earthworm species has different feeding and dwelling habits, biogeochemical imprints of the invasion reflect not only earthworms' biomass but also their species composition. All earthworm species show an increase in their biomass with greater time length since the invasion, though epigeic earthworms tend to be the pioneer species. As the total earthworm biomass increases, we find greater incorporation of organic C into the A horizon; the O horizon thickness decreases from 8 to 0 cm as the A horizon thickens from ~5 cm to ~12 cm. While leaf litter biomass is negatively correlated with total earthworm biomass, dramatic decreases in litter biomass are coupled with considerable increases in the biomass of epi-endogeic species. Despite the general decrease in C storage in the A horizon with greater degree of invasion, the storages fluctuate along the transect because earthworms affect not only C concentration but also soil bulk density and A horizon thickness. Mineral's SSA in the A and E is significantly larger and greater portions of the mineral SSA are coated with C in soils with greater earthworm biomass. These results show that both mineral's capacity to complex C and the actual complexation are enhanced by earthworm invasion presumably because earthworms' ability to vertically mix soils. This growing data set will ultimately elucidate how soils' capacity to stabilize C is influenced by exotic earthworm species.

  5. Fate and Uptake of Pharmaceuticals in Soil–Earthworm Systems

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals present a potential threat to soil organisms, yet our understanding of their fate and uptake in soil systems is limited. This study therefore investigated the fate and uptake of 14C-labeled carbamazepine, diclofenac, fluoxetine, and orlistat in soil–earthworm systems. Sorption coefficients increased in the order of carbamazepine < diclofenac < fluoxetine < orlistat. Dissipation of 14C varied by compound, and for orlistat, there was evidence of formation of nonextractable residues. Uptake of 14C was seen for all compounds. Depuration studies showed complete elimination of 14C for carbamazepine and fluoxetine treatments and partial elimination for orlistat and diclofenac, with greater than 30% of the 14C remaining in the tissue at the end of the experiment. Pore-water-based bioconcentration factors (BCFs), based on uptake and elimination of 14C, increased in the order carbamazepine < diclofenac < fluoxetine and orlistat. Liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography–Fourier transform mass spectrometry indicated that the observed uptake in the fluoxetine and carbamazepine treatments was due to the parent compounds but that diclofenac was degraded in the test system so uptake was due to unidentifiable transformation products. Comparison of our data with outputs of quantitative structure?activity relationships for estimating BCFs in worms showed that these models tend to overestimate pharmaceutical BCFs so new models are needed. PMID:24762061

  6. The distribution and intracellular compartmentation of metals in the endogeic earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa sampled from an unpolluted and a metal-contaminated site.

    PubMed

    Morgan, J E; Morgan, A J

    1998-01-01

    The tissue distribution of Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn and Ca in the endogeic earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa living in a non-polluted and a heavy metal polluted soil was investigated. The tissues of animals from the contaminated soil contained greater concentrations of Cd, Pb and Zn than the corresponding tissues of animals from the unpolluted soil. The greatest concentrations of Cd, Pb, Zn, and Ca were primarily accumulated within the posterior alimentary canal (PAC), a tissue fraction which contained the greatest proportion of the whole-worm burdens of the respective metals. Cu was distributed fairly evenly in the tissue fractions investigated. The pattern of accumulation for the 'heavy' metals is broadly similar to that for epigeic earthworms; in contrast, a different pattern of tissue accumulation was found for Ca. In animals from the uncontaminated site, the major elemental constituents of the chloragosomes were P, Ca, Zn and S. A significant positive correlation exists between P and Ca within the chloragosomal matrix. These intracellular vesicles are major foci for Pb and Zn accumulation within the PAC, with 'excess' metals associated with P ligands within the chloragosome matrix. The incorporation of Pb and Zn appears to involve the cationic displacement of Ca. Such compartmentation appears to prevent dissemination of large concentrations of these metals into other earthworm tissues, and may thus represent a detoxification strategy based on accumulative immobilization. No intracellular localization of Cd was identified in the study, although the Cd concentration in the metalliferous soils examined was not exceptionally high. The observations are discussed in the context of a contribution to enhanced understanding of metal ecotoxicology in earthworms by providing baseline data on a little investigated ecophysiological group of earthworms. Comparisons of metal distribution and mechanisms of metal sequestration are made with other ecophysiological groups of earthworms, and the significance of the findings to biomonitoring and toxicity-testing programmes is considered. PMID:15093311

  7. The role of sublethal effects in evaluating earthworm responses to soil contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Wilborn, D.; Bollman, M.; Linder, G.

    1994-12-31

    Frequently, standard test methods rely upon relatively straightforward, easily interpreted endpoints to evaluate biological effects, like growth inhibition, gross morbidity or death. In soil contamination evaluations, for example, earthworm toxicity tests are routinely completed in order to consider adverse biological effects associated with exposures to soil samples in the laboratory or field. Here, the toxicity endpoint measured in the standard test using Eisenia foetida is death; however, if chronic effects are more appropriate to the questions being asked within a risk assessment context, then alternative test endpoints must be developed and standardized. Prior evaluations have relied upon sublethal endpoints, most frequently behavioral and morphological observations, for evaluating chronic effects associated with contaminant exposures. The authors applied these behavioral and morphological endpoints in analyzing potential chronic effects in earthworms exposed to heavy metal-contaminated soils in both the laboratory and field. In using a relatively standard set of these sublethal endpoints the authors found that these endpoints could be used to evaluate chronic effects associated with soil exposures, but that selection of the specific end-points had to be adequately standardized and that observer bias had to be adequately characterized in order for these measures of chronic effects to be unequivocally applied within an ecological risk assessment.

  8. How to reduce false positive results when undertaking in vitro genotoxicity testing and thus avoid unnecessary follow-up animal tests: Report of an ECVAM Workshop.

    PubMed

    Kirkland, David; Pfuhler, Stefan; Tweats, David; Aardema, Marilyn; Corvi, Raffaella; Darroudi, Firouz; Elhajouji, Azeddine; Glatt, Hansruedi; Hastwell, Paul; Hayashi, Makoto; Kasper, Peter; Kirchner, Stephan; Lynch, Anthony; Marzin, Daniel; Maurici, Daniela; Meunier, Jean-Roc; Müller, Lutz; Nohynek, Gerhard; Parry, James; Parry, Elizabeth; Thybaud, Veronique; Tice, Ray; van Benthem, Jan; Vanparys, Philippe; White, Paul

    2007-03-30

    Workshop participants agreed that genotoxicity tests in mammalian cells in vitro produce a remarkably high and unacceptable occurrence of irrelevant positive results (e.g. when compared with rodent carcinogenicity). As reported in several recent reviews, the rate of irrelevant positives (i.e. low specificity) for some studies using in vitro methods (when compared to this "gold standard") means that an increased number of test articles are subjected to additional in vivo genotoxicity testing, in many cases before, e.g. the efficacy (in the case of pharmaceuticals) of the compound has been evaluated. If in vitro tests were more predictive for in vivo genotoxicity and carcinogenicity (i.e. fewer false positives) then there would be a significant reduction in the number of animals used. Beyond animal (or human) carcinogenicity as the "gold standard", it is acknowledged that genotoxicity tests provide much information about cellular behaviour, cell division processes and cellular fate to a (geno)toxic insult. Since the disease impact of these effects is seldom known, and a verification of relevant toxicity is normally also the subject of (sub)chronic animal studies, the prediction of in vivo relevant results from in vitro genotoxicity tests is also important for aspects that may not have a direct impact on carcinogenesis as the ultimate endpoint of concern. In order to address the high rate of in vitro false positive results, a 2-day workshop was held at the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), Ispra, Italy in April 2006. More than 20 genotoxicity experts from academia, government and industry were invited to review data from the currently available cell systems, to discuss whether there exist cells and test systems that have a reduced tendency to false positive results, to review potential modifications to existing protocols and cell systems that might result in improved specificity, and to review the performance of some new test systems that show promise of improved specificity without sacrificing sensitivity. It was concluded that better guidance on the likely mechanisms resulting in positive results that are not biologically relevant for human health, and how to obtain evidence for those mechanisms, is needed both for practitioners and regulatory reviewers. Participants discussed the fact that cell lines commonly used for genotoxicity testing have a number of deficiencies that may contribute to the high false positive rate. These include, amongst others, lack of normal metabolism leading to reliance on exogenous metabolic activation systems (e.g. Aroclor-induced rat S9), impaired p53 function and altered DNA repair capability. The high concentrations of test chemicals (i.e. 10 mM or 5000 microg/ml, unless precluded by solubility or excessive toxicity) and the high levels of cytotoxicity currently required in mammalian cell genotoxicity tests were discussed as further potential sources of false positive results. Even if the goal is to detect carcinogens with short in vitro tests under more or less acute conditions, it does not seem logical to exceed the capabilities of cellular metabolic turnover, activation and defence processes. The concept of "promiscuous activation" was discussed. For numerous mutagens, the decisive in vivo enzymes are missing in vitro. However, if the substrate concentration is increased sufficiently, some other enzymes (that are unimportant in vivo) may take over the activation-leading to the same or a different active metabolite. Since we often do not use the right enzyme systems for positive controls in vitro, we have to rely on their promiscuous activation, i.e. to use excessive concentrations to get an empirical correlation between genotoxicity and carcinogenicity. A thorough review of published and industry data is urgently needed to determine whether the currently required limit concentration of 10mM or 5000 microg/ml, and high levels of cytotoxicity, are necessary for the detection of in vivo genotoxins and DNA-reactive, mutagenic car

  9. Assessment of soil stabilization by chemical extraction and bioaccumulation using earthworm, Eisenia fetida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Byung-Tae; Abd Aziz, Azilah; Han, Heop Jo; Kim, Kyoung-Woong

    2014-05-01

    Soil stabilization does not remove heavy metals from contaminated soil, but lowers their exposures to ecosystem. Thus, it should be evaluated by measuring the fractions of heavy metals which are mobile and/or bioavailable in soils. The study compared several chemical extractions which intended to quantify the mobile or bioaccessible fractions with uptake and bioaccumulation by earthworm, Eisenia fetida. Soil samples were taken from the abandoned mine area contaminated with As, Cd, Cu, Pb and/or Zn. To stabilize heavy metals, the soils were amended with limestone and steel slag at 5% and 2% (w/w), respectively. All chemical extractions and earthworm tests were applied to both the contaminated and the stabilized soils with triplicates. The chemical extractions consisted of six single extractions which were 0.01M CaCl2 (unbufferred), EDTA or DTPA (chelating), TCLP (acidic), Mehlich 3 (mixture), and aqua regia (peudo-total). Sequential extractions were also applied to fractionate heavy metals in soils. In earthworm tests, worms were exposed to the soils for uptake of heavy metals. After 28 days of exposure to soils, worms were transferred to clean soils for elimination. During the tests, three worms were randomly collected at proper sampling events. Worms were rinsed with DI water and placed on moist filter paper for 48 h for depuration. Filter paper was renewed at 24 h to prevent coprophagy. The worms were killed with liquid nitrogen, dried in the oven, and digested with aqua regia for ICP-MS analysis. In addition to the bioaccumulation, several toxicity endpoints were observed such as burrowing time, mortality, cocoon production, and body weight changes. Toxicokinetics was applied to determine the uptake and elimination heavy metals by the earthworms. Bioaccumulation factor (BAF) was estimated using total metal concentrations and body burdens. Pearson correlation and simple linear regression were applied to evaluate the relationship between metal fractions by single extractions or sequential extractions with bioaccumulations. Finally, we discussed the advantages or disadvantages of simple chemical extractions which are commonly used to estimate the efficacy of stabilization.

  10. Methylation of mercury in earthworms and the effect of mercury on the associated bacterial communities.

    PubMed

    Rieder, Stephan Raphael; Brunner, Ivano; Daniel, Otto; Liu, Bian; Frey, Beat

    2013-01-01

    Methylmercury compounds are very toxic for most organisms. Here, we investigated the potential of earthworms to methylate inorganic-Hg. We hypothesized that the anaerobic and nutrient-rich conditions in the digestive tracts of earthworm's promote the methylation of Hg through the action of their gut bacteria. Earthworms were either grown in sterile soils treated with an inorganic (HgCl2) or organic (CH3HgCl) Hg source, or were left untreated. After 30 days of incubation, the total-Hg and methyl-Hg concentrations in the soils, earthworms, and their casts were analyzed. The impact of Hg on the bacterial community compositions in earthworms was also studied. Tissue concentrations of methyl-Hg in earthworms grown in soils treated with inorganic-Hg were about six times higher than in earthworms grown in soils without Hg. Concentrations of methyl-Hg in the soils and earthworm casts remained at significantly lower levels suggesting that Hg was mainly methylated in the earthworms. Bacterial communities in earthworms were mostly affected by methyl-Hg treatment. Terminal-restriction fragments (T-RFs) affiliated to Firmicutes were sensitive to inorganic and methyl-Hg, whereas T-RFs related to Betaproteobacteria were tolerant to the Hg treatments. Sulphate-reducing bacteria were detected in earthworms but not in soils. PMID:23577209

  11. Methylation of Mercury in Earthworms and the Effect of Mercury on the Associated Bacterial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Rieder, Stephan Raphael; Brunner, Ivano; Daniel, Otto; Liu, Bian; Frey, Beat

    2013-01-01

    Methylmercury compounds are very toxic for most organisms. Here, we investigated the potential of earthworms to methylate inorganic-Hg. We hypothesized that the anaerobic and nutrient-rich conditions in the digestive tracts of earthworm's promote the methylation of Hg through the action of their gut bacteria. Earthworms were either grown in sterile soils treated with an inorganic (HgCl2) or organic (CH3HgCl) Hg source, or were left untreated. After 30 days of incubation, the total-Hg and methyl-Hg concentrations in the soils, earthworms, and their casts were analyzed. The impact of Hg on the bacterial community compositions in earthworms was also studied. Tissue concentrations of methyl-Hg in earthworms grown in soils treated with inorganic-Hg were about six times higher than in earthworms grown in soils without Hg. Concentrations of methyl-Hg in the soils and earthworm casts remained at significantly lower levels suggesting that Hg was mainly methylated in the earthworms. Bacterial communities in earthworms were mostly affected by methyl-Hg treatment. Terminal-restriction fragments (T-RFs) affiliated to Firmicutes were sensitive to inorganic and methyl-Hg, whereas T-RFs related to Betaproteobacteria were tolerant to the Hg treatments. Sulphate-reducing bacteria were detected in earthworms but not in soils. PMID:23577209

  12. Hemagglutinins and bacterial agglutinins of earthworms.

    PubMed

    Stein, E A; Younai, S; Cooper, E L

    1987-01-01

    The biological roles of invertebrate agglutinins have been and remain an unresolved subject of controversy. Classical studies on agglutinins, beginning with the pioneer work of Noguchi (1903) on Limulus polyphemus and Homarus americanus have emphasized their hemagglutinating properties, an approach that has been criticized for its lack of biological relevance. While erythrocyte agglutination has proven useful for determining various properties of invertebrate agglutinins, it does not address the question of their natural function. More recently, invertebrate agglutinins have been investigated for their ability to interact with pathogenic agents such as bacteria (for review, see Pistole, 1982), yeast (Van der Knapp et al., 1982; Renwrantz and Stahmer, 1983) and parasitic protozoans (Ingram et al., 1984). In addition, the possible relationship of agglutinins to defense mechanisms of both vertebrates and invertebrates has been indicated by the observation that limulin, the major agglutinin of Limulus polyphemus, bears a number of similarities to vertebrate C-reactive proteins (Robey and Liu, 1981). In annelids, there have been no studies on bacterial agglutinins prior to our work with Lumbricus (Stein et al., 1985; Stein et al., submitted). Earthworms are particularly appropriate for studying bacterial agglutinins since their coelomic fluid contains constant low levels of bacteria and fungal spores, and their agglutinins are both naturally occurring and inducible. Although our initial studies on Lumbricus agglutinins were directed toward their hemagglutinating properties, our recent observations using bacteria have allowed us to reach the following conclusions: 1) Lumbricus coelomic fluid normally contains agglutinins against both erythrocytes and bacteria. After injecting worms with either erythrocytes or bacteria, agglutinin titers increase in coelomic fluid. This increase appears to be due to both an increase in numbers of agglutinins as well as levels of specific agglutinins. 2) Absorption studies, temperature effects and sugar inhibition analyses suggest that agglutinins which bind to erythrocytes are identical to bacterial agglutinins, but there are additional agglutinins capable of reacting only with bacteria. 3) The inducibility and bacterial binding properties of Lumbricus agglutinins suggest that they serve an immune function by participating in the earthworm's defense against bacterial infection. In this sense, the agglutinins serve as a humoral surveillance system that entraps and prevents the multiplication of pathogenic bacteria. PMID:3295894

  13. Earthworms facilitate carbon sequestration through unequal amplification of carbon stabilization compared with mineralization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weixin; Hendrix, Paul F; Dame, Lauren E; Burke, Roger A; Wu, Jianping; Neher, Deborah A; Li, Jianxiong; Shao, Yuanhu; Fu, Shenglei

    2013-01-01

    A recent review concluded that earthworm presence increases CO? emissions by 33% but does not affect soil organic carbon stocks. However, the findings are controversial and raise new questions. Here we hypothesize that neither an increase in CO? emission nor in stabilized carbon would entirely reflect the earthworms' contribution to net carbon sequestration. We show how two widespread earthworm invaders affect net carbon sequestration through impacts on the balance of carbon mineralization and carbon stabilization. Earthworms accelerate carbon activation and induce unequal amplification of carbon stabilization compared with carbon mineralization, which generates an earthworm-mediated 'carbon trap'. We introduce the new concept of sequestration quotient to quantify the unequal processes. The patterns of CO? emission and net carbon sequestration are predictable by comparing sequestration quotient values between treatments with and without earthworms. This study clarifies an ecological mechanism by which earthworms may regulate the terrestrial carbon sink. PMID:24129390

  14. Earthworm bioturbation influences the phytoavailability of metals released by particles in cultivated soils.

    PubMed

    Leveque, Thibaut; Capowiez, Yvan; Schreck, Eva; Xiong, Tiantian; Foucault, Yann; Dumat, Camille

    2014-08-01

    The influence of earthworm activity on soil-to-plant metal transfer was studied by carrying out six weeks mesocosms experiments with or without lettuce and/or earthworms in soil with a gradient of metal concentrations due to particles fallouts. Soil characteristics, metal concentrations in lettuce and earthworms were measured and soil porosity in the mesocosms was determined. Earthworms increased the soil pH, macroporosity and soil organic matter content due to the burying of wheat straw provided as food. Earthworm activities increased the metals concentrations in lettuce leaves. Pb and Cd concentrations in lettuce leaves can increase up to 46% with earthworm activities … These results and the low correlation between estimated by CaCl2 and EDTA and measured pollutant phytoavailability suggest that earthworm bioturbation was the main cause of the increase. Bioturbation could affect the proximity of pollutants to the roots and soil organic matter. PMID:24858803

  15. Earthworms facilitate carbon sequestration through unequal amplification of carbon stabilization compared with mineralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Weixin; Hendrix, Paul F.; Dame, Lauren E.; Burke, Roger A.; Wu, Jianping; Neher, Deborah A.; Li, Jianxiong; Shao, Yuanhu; Fu, Shenglei

    2013-10-01

    A recent review concluded that earthworm presence increases CO2 emissions by 33% but does not affect soil organic carbon stocks. However, the findings are controversial and raise new questions. Here we hypothesize that neither an increase in CO2 emission nor in stabilized carbon would entirely reflect the earthworms’ contribution to net carbon sequestration. We show how two widespread earthworm invaders affect net carbon sequestration through impacts on the balance of carbon mineralization and carbon stabilization. Earthworms accelerate carbon activation and induce unequal amplification of carbon stabilization compared with carbon mineralization, which generates an earthworm-mediated ‘carbon trap’. We introduce the new concept of sequestration quotient to quantify the unequal processes. The patterns of CO2 emission and net carbon sequestration are predictable by comparing sequestration quotient values between treatments with and without earthworms. This study clarifies an ecological mechanism by which earthworms may regulate the terrestrial carbon sink.

  16. Solid phase microextraction of organic pollutants from natural and artificial soils and comparison with bioaccumulation in earthworms.

    PubMed

    Bielská, Lucie; Šmídová, Klára; Hofman, Jakub

    2014-02-01

    The presented study investigates the use of passive sampling, i.e. solid phase microextraction with polydimethylsiloxane fibers (PDMS-SPME), to assess the bioavailability of fiver neutral organic chemicals (phenanthrene, pyrene, lindane, p,p'-DDT, and PCB 153) spiked to natural and artificial soils after different aging times. Contaminant bioavailability was assessed by comparing PDMS concentrations with results from a 10 day bioaccumulation test with earthworms (Eisenia fetida). The hypotheses tested were (i) organic carbon (OC) normalization, which is commonly used to account for sorption and bioavailability of hydrophobic organic chemicals in soil risk assessment, has limitations due to differences in sorptive properties of OC and aging processes (i.e. sequestration and biodegradation) and (ii) PDMS-SPME provides a more reliable measure of soil contaminant bioavailability than OC normalized soil concentrations. The above stated hypotheses were confirmed since the results showed that: (i) the PDMS/soil organic carbon partition ratio (R) accounting for the role that OC plays in partitioning significantly differed between soils and aging times and (ii) the correlation with earthworm concentrations was better using porewater concentrations derived from PDMS concentrations than when organic normalized soil concentrations were used. Capsule: Sorption of organic compounds measured by SPME method and their bioavailability to earthworms cannot be reliably predicted using OC content. PMID:24433790

  17. Impact of Parthenium weeds on earthworms (Eudrilus eugeniae) during vermicomposting.

    PubMed

    Rajiv, P; Rajeshwari, Sivaraj; Rajendran, Venckatesh

    2014-11-01

    The aim of this work is to evaluate the effect of Parthenium-mediated compost on Eudrilus eugeniae during the process of vermicomposting. Nine different concentrations of Parthenium hysterophorus and cow dung mixtures were used to assess toxicity. The earthworms' growth, fecundity and antioxidant enzyme levels were analysed every 15 days. The antioxidant activities of enzymes [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx)], considered as biomarkers, indicate the biochemical and oxidative stresses due to the toxin from Parthenium weeds. The earthworms' growth, biomass gain, cocoon production and antioxidant enzymes were in a low level in a high concentration of P. hysterophorus (without cow dung). The results clearly indicated that appropriate mixing of P. hysterophorus quantity is an essential factor for the survival of earthworms without causing any harm. PMID:24938809

  18. Phylogenomic analyses of a Mediterranean earthworm family (Annelida: Hormogastridae).

    PubMed

    Novo, Marta; Fernández, Rosa; Andrade, Sónia C S; Marchán, Daniel F; Cunha, Luis; Díaz Cosín, Darío J

    2016-01-01

    Earthworm taxonomy and evolutionary biology remain a challenge because of their scarce distinct morphological characters of taxonomic value, the morphological convergence by adaptation to the uniformity of the soil where they inhabit, and their high plasticity when challenged with stressful or new environmental conditions. Here we present a phylogenomic study of the family Hormogastridae, representing also the first piece of work of this type within earthworms. We included seven transcriptomes of the group representing the main lineages as previously-described, analysed in a final matrix that includes twelve earthworms and eleven outgroups. While there is a high degree of gene conflict in the generated trees that obscure some of the internal relationships, the origin of the family is well resolved: the hormogastrid Hemigastrodrilus appears as the most ancestral group, followed by the ailoscolecid Ailoscolex, therefore rejecting the validity of the family Ailoscolecidae. Our results place the origin of hormogastrids in Southern France, as previously hypothesised. PMID:26522608

  19. Recombinant Protein Production of Earthworm Lumbrokinase for Potential Antithrombotic Application

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Kevin Yueju; Wang, Nan; Liu, Dehu

    2013-01-01

    Earthworms have been used as a traditional medicine in China, Japan, and other Far East countries for thousands of years. Oral administration of dry earthworm powder is considered as a potent and effective supplement for supporting healthy blood circulation. Lumbrokinases are a group of enzymes that were isolated and purified from different species of earthworms. These enzymes are recognized as fibrinolytic agents that can be used to treat various conditions associated with thrombosis. Many lumbrokinase (LK) genes have been cloned and characterized. Advances in genetic technology have provided the ability to produce recombinant LK and have made it feasible to purify a single lumbrokinase enzyme for potential antithrombotic application. In this review, we focus on expression systems that can be used for lumbrokinase production. In particular, the advantages of using a transgenic plant system to produce edible lumbrokinase are described. PMID:24416067

  20. Bioaccumulation of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE209) in earthworms in the presence of lead (Pb).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Chen, Lin; Liu, Kou; Chen, Lei; Lin, Kuangfei; Chen, Yongsheng; Yan, Zenguang

    2014-07-01

    BDE209 (decabromodiphenyl ether) and lead (Pb) are the main contaminants at e-waste recycling sites, and their potential toxicological effects on terrestrial organisms have received extensive attention. However, the impact on earthworms of exposure to the two chemicals remains almost unknown. Therefore, indoor incubation tests were performed on control and contaminated soil samples to determine the uptake and transformation of BDE209 in the presence of Pb for the first time. The results have demonstrated that Pb addition can affect BDE209 bioaccumulation efficiency compared with exposure to BDE209 alone. For a low BDE209 concentration (1mgkg(-1)), Pb addition barely affected the uptake of BDE209, whereas for a high BDE209 concentration (100mgkg(-1)), Pb addition elicited a complex response. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation indicated that a higher level of Pb (250 and 500mgkg(-1)) facilitated the uptake of BDE209 through the skin. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis showed that the peak of BDE209 accumulation usually appeared in the joint exposure groups involving 10 or 100mgkg(-1) BDE209 and 250mgkg(-1) Pb, and the average bioaccumulation factor (BAF) was 0.53, which is more than 1.2 times that of single exposure to BDE209 (average=0.44). Also, the earthworms eliminated more BDE209 after 21d, and the biodegradation products were mainly BDE206 and BDE208. Furthermore, Pb addition can affect the transformation efficiency of BDE209 in earthworms, and several lower bromodiphenyl ethers can be detected. The results of these observations have provided a basic understanding of the potential ecotoxicological effects of joint PBDE and heavy metal exposure on terrestrial invertebrates. PMID:24556543

  1. Screening of actinomycetes from earthworm castings for their antimicrobial activity and industrial enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Vijay; Bharti, Alpana; Negi, Yogesh Kumar; Gusain, Omprakash; Pandey, Piyush; Bisht, Gajraj Singh

    2012-01-01

    Actinomycetes from earthworm castings were isolated and screened for their antimicrobial activity and industrial enzymes. A total of 48 isolates were obtained from 12 samples of earthworm castings. Highest numbers of isolates were recovered from forest site (58.33 %) as compared to grassland (25%) and agricultural land (16.66%). The growth patterns, mycelial coloration of abundance actinomycetes were documented. The dominant genera Identified by cultural, morphological and physiological characteristics were Streptomyces (60.41%) followed by Streptosporangium (10.41%),Saccharopolyspora (6.25%) and Nocardia (6.25%). Besides these, other genera like Micromonospora, Actinomadura, Microbispora, Planobispora and Nocardiopsis were also recovered but in low frequency. Among the 48 isolates, 52.08% were found active against one or more test organisms. Out of 25 active isolates 16% showed activity against bacterial, human fungal as well as phytopathogens. Among 48 isolates 38, 32, 21, 20, 16 and 14 produced enzyme amylase, caseinase, cellulase, gelatinase, xylanase and lipase respectively while 10 isolates produced all the enzymes. More interestingly 2, 3, and 1 isolates produced amylase, xylanase and lipase at 45°C respectively. In the view of its antimicrobial activity as well as enzyme production capability the genus Streptomyces was dominant. The isolate EWC 7(2) was most promising on the basis of its interesting antimicrobial activity and was identified as Streptomyces rochei. The results of these findings have increased the scope of finding industrially important actinomycetes from earthworm castings and these organisms could be promising sources for industrially important molecules or enzymes. PMID:24031819

  2. Diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) for the prediction of bioavailability of heavy metals in contaminated soils to earthworm (Eisenia foetida) and oral bioavailable concentrations.

    PubMed

    Bade, Rabindra; Oh, Sanghwa; Shin, Won Sik

    2012-02-01

    The applicability of diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) as a biomimic surrogate was investigated to determine the bioavailable heavy metal concentrations to earthworm (Eisenia foetida). The relationships between the amount of DGT and earthworm uptake; DGT uptake and the bioavailable concentrations of heavy metals in soils were evaluated. The one-compartment model for the dynamic uptake of heavy metals in the soil fitted well to both the earthworm (R(2)=0.641-0.990) and DGT (R(2)=0.473-0.998) uptake data. DGT uptake was linearly correlated with the total heavy metal concentrations in the soil (aqua regia), the bioavailable heavy metal concentrations estimated by fractions I+II of the standard measurements and testing (SM&T) and physiologically based extraction test (PBET, stomach+intestine). The coefficients of determination (R(2)) of DGT uptake vs. aqua regia were 0.433, 0.929 and 0.723; vs. SM&T fractions (I+II) were 0.901, 0.882 and 0.713 and vs. PBET (stomach+intestine) were 0.913, 0.850 and 0.649 for Pb, Zn and Cu, respectively. These results imply that DGT can be used as a biomimic surrogate for the earthworm uptake of heavy metals in contaminated soils as well as predict bioavailable concentrations of heavy metals estimated by SM&T (I+II) and PBET as a human oral bioavailable concentrations of heavy metals. PMID:22134028

  3. Genotoxic effects of glyphosate or paraquat on earthworm coelomocytes.

    PubMed

    Muangphra, Ptumporn; Kwankua, Wimon; Gooneratne, Ravi

    2014-06-01

    The potential genotoxicity (nuclear anomalies, damage to single-strand DNA) and pinocytic adherence activity of two (glyphosate-based and paraquat-based) commercial herbicides to earthworm coelomocytes (immune cells in the coelomic cavity) were assessed. Coelomocytes were extracted from earthworms (Pheretima peguana) exposed to concentrations earthworms exposed to glyphosate at 25 × 10(-1) (10(-3) LC50) and paraquat at 39 × 10(-5) (10(-4) LC50) ?g cm(-2) filter paper. In earthworms exposed to glyphosate, no differences in tail DNA%, tail length, and tail moment of coelomocytes were detected. In contrast, for paraquat at 10(-1) LC50 concentration, there were significant (P < 0.05) differences between tail DNA % and tail length, and at LC50 concentration, tail moment was also significantly different when compared with controls. A decline in pinocytic adherence activity in coelomocytes occurred on exposure to glyphosate or paraquat at 10(-3) LC50 concentration. This study showed that, at concentrations well below field application rates, paraquat induces both clastogenic and aneugenic effects on earthworm coelomocytes whereas glyphosate causes only aneugenic effects and therefore does not pose a risk of gene mutation in this earthworm. PMID:22644885

  4. Postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance in guppies.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, J L; Evans, J P

    2014-12-01

    In many species, the negative fitness effects of inbreeding have facilitated the evolution of a wide range of inbreeding avoidance mechanisms. Although avoidance mechanisms operating prior to mating are well documented, evidence for postcopulatory mechanisms of inbreeding avoidance remain scarce. Here, we examine the potential for paternity biases to favour unrelated males when their sperm compete for fertilizations though postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance mechanisms in the guppy, Poecilia reticulata. To test this possibility, we used a series of artificial inseminations to deliver an equal number of sperm from a related (either full sibling or half sibling) and unrelated male to a female while statistically controlling for differences in sperm quality between rival ejaculates. In this way, we were able to focus exclusively on postcopulatory mechanisms of inbreeding avoidance and account for differences in sperm competitiveness between rival males. Under these carefully controlled conditions, we report a significant bias in paternity towards unrelated males, although this effect was only apparent when the related male was a full sibling. We also show that sperm competition generally favours males with highly viable sperm and thus that some variance in sperm competitiveness can be attributed to difference in sperm quality. Our findings for postcopulatory inbreeding avoidance are consistent with prior work on guppies, revealing that sperm competition success declines linearly with the level of relatedness, but also that such effects are only apparent at relatedness levels of full siblings or higher. These findings reveal that postcopulatory processes alone can facilitate inbreeding avoidance. PMID:25387854

  5. Indication of metal homeostasis disturbance in earthworm Eisenia fetida after exposure to semi-solid depot sludge.

    PubMed

    Babi?, Sanja; Dragun, Zrinka; Sauerborn Klobu?ar, Roberta; Ivankovi?, Dušica; Ba?i?, Niko; Fiket, Željka; Bariši?, Josip; Krasni?i, Nesrete; Strunjak-Perovi?, Ivan?ica; Topi? Popovi?, Natalija; ?ož-Rakovac, Rozelindra

    2015-09-01

    Treated sewage sludge is commonly used in agriculture as fertilizer. It is, therefore, necessary to determine possible detrimental influences of sludge application on soil contamination and accumulation of contaminants in tissues of terrestrial animals, which in the long run could also have undesirable effects on humans. With that aim, the study was performed using earthworm Eisenia fetida as test organism and semi-solid depot sludge from a wastewater treatment plant as exposure media. The concentrations of 26 metals/metalloids were determined in depot sludge, and their bioaccumulation was estimated in whole tissue of E. fetida, and for the first time in the soluble tissue fraction, which represents metal fraction available for metabolic requirements and toxic effects. Obtained results have revealed acceptable levels of several elements (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) in depot sludge, when compared to currently valid regulations, and only moderate accumulation of some elements (e.g. As, Ba, Cd, Co, Fe, Tl, V, and Zn) in earthworms, as a consequence of exposure to depot sludge. However, a concentration increase after exposure to depot sludge was observed in E. fetida for several elements (Cd, Mo, and Zn), which were present in lower concentrations in the exposure mixtures than in soil. Contrary, a concentration decrease was observed for Cs, Mn, and Rb, although they were present in higher concentrations in depot sludge than in soil. It was an indication of disturbance in metal homeostasis in earthworms, possibly caused by exposure to complex mixture of contaminants present in depot sludge. The cumulative effect of exposure to a number of various contaminants (inorganic, organic, microbiological and pharmaceutical), even if each of them was not present in very high concentrations, could have caused distress in earthworms exposed to depot sludge. PMID:25931022

  6. {sup 32}P-postlabeling determination of DNA adducts in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris exposed to PAH-contaminated soils

    SciTech Connect

    Walsh, P. |; El Adlouni, C.; Mukhopadhyay, M.J.; Nadeau, D.; Poirier, G.G.; Viel, G.

    1995-05-01

    The importance of the search for reliable biomarkers of DNA damage in environmental health assessment is well recognized by the scientific community and regulatory agencies. Among the major biomarkers of DNA damage is the measurement of DNA adducts in target cells or tissues. Up to now, DNA adduct determinations have been directed mostly toward human exposure to toxic substances from the workplace and environment. Moreover, techniques for measuring DNA adducts, and in particular the {sup 32}P-postlabelling technique, presented also the possibility of determining DNA adduct levels in endogenous animal populations exposed to polluted environments as early warning monitors of ecotoxicity. Soil contamination is becoming a major environmental issue. Therefore, numerous contaminated sites must now be remediated to protect human health and to permit new uses of these sites as agricultural, residential, or industrial areas. Fulfillment of this task requires standardized and sensitive bioassays to carry out site evaluations and to establish scientifically defensible soil quality criteria. To that effect, the earthworm appears to be one of the best organisms for use in soil toxicity evaluation. Earthworms are probably the most relevant soil species, representing 60 to 80% of the total animal biomass in soil. Present soil bioassays focus mostly on plant species with end points like seed germination, root elongation, seedling growth and seedling emergence, and on acute toxicity evaluation (re: LC 50) on the earthworm Eisenia fetida. As yet, a standardized soil invertebrate test for teratogenic or mutagenic end points has not been developed. In this paper, we report the feasibility of DNA adduct determination by {sup 32}P-postlabelling in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris as a way to detect the presence of genotoxic substances in soils. 20 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  7. Heavy metal concentrations in earthworms from soil amended with sewage slude

    SciTech Connect

    Beyer, W.N.; Chaney, R.L.; Mulhern, B.M.

    1982-07-01

    Metal concentrations in soil may be elevated considerably when metal-laden sewage sludge is spread on land. Metals in earthworms (Lumbricidae) from agicultural fields amended with sewage sludge and from experimental plots were examined to determine if earthworms are important in transferring metals in soil to wildlife. Earthworms from four sites amended with sludge contained significantly (P<0.05) more Cd (12 times), Cu (2.4 times), Zn (2.0 times), and Pb (1.2 times) than did earthworms from control sites, but the concentrations detected varied greatly and depended on the particular sludge application. Generally, Cd and Zn were concentrated by earthworms relative to soil, and Cu, Pb, and Ni were not concentrated. Concentrations of Cd, Zn, Cu, and Pb in earthworms were correlated (P<0.05) with those in soil. The ratio of the concentration of metals in earthworms to the concentration of metals in soil tended to be lower in contaminated soil than in clean soil. Concentrations of Cd as high as 100 ppm (dry wt) were detected in earthworms from soil containing only 2 ppm Cd. These concentrations are considered hazardous to wildlife that eat worms. Liming soil decreased Cd concentrations in earthworms slightly (P<0.05) but had no discernible effect on concentrations of the other metals studied. High Zn concentrations in soil substantially reduced Cd concentrations in earthworms.

  8. Soil Penetration by Earthworms and Plant Roots—Mechanical Energetics of Bioturbation of Compacted Soils

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We quantify mechanical processes common to soil penetration by earthworms and growing plant roots, including the energetic requirements for soil plastic displacement. The basic mechanical model considers cavity expansion into a plastic wet soil involving wedging by root tips or earthworms via cone-like penetration followed by cavity expansion due to pressurized earthworm hydroskeleton or root radial growth. The mechanical stresses and resulting soil strains determine the mechanical energy required for bioturbation under different soil hydro-mechanical conditions for a realistic range of root/earthworm geometries. Modeling results suggest that higher soil water content and reduced clay content reduce the strain energy required for soil penetration. The critical earthworm or root pressure increases with increased diameter of root or earthworm, however, results are insensitive to the cone apex (shape of the tip). The invested mechanical energy per unit length increase with increasing earthworm and plant root diameters, whereas mechanical energy per unit of displaced soil volume decreases with larger diameters. The study provides a quantitative framework for estimating energy requirements for soil penetration work done by earthworms and plant roots, and delineates intrinsic and external mechanical limits for bioturbation processes. Estimated energy requirements for earthworm biopore networks are linked to consumption of soil organic matter and suggest that earthworm populations are likely to consume a significant fraction of ecosystem net primary production to sustain their subterranean activities. PMID:26087130

  9. Heavy metal concentrations in earthworms from soil amended with sewage sludge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.; Chaney, R.L.; Mulhern, B.M.

    1982-01-01

    Metal concentrations in soil may be elevated considerably when metal-laden sewage sludge is spread on land. Metals in earthworms (Lumbricidae) from agricultural fields amended with sewage sludge and from experimental plots were examined to determine if earthworms are important in transferring metals in soil to wildlife. Earthworms from four sites amended with sludge contained significantly (P . < 0.05) more Cd (12 times), Cu (2.4 times), Zn (2.0 times), and Pb (1.2 times) than did earthworms from control sites, but the concentrations detected varied greatly and depended on the particular sludge application. Generally, Cd and Zn were concentrated by earthworms relative to soil, and Cu, Pb, and Ni were not concentrated. Concentrations of Cd, Zn, Cu, and Pb in earthworms were correlated (P < 0.05) with those in soil. The ratio of the concentration of metals in earthworms to the concentration of metals in soil tended to be lower in contaminated soil than in clean soil. Concentrations of Cd as high as 100 ppm (dry wt) were detected in earthworms from soil containing only 2 ppm Cd. These concentrations are considered hazardous to wildlife that eat worms. Liming soil decreased Cd concentrations in earthworms slightly (P < 0.05) but had no discernible effect on concentrations of the other metals studied. High Zn concentrations in soil substantially reduced Cd concentrations in earthworms.

  10. Assessing the ecotoxicological effects of long-term contaminated mine soils on plants and earthworms: relevance of soil (total and available) and body concentrations.

    PubMed

    García-Gómez, Concepción; Esteban, Elvira; Sánchez-Pardo, Beatriz; Fernández, María Dolores

    2014-09-01

    The interactions and relevance of the soil (total and available) concentrations, accumulation, and acute toxicity of several essential and non-essential trace elements were investigated to determine their importance in environmental soil assessment. Three plant species (T. aestivum, R. sativum, and V. sativa) and E. fetida were simultaneously exposed for 21 days to long-term contaminated soils collected from the surroundings of an abandoned pyrite mine. The soils presented different levels of As and metals, mainly Zn and Cu, and were tested at different soil concentrations [12.5, 25, 50, and 100% of contaminated soil/soil (w/w)] to increase the range of total and available soil concentrations necessary for the study. The total concentrations in the soils (of both As and metals) were better predictors of earthworm uptake than were the available concentrations. In plants, the accumulation of metals was related to the available concentrations of Zn and Cu, which could indicate that plants and earthworms accumulate elements from different pools of soil contaminants. Moreover, Zn and Cu, which are essential elements, showed controlled uptake at low concentrations. The external metal concentrations predicted earthworm mortality, whereas in plants, the effects on growth were correlated to the As and metal contents in the plants. In general, the bioaccumulation factors were lower at higher exposure levels, which implies the existence of auto-regulation in the uptake of both essential and non-essential elements by plants and earthworms. PMID:24875255

  11. Food Avoidance Diets for Dermatitis.

    PubMed

    Scott, Jeffrey F; Hammond, Margaret I; Nedorost, Susan T

    2015-10-01

    Food allergy is relatively common in both children and adults, and its prevalence is increasing. Early exposure of food allergens onto skin with an impaired epidermal barrier predisposes to sensitization and prevents the development of oral tolerance. While immediate-type food allergies are well described, less is known about delayed-type food allergies manifesting as dermatitis. This is due, in part, to limitations with current diagnostic testing for delayed-type food allergy, including atopy patch testing. We conducted a systematic review of food avoidance diets in delayed-type food allergies manifesting as dermatitis. While beneficial in some clinical circumstances, avoidance diets should be used with caution in infants and children, as growth impairment and developmental delay may result. Ultimately, dermatitis is highly multifactorial and avoidance diets may not improve symptoms of delayed-type food allergy until combined with other targeted therapies, including restoring balance in the skin microbiome and re-establishing proper skin barrier function. PMID:26300528

  12. Treatment Planning Constraints to Avoid Xerostomia in Head-and-Neck Radiotherapy: An Independent Test of QUANTEC Criteria Using a Prospectively Collected Dataset

    SciTech Connect

    Moiseenko, Vitali; Wu, Jonn; Hovan, Allan; Saleh, Ziad; Apte, Aditya; Deasy, Joseph O.; Harrow, Stephen; Rabuka, Carman; Muggli, Adam; Thompson, Anna

    2012-03-01

    Purpose: The severe reduction of salivary function (xerostomia) is a common complication after radiation therapy for head-and-neck cancer. Consequently, guidelines to ensure adequate function based on parotid gland tolerance dose-volume parameters have been suggested by the QUANTEC group and by Ortholan et al. We perform a validation test of these guidelines against a prospectively collected dataset and compared with a previously published dataset. Methods and Materials: Whole-mouth stimulated salivary flow data from 66 head-and-neck cancer patients treated with radiotherapy at the British Columbia Cancer Agency (BCCA) were measured, and treatment planning data were abstracted. Flow measurements were collected from 50 patients at 3 months, and 60 patients at 12-month follow-up. Previously published data from a second institution, Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), were used for comparison. A logistic model was used to describe the incidence of Grade 4 xerostomia as a function of the mean dose of the spared parotid gland. The rate of correctly predicting the lack of xerostomia (negative predictive value [NPV]) was computed for both the QUANTEC constraints and Ortholan et al. recommendation to constrain the total volume of both glands receiving more than 40 Gy to less than 33%. Results: Both datasets showed a rate of xerostomia of less than 20% when the mean dose to the least-irradiated parotid gland is kept to less than 20 Gy. Logistic model parameters for the incidence of xerostomia at 12 months after therapy, based on the least-irradiated gland, were D{sub 50} = 32.4 Gy and and {gamma} = 0.97. NPVs for QUANTEC guideline were 94% (BCCA data), and 90% (WUSTL data). For Ortholan et al. guideline NPVs were 85% (BCCA) and 86% (WUSTL). Conclusion: These data confirm that the QUANTEC guideline effectively avoids xerostomia, and this is somewhat more effective than constraints on the volume receiving more than 40 Gy.

  13. Impact of biochar on earthworm populations: A review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Despite the overwhelming importance of earthworm activity in the soil system, there are a limited number of studies that have examined the impact resulting from biochar addition to soil. Biochar is part of the black carbon continuum of chemo-thermal converted biomass. This review summarizes existing...

  14. TOXICITY OF METALS TO THE EARTHWORM 'EISENIA FETIDA'

    EPA Science Inventory

    Development of methods to measure the effect of man's residuals on soil ecosystems is desirable. Earthworms, as one of the largest and most easily obtained components of the soil biota, are suitable for evaluating perturbations to soil ecosystems. The impact of five metals (Cd, C...

  15. The Earthworms (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae)of Wyoming, USA, Revisited.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This survey of the earthworms from 22 of the 23 counties of Wyoming recorded 13 species of terrestrial Oligochaeta, all members of the family Lumbricidae. One of these species, Aporrectodea limicola, is reported for the first time from the state. Current nomenclature is applied to historical records...

  16. EARTHWORMS OF THE WESTERN UNITED STATES. PART 1. LUMBRICIDAE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The earthworm fauna of the western United States is an amalgam of native and introduced elements. While the native species are mostly members of the family Megascolecidae, and closely related to those of Australia and Southeast Asia, the introduced species are, at least in the No...

  17. ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL DETECTION OF SUBLETHAL NEUROTOXIC EFFECTS IN INTACT EARTHWORMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The nervous system of earthworms is a logical site for studying the deleterious effects of many toxic substances because neural functions are often more sensitive to disruption than other physiological processes. However, the sublethal effects of toxicants on neural and behaviora...

  18. Earthworm Biomass Measurement: A Science Activity for Middle School.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haskett, Jonathan; Levine, Elissa; Carey, Pauline B.; Niepold III, Frank

    2000-01-01

    Describes an activity on biomass measurement which, in this case, is the weight of a group of living things in a given area. The earthworm activity gives students a greater understanding of ecology, practical math applications, and the scientific method. (ASK)

  19. FT-IR spectroscopy as a sentinel technology in earthworm toxicology.

    PubMed

    Aja, M; Jaya, M; Vijayakumaran Nair, K; Joe, I Hubert

    2014-01-01

    FT-IR spectroscopy is a useful tool for determining the biomolecular profile of micro-samples of body fluids such as coelomic fluid of earthworms. The present study focuses on the usefulness of the earthworm (Perionyx sansibaricus) coelomic fluid for observing pathologically induced biochemical changes. Compared to controls, appreciable changes in expression of peaks were observed in worms exposed to seven selected xenobiotics (pesticides, heavy metals, herbicides and detergents). Observation of bands in the region 1600-1690 cm(-1) indicates the presence of amide I band in all the worms. The peak at 2364 cm(-1) present as a weak band on day 7 of treatment, is shifted to 2358/2359 cm(-1) and more pronounced in most of the treated groups on day 14. Presence of band at 1663 cm(-1) in controls is attributed to CO stretching vibration representing the amino acid, glutamic acid. Under toxicological conditions vibration in this region is absent. Presence of the amino acid arginine (1633 cm(-1)) and lysine (1629 cm(-1)) and absence of glutamic acid (1663 cm(-1)) under toxicological stress were characteristic. FT-IR spectra of the coelomic fluid were similar under the sublethal and lethal concentrations of the test chemicals. The potential use of FT-IR spectral information as baseline data for toxicological studies and for monitoring the quality of the environment is recommended. PMID:24374480

  20. Usability testing of Avoiding Diabetes Thru Action Plan Targeting (ADAPT) decision support for integrating care-based counseling of pre-diabetes in an electronic health record

    PubMed Central

    Chrimes, Dillon; Kushniruk, Andre; Kitos, Nicole R.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Usability testing can be used to evaluate human computer interaction (HCI) and communication in shared decision making (SDM) for patient-provider behavioral change and behavioral contracting. Traditional evaluations of usability using scripted or mock patient scenarios with think-aloud protocol analysis provide a to identify HCI issues. In this paper we describe the application of these methods in the evaluation of the Avoiding Diabetes Thru Action Plan Targeting (ADAPT) tool, and test the usability of the tool to support the ADAPT framework for integrated care counseling of pre-diabetes. The think-aloud protocol analysis typically does not provide an assessment of how patient-provider interactions are effected in “live” clinical workflow or whether a tool is successful. Therefore, “Near-live” clinical simulations involving applied simulation methods were used to compliment the think-aloud results. This complementary usability technique was used to test the end-user HCI and tool performance by more closely mimicking the clinical workflow and capturing interaction sequences along with assessing the functionality of computer module prototypes on clinician workflow. We expected this method to further complement and provide different usability findings as compared to think-aloud analysis. Together, this mixed method evaluation provided comprehensive and realistic feedback for iterative refinement of the ADAPT system prior to implementation. Methods The study employed two phases of testing of a new interactive ADAPT tool that embedded an evidence-based shared goal setting component into primary care workflow for dealing with pre-diabetes counseling within a commercial physician office electronic health record (EHR). Phase I applied usability testing that involved “think-aloud” protocol analysis of 8 primary care providers interacting with several scripted clinical scenarios. Phase II used “near-live” clinical simulations of 5 providers interacting with standardized trained patient actors enacting the clinical scenario of counseling for pre-diabetes, each of whom had a pedometer that recorded the number of steps taken over a week. In both phases, all sessions were audio-taped and motion screen-capture software was activated for onscreen recordings. Transcripts were coded using iterative qualitative content analysis methods. Results In Phase I, the impact of the components and layout of ADAPT on user’s Navigation, Understandability, and Workflow were associated with the largest volume of negative comments (i.e. approximately 80% of end-user commentary), while Usability and Content of ADAPT were representative of more positive than negative user commentary. The heuristic category of Usability had a positive-to-negative comment ratio of 2.1, reflecting positive perception of the usability of the tool, its functionality, and overall co-productive utilization of ADAPT. However, there were mixed perceptions about content (i.e., how the information was displayed, organized and described in the tool). In Phase II, the duration of patient encounters was approximately 10 minutes with all of the Patient Instructions (prescriptions) and behavioral contracting being activated at the end of each visit. Upon activation, providers accepted the pathway prescribed by the tool 100% of the time and completed all the fields in the tool in the simulation cases. Only 14% of encounter time was spent using the functionality of the ADAPT tool in terms of keystrokes and entering relevant data. The rest of the time was spent on communication and dialogue to populate the patient instructions. In all cases, the interaction sequence of reviewing and discussing exercise and diet of the patient was linked to the functionality of the ADAPT tool in terms of monitoring, response-efficacy, self-efficacy, and negotiation in the patient-provider dialogue. There was a change from one-way dialogue to two-way dialogue and negotiation that ended in a behavioral contract. This change demonstrated the

  1. Urban soil biomonitoring by beetle and earthworm populations

    SciTech Connect

    Janossy, L.; Bitto, A.

    1995-12-31

    Two macro invertebrate groups were chosen for biomonitoring environmental changes. The beetle population was pitfall trapped (five month in 1994) at five downtown sites (parks) of Budapest and in a hilly original woodland as a control site 33km NW of Budapest. Earthworms were collected by using formol solution. Five heavy metals were measured (Pb, Co, Hg, Zn, Cu) in the upper soil layer at the same sampling sites. Pb, Hg, Zn and Cu was over the tolerable limit in a park near the railway, extreme high Pb (530 mg/kg dry soil) and Zn content was measured in one park. Roads are also salted in wintertime. The number of beetle species in the downtown parks varied 10 to 22 (226--462 specimen). Near to the edge of the city up to 45 beetle species were found in a park with 1,027 specimen. In the woodland area 52 beetle species with 1,061 specimen were found. Less dominance and higher specific diversity showed the direction from downtown to woodland. Only 2 or 3 cosmopolitan earthworm species existed in downtown parks with 30--35 specimen/m{sup 2}, in the control woodland area 7 mostly endemic earthworm species were found with 74 specimens/m{sup 2}. But earthworm biomass was higher in three well fertilized parks (43--157 g/m{sup 2}), than in the original woodland (25-g/m{sup 2}). The beetle populations seem to be good tools for biomonitoring. Earthworms are susceptible to environmental changes but they also strongly depend on the leaf litter and the organic matter of the soil. The change in the animal populations is the result of summarized environmental impacts in such a big city like Budapest.

  2. Accumulation of heavy metals in the earthworm Eisenia foetida

    SciTech Connect

    Hartenstein, R.; Neuhauser, E.F.; Collier, J.

    1980-01-01

    Conversion of waste-activated sludge into egesta by the earthworm Eisenia foetida resulted in neither an increase nor decrease of 0.1 N HCl-extractable cadmium, copper, nickel, lead, or zinc. The addition of 2500 ppM copper as copper sulfate to activated sludge caused 100% mortality whthin 1 week, though feeding upon nonamended activated sludges with up to 1500 ppM copper over several months was innocuous. Amendment of sludge with 10, 50, and 100 ppM Cd as CdSO/sub 4/ resulted in 3.90-, 2.04-, and 1.44-fold concentrations in the earthworm over the quantities present in the sludge, with a range of 118 to 170 ppM being found on exposure to the highest level for periods of 1 to 5 weeks at 25/sup 0/C. In field trials with nonamended sludge, however, containing 12 to 27 ppM Cd, biweekly sampling for 28 weeks revealed accumulations in E. foetida ranging from 8 to 46 ppM; control earthworms not exposed to culture media with easily measurable Cd levels contained 0.3 to 2 ppM Cd. Upwards to about 50 ppM Ni, 325 ppM Pb, and 250 ppM Zn accumulated from sludges amended with ionic soluble forms of these metals. In the field, where these metals ranged from 2 to 46, 1 to 53, and 68 to 210 ppM, respectively, an upper concentration of about 50 ppM Ni, 55 ppM Pb, and 250 ppM Zn were found in the earthworm. Distinctions were made between accumulable and concentratable and a discussion is provided to show that each of the most problematic heavy metals, Cd, Zn, Ni, Pb, and Cu, may accumulate or concentrate in the earthworm.

  3. Earthworm transport of heavy metals from sewage sludge: a micro-PIXE application in soil science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Protz, R.; Teesdale, W. J.; Maxwell, J. A.; Campbell, J. L.; Duke, C.

    1993-05-01

    Micro-PIXE was used to analyze earthworm fecal material and the linings of earthworm channels in the soil below a land area on which sewage sludge had been applied. Metals present in the sludge were identified both in fecal pellets and in the linings of the channels, at concentration markedly higher than in the soil matrix. PIXE elemental data in raster format were spatially analyzed during image analysis demonstrating in a quantitative manner the spatial correlations among elements transported by the earthworms.

  4. Accumulation of methylmercury in the earthworm, Eisenia foetida, and its effect on regeneration

    SciTech Connect

    Beyer, W.N.; Cromartie, E.; Moment, G.B.

    1985-08-01

    Earthworms provide an appropriate model for evaluating the environmental hazards of metals in soil, and they are also excellent organisms for studying the process of regeneration. Two studies have found that concentrations of mercury in earthworms were higher than those in the soil where they lived. This study investigates the accumulation of methylmercury in the earthworm, Eisenia foetida (Savigny), and its effect on regeneration after excision of the caudal end.

  5. Checklist of earthworms (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) from Montenegro: Diversity and biogeographical review.

    PubMed

    Stojanovi?, Mirjana; Milutinovi?, Tanja

    2013-01-01

    A checklist of the lumbricid earthworms in Montenegro is presented. Comprehensive information on the distribution and habitats of all earthworms is given in order to establish the definitive list of known taxa from Montenegro. The complete list of earthworm taxa of Montenegro comprises 40 species and subspecies, belonging to 12 genera of the family Lumbricidae. The list underlines the diversity of earthworms and provides a general overview of their distribution and zoogeographical type. Our study shows that the degree of endemism is comparatively high, exceeding 20%. Summing up the endemics and the Balkanic species, 42.5% of the total lumbricid fauna shows an autochthonous character. PMID:26106680

  6. Bioaccumulation and enantioselectivity of type I and type II pyrethroid pesticides in earthworm.

    PubMed

    Chang, Jing; Wang, Yinghuan; Wang, Huili; Li, Jianzhong; Xu, Peng

    2016-02-01

    In this study, the bioavailability and enantioselectivity differences between bifenthrin (BF, type?pyrethroid) and lambad-cyhalothrin (LCT, type ? pyrethroid) in earthworm (Eisenia fetida) were investigated. The bio-soil accumulation factors (BSAFs) of BF was about 4 times greater than that of LCT. LCT was degraded faster than BF in soil while eliminated lower in earthworm samples. Compound sorption plays an important role on bioavailability in earthworm, and the soil-adsorption coefficient (Koc) of BF and LCT were 22 442 and 42 578, respectively. Metabolic capacity of earthworm to LCT was further studied as no significant difference in the accumulation of LCT between the high and low dose experiment was found. 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (PBCOOH), a metabolite of LCT produced by earthworm was detected in soil. The concentration of PBCOOH at high dose exposure was about 4.7 times greater than that of in low dose level at the fifth day. The bioaccumulation of BF and LCT were both enantioselective in earthworm. The enantiomer factors of BF and LCT in earthworm were approximately 0.12 and 0.65, respectively. The more toxic enantiomers ((+)-BF and (-)-LCT) had a preferential degradation in earthworm and leaded to less toxicity on earthworm for racemate exposure. In combination with other studies, a liner relationship between Log BSAFS and Log Kow was observed, and the Log BSAFS decreased with the increase of Log Kow. PMID:26490429

  7. Tracking and predation on earthworms by the invasive terrestrial planarian Bipalium adventitium (Tricladida, Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Fiore, Cara; Tull, Jamie L; Zehner, Sean; Ducey, Peter K

    2004-11-30

    The potential ecological impact of exotic terrestrial planarians will be determined in part by their sensory abilities and predatory behavior. It has been suggested that these flatworms may only encounter their earthworm prey by chance, hence restricting the breadth of species they will feed upon and the number of microhabitats in which predator-prey interactions occur. We hypothesized that those flatworms that have already successfully invaded North America (genus Bipalium) actually detect and follow chemical trails of earthworms and possess the behavioral repertoire needed to feed on the prey in a range of microhabitats. We examined: (1) the tendency of Bipalium adventitium to follow chemical trails left by injured and un-injured earthworms; (2) the behavioral repertoire and predatory success of B. adventitium feeding on three earthworm species in subterranean tunnels; and (3) the response of flatworms to the reportedly defensive secretions of the earthworm Eisenia fetida in tunnels. B. adventitium detected and followed trails of earthworm mucus and secretions left by injured and un-injured earthworms. Flatworms followed trails on a range of substrates and pursued and captured three species of earthworms in subterranean tunnels, including individuals many times their mass. Although most behavior exhibited during underground attacks was similar to that reported for surface encounters, the flatworms also behaved in ways that blocked earthworm escape from tunnels. The flatworms were less successful at preying on E. fetida than on Lumbricus rubellus and Lumbricus terrestris in underground tunnels and showed some aversion to the secretions from E. fetida. PMID:15518983

  8. Impacts of heavy metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and pesticides on freeze tolerance of the earthworm Dendrobaena octaedra.

    PubMed

    Bindesbøl, Anne-Mette; Bayley, Mark; Damgaard, Christian; Holmstrup, Martin

    2009-11-01

    Previous studies have shown that the interactions between chemicals and climatic stressors can lead to synergistically increased mortality. In the present study, we investigated the effect of seven common environmental contaminants on survival at -6 and 15°C as well as on reproduction at 15°C in the earthworm Dendrobaena octaedra. Three classes of chemicals were considered: Heavy metals (nickel, lead, and mercury), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (pyrene and phenanthrene), and pesticides (abamectin and carbendazim). Phenanthrene interacted antagonistically with freezing temperatures, whereas no interaction was observed with any of the tested pesticides. Two of the three tested metals (nickel and mercury) reduced the freeze tolerance synergistically (mercury was especially potent). This suggests that traditional laboratory studies, in which organisms are exposed to increasing concentrations of a single compound under otherwise optimal conditions, may underestimate the toxicity of some metals to field populations living in cold areas. PMID:19499970

  9. Mobilizing Communities to Implement Tested and Effective Programs to Help Youth Avoid Risky Behaviors: The Communities That Care Approach. Research Brief. Publication #2011-25

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, J. David; Catalano, Richard F.; Kuklinski, Margaret R.

    2011-01-01

    Communities across the country have a vested interest in making sure that young people develop into healthy productive citizens and avoid behaviors that can jeopardize their own health and well-being and threaten the well-being of their families and neighborhoods as well. Substance abuse and delinquency are prime examples of behaviors that get in…

  10. Generalization of socially transmitted and instructed avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Gemma; Schlund, Michael W.; Dymond, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Excessive avoidance behavior, in which an instrumental action prevents an upcoming aversive event, is a defining feature of anxiety disorders. Left unchecked, both fear and avoidance of potentially threatening stimuli may generalize to perceptually related stimuli and situations. The behavioral consequences of generalization mean that aversive learning experiences with specific threats may lead to the inference that classes of related stimuli are threatening, potentially dangerous, and need to be avoided, despite differences in physical form. Little is known however about avoidance generalization in humans and the learning pathways by which it may be transmitted. In the present study, we compared two pathways to avoidance—instructions and social observation—on subsequent generalization of avoidance behavior, fear expectancy and physiological arousal. Participants first learned that one cue was a danger cue (conditioned stimulus, CS+) and another was a safety cue (CS?). Groups were then either instructed that a simple avoidance response in the presence of the CS+ cancelled upcoming shock (instructed-learning group) or observed a short movie showing a demonstrator performing the avoidance response to prevent shock (observational-learning group). During generalization testing, danger and safety cues were presented along with generalization stimuli that parametrically varied in perceptual similarity to the CS+. Reinstatement of fear and avoidance was also tested. Findings demonstrate, for the first time, generalization of socially transmitted and instructed avoidance: both groups showed comparable generalization gradients in fear expectancy, avoidance behavior and arousal. Return of fear was evident, suggesting that generalized avoidance remains persistent following extinction testing. The utility of the present paradigm for research on avoidance generalization is discussed. PMID:26150773

  11. Effects of earthworm mucus and amino acids on cadmium subcellular distribution and chemical forms in tomato seedlings.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shujie; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin

    2009-09-01

    In order to investigate the basic mechanism of earthworm activities enhancing plants growth and heavy metals accumulations. A hydroponic experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of earthworm mucus and mimic amino acids solution of earthworm mucus on cadmium (Cd) subcellular distributions and chemical forms in tomato seedlings. The result showed that earthworm mucus significantly increased the concentrations of Cd stored in soluble fraction in subcellular distribution and the concentrations of inorganic and soluble forms of Cd in tomato seedlings, which may explain the increase plants growth and Cd accumulation by earthworm mucus. Meanwhile, amino acids have same function as earthworm mucus, but the effect was much lower than of earthworm mucus. These results indicated that earthworm mucus could increase tomato seedlings growth and Cd accumulations through changing Cd subcellular distribution and chemical forms in plants. PMID:19362821

  12. Genotoxicity assessment in Eisenia andrei coelomocytes: a study of the induction of DNA damage and micronuclei in earthworms exposed to B[a]P- and TCDD-spiked soils.

    PubMed

    Sforzini, Susanna; Boeri, Marta; Dagnino, Alessandro; Oliveri, Laura; Bolognesi, Claudia; Viarengo, Aldo

    2012-07-01

    Earthworms are useful indicators of soil quality and are widely used as model organisms in terrestrial ecotoxicology. The assessment of genotoxic effects caused by environmental pollutants is of great concern because of their relevance in carcinogenesis. In this work, the earthworm Eisenia andrei was exposed for 10 and 28 days to artificial standard soil contaminated with environmentally relevant concentrations of benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) (0.1, 10, 50ppm) and 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro-dibenzo-para-dioxin (TCDD) (1×10(-5), 1×10(-4), 2×10(-3)ppm). Micronucleus (MNi) induction was evaluated in earthworm coelomocytes after DNA staining with the fluorescent dye DAPI. In the same cells, the DNA damage was assessed by means of the alkaline comet assay. Induction of MNi in coelomocytes, identified according to standard criteria, was demonstrated. B[a]P exposure for 10 and 28 days induced a significant increase in MNi frequency. In TCDD-treated earthworms, a significant effect on chromosomal damage was observed at all the concentrations used; surprisingly, greater effects were induced in animals exposed to the lowest concentration (1×10(-5)ppm). The data of the comet assay revealed a significant increase in the level of DNA damage in coelomocytes of earthworms exposed for 10 and 28 days to the different concentrations of B[a]P and TCDD. The results show that the comet and MN assays were able to reveal genotoxic effects in earthworms exposed even to the lowest concentrations of both chemicals tested here. The combined application in E. andrei of the comet assay and the micronucleus test, which reflect different biological mechanisms, may be suggested to identify genotoxic effects induced in these invertebrates by environmental contaminants in terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:22459015

  13. Recent advances in the Lesser Antilles observatoriesRecent advances in the Lesser Antilles observatories Part 1 : Seismic Data Acquisition Design based on EarthWorm andPart 1 : Seismic Data Acquisition Design based on EarthWorm and

    E-print Network

    Beauducel, François

    observatories Part 1 : Seismic Data Acquisition Design based on EarthWorm andPart 1 : Seismic Data Acquisition Design based on EarthWorm and SeisComPSeisComP Jean-Marie SAUREL (2,1), Frédéric RANDRIAMORA (3 observatories community : EarthWorm and SeisComP. The first is renowned for its ability to process real time

  14. Avoiding Statistical Mistakes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strasser, Nora

    2007-01-01

    Avoiding statistical mistakes is important for educators at all levels. Basic concepts will help you to avoid making mistakes using statistics and to look at data with a critical eye. Statistical data is used at educational institutions for many purposes. It can be used to support budget requests, changes in educational philosophy, changes to…

  15. Earthworm-Mycorrhiza Interactions Can Affect the Diversity, Structure and Functioning of Establishing Model Grassland Communities

    PubMed Central

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Grabmaier, Andrea; Lichtenegger, Claudia; Piller, Katja; Allabashi, Roza; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Both earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important ecosystem engineers co-occurring in temperate grasslands. However, their combined impacts during grassland establishment are poorly understood and have never been studied. We used large mesocosms to study the effects of different functional groups of earthworms (i.e., vertically burrowing anecics vs. horizontally burrowing endogeics) and a mix of four AMF taxa on the establishment, diversity and productivity of plant communities after a simulated seed rain of 18 grassland species comprising grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Moreover, effects of earthworms and/or AMF on water infiltration and leaching of ammonium, nitrate and phosphate were determined after a simulated extreme rainfall event (40 l m?2). AMF colonisation of all three plant functional groups was altered by earthworms. Seedling emergence and diversity was reduced by anecic earthworms, however only when AMF were present. Plant density was decreased in AMF-free mesocosms when both anecic and endogeic earthworms were active; with AMF also anecics reduced plant density. Plant shoot and root biomass was only affected by earthworms in AMF-free mesocosms: shoot biomass increased due to the activity of either anecics or endogeics; root biomass increased only when anecics were active. Water infiltration increased when earthworms were present in the mesocosms but remained unaffected by AMF. Ammonium leaching was increased only when anecics or a mixed earthworm community was active but was unaffected by AMF; nitrate and phosphate leaching was neither affected by earthworms nor AMF. Ammonium leaching decreased with increasing plant density, nitrate leaching decreased with increasing plant diversity and density. In order to understand the underlying processes of these interactions further investigations possibly under field conditions using more diverse belowground communities are required. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that belowground-aboveground linkages involving earthworms and AMF are important mediators of the diversity, structure and functioning of plant communities. PMID:22216236

  16. Invasive and exotic earthworms: an unaccounted change to mercury cycling in northeastern US forest soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, J. B.; Friedland, A. J.; Görres, J. H.; Renock, D. J.; Jackson, B. P.

    2014-12-01

    Invasive and exotic earthworms are now present in many forested areas of the northeastern US with currently unquantified consequences to abiotic and biotic Hg cycling. To quantify these effects, we measured Hg concentrations (mg kg-1) and amounts (?g m-2) in earthworms and soil horizons at 45 soil pits from 9 sites in northern New England. Seven earthworm species were observed in varying assemblages. Most earthworm species attained concentrations of Hg potentially hazardous to wildlife that may ingest them, with highest concentrations found in shallow-burrowing, litter-feeders. Specifically, Aporrectodea rosea and Amynthas agrestis had the greatest Hg concentrations (0.9 ± 0.1) and Hg amounts (8 ± 2) ?g m-2. Aporrectodea rosea and Amynthas agrestis were found to inhabit the forest floor and the top 5 cm of the mineral horizons in high abundance, potentially making it a readily accessible prey species. Bioaccumulation of Hg by invasive and exotic earthworms may be an important mechanism that transfers Hg to ground foraging predators, such as thrushes, red-backed salamanders and foxes, which is generally unaccounted for in terrestrial food chains. Earthworm Hg concentrations were poorly correlated with their respective soil Hg concentrations, suggesting a species dependence for Hg bioaccumulation rather than site effects. We observed that forest floor Hg concentrations and amounts were 23% and 57% lower, respectively, at soil pits with earthworms compared to those without. Moreover, Hg amounts in forest floor-feeding earthworms exceeded the remaining forest floor Hg pools. Mercury concentrations and pools in the mineral soil were 21% and 33% lower, respectively, for soil pits with earthworms compared to those without. We hypothesize that enhanced decomposition, horizon disturbance and bioaccumulation by earthworms has decreased Hg amounts in the forest floor and mineral soil. Our results suggest that earthworms are decreasing Hg storage in forest soils with potential hazardous impacts for predatory animals in northeastern US forests and other ecosystems.

  17. Impacts of elevated CO2 and O3 on aspen leaf litter chemistry and earthworm and springtail productivity

    E-print Network

    Impacts of elevated CO2 and O3 on aspen leaf litter chemistry and earthworm and springtail dioxide Collembola Decomposition Earthworm Growth Leaf litter Ozone Soil a b s t r a c t Human alteration and ozone on aspen (Populus tremuloides) leaf litter chemistry, earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) individual

  18. Received 28 Apr 2013 | Accepted 9 Sep 2013 | Published 15 Oct 2013 Earthworms facilitate carbon sequestration through

    E-print Network

    Neher, Deborah A.

    ARTICLE Received 28 Apr 2013 | Accepted 9 Sep 2013 | Published 15 Oct 2013 Earthworms facilitate, Jianxiong Li6, Yuanhu Shao1 & Shenglei Fu1 A recent review concluded that earthworm presence increases CO2 carbon would entirely reflect the earthworms' contribution to net carbon sequestration. We show how two

  19. The development of genetically inherited resistance to zinc in laboratory-selected generations of the earthworm Eisenia fetida

    E-print Network

    Hopkin, Steve

    of the earthworm Eisenia fetida D.J. Spurgeon a, *, S.P. Hopkin b a Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Monks Wood. # 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. Keywords: Earthworm; Zinc; Selection; Resistance-history characteristics of the F1 and F2 progeny of Orchesella cincta from contaminated sites. For earthworms, indirect

  20. Allometric estimation of earthworm ash-free dry mass from diameters and lengths of select megascolecid and lumbricid species

    E-print Network

    Tiegs, Scott

    Allometric estimation of earthworm ash-free dry mass from diameters and lengths of select-free dry mass allometric equations for seven earthworm species from the families Megascolecidae the two earthworm families, significant differences in slopes of length­biomass regressions existed among

  1. Managing Earthworm Castings (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) in Turfgrass using a Natural By-Product of Tea Oil (Camellia sp.) Manufacture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Earthworm casts are a problem on golf courses and sport fields when they disrupt the playability, aesthetics, and maintenance of playing surfaces. Abundant earthworms alongside airport runways can increase bird strike risk. Currently no pesticides are labeled for earthworms in the United States. W...

  2. Using Flow Cytometry to Measure Phagocytic Uptake in Earthworms

    PubMed Central

    Fuller-Espie, Sheryl L.

    2010-01-01

    This laboratory module familiarizes students with flow cytometry while acquiring quantitative reasoning skills during data analysis. Leukocytes, also known as coelomocytes (including hyaline and granular amoebocytes, and chloragocytes), from Eisenia hortensis (earthworms) are isolated from the coelomic cavity and used for phagocytosis of fluorescent Escherichia coli. Students learn how to set up in vitro cellular assays and become familiar with theoretical principles of flow cytometry. Histograms based on fluorescence and scatter properties combined with gating options permit students to restrict their analyses to particular subsets of coelomocytes when measuring phagocytosis, a fundamentally important innate immune mechanism used in earthworms. Statistical analysis of data is included in laboratory reports which serve as the primary assessment instrument. PMID:23653715

  3. Bioconcentration and biokinetics of heavy metals in the earthworm.

    PubMed

    Neuhauser, E F; Cukic, Z V; Malecki, M R; Loehr, R C; Durkin, P R

    1995-01-01

    This study examines the steady state and non-steady state kinetics of five metals, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc in earthworms. The steady state kinetics are based on field studies in which worms from contaminated and uncontaminated sites were collected and measurements were made of concentrations in the earthworms and soils. For each of the metals, evidence suggests that bioconcentration depends on the metal concentrations in the soil; bioconcentration is greater at lower soil concentrations. The studies of non-steady state kinetics involve uptake and elimination experiments in which worms are transferred from an uncontaminated soil to a contaminated soil (uptake studies) or from a contaminated soil to an uncontaminated soil (elimination studies). The voiding time is shown to be an important experimental variable in determining the measured levels of metal in earthworms because experimental measurements are usually made on a worm-soil complex (i.e. the soft tissue of the worm and the soil in the gut of the worm). Thus, for metals that are bioconcentrated in worm tissue, increasing the voiding period increases the concentration of the metal in the worm-soil complex. Conversely, for metals that are not bioconcentrated, increasing the voiding time leads to a decrease in concentrations in the worm-soil complex. PMID:15091519

  4. Biological response of earthworm, Eisenia fetida, to five neonicotinoid insecticides.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Pang, Sen; Mu, Xiyan; Qi, Suzhen; Li, Dongzhi; Cui, Feng; Wang, Chengju

    2015-08-01

    Earthworms (Eisenia fetida) are one of the most abundant terrestrial species, and play an important role in maintaining the ecological function of soil. Neonicotinoids are some of the most widely used insecticides applied to crops. Studies on the effect of neonicotinoids on E. fetida are limited. In the present work, we evaluated the effects of five neonicotinoid insecticides on reproduction, cellulase activity and the tissues of E. fetida. The results showed that, the LC50 of imidacloprid, acetamiprid, nitenpyram, clothianidin and thiacloprid was 3.05, 2.69, 4.34, 0.93 and 2.68mgkg(-1), respectively. They also could seriously affect the reproduction of E. fetida, reducing the fecundity by 84.0%, 39.5%, 54.3%, 45.7% and 39.5% at the sub-lethal concentrations of 2.0, 1.5, 0.80, 2.0 and 1.5mgkg(-1), respectively. The cellulase activity of E. fetida was most sensitive to clothianidin. Significant disruption of the epidermal and midgut tissue was observed after 14d exposure. In summary, we demonstrate that imidacloprid, acetamiprid, nitenpyram, clothianidin and thiacloprid have high toxic to earthworm, and can significantly inhibited fecundity and cellulase activity of E. fetida, and they also damage the epidermal and midgut cells of earthworm. PMID:25828917

  5. Earthworm-produced calcite granules: A new terrestrial palaeothermometer?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Versteegh, Emma A. A.; Black, Stuart; Canti, Matthew G.; Hodson, Mark E.

    2013-12-01

    In this paper we show for the first time that calcite granules, produced by the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris, and commonly recorded at sites of archaeological interest, accurately reflect temperature and soil water ?18O values. Earthworms were cultivated in an orthogonal combination of two different (granule-free) soils moistened by three types of mineral water and kept at three temperatures (10, 16 and 20 °C) for an acclimatisation period of three weeks followed by transfer to identical treatments and cultivation for a further four weeks. Earthworm-secreted calcite granules were collected from the second set of soils. ?18O values were determined on individual calcite granules (?18Oc) and the soil solution (?18Ow). The ?18Oc values reflect soil solution ?18Ow values and temperature, but are consistently enriched by 1.51 (± 0.12)‰ in comparison to equilibrium in synthetic carbonates. The data fit the equation 1000 ln ? = [20.21 ± 0.92] (103 T-1) - [38.58 ± 3.18] (R2 = 0.95; n = 96; p < 0.0005). As the granules are abundant in modern soils, buried soils and archaeological contexts, and can be dated using U-Th disequilibria, the developed palaeotemperature relationship has enormous potential for application to Holocene and Pleistocene time intervals.

  6. Molecular tools to understand the bioremediation effect of plants and earthworms on contaminated marine sediments.

    PubMed

    Moreno, Beatriz; Cañizares, Rosa; Macci, Cristina; Doni, Serena; Masciandaro, Grazia; Benitez, Emilio

    2015-12-30

    A meso-scale pilot plant was set up to test the efficiency of a bioremediation scheme applied to marine sediments contaminated by heavy metals and hydrocarbons. The experiment was implemented for three years in two stages using two remediation agents: plants (Paspalum vaginatum and Tamarix gallica) and earthworms (Eisenia fetida). DNA and RNA-based methodologies were applied to elucidate the dynamics of the bacterial population and were related to improving biological and chemical conditions of the sediments. Bioremediation strategies were successful in removing pollutants from the contaminated sediments and specialization within the bacterial community related to the type of contamination present was detected in the different stages of the process. The highest response of Gram-positive PAH-degraders to the contamination was detected at the beginning and after the first stage of the experiment, corresponding to the uppermost values of degradation. PMID:26223013

  7. A field screening method using earthworms (Eisenia foetida andrei) to evaluate contaminated soils

    SciTech Connect

    Wilborn, D.C.; Bollman, M.A.; Gillett, C.S.; Ott, S.L.; Linder, G.L.

    1997-09-01

    An on-site biological assessment for soil toxicity was performed using a lumbricid earthworm, Eisenia foetida andrei, at the Milltown Reservoir Superfund Site on the Clark Fork River near Missoula, MT. The assessment provided an opportunity to evaluate test containers and methodologies. Sixty-four field test stations, each consisting of three test containers of site soil, a control container of artificial soil, and a container to house soil moisture and temperature recording devices, were used. Laboratory tests were conducted on soil samples from selected field stations. The test containers were constructed from sections of polyvinyl chloride pipe and were found to be suitable in preventing escape of test organisms and damage by animals. The site soils had levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, copper, and zinc higher than those in surrounding watersheds. Combined mortality for exposure to the site soil was similar in both the laboratory and field tests. Combined sublethal responses to the site soil were also similar in both laboratory and field tests. Artificial soil controls in both field and laboratory tests resulted in combined mortality rates of 1% or less. The methodologies employed proved successful in maintaining an adequate soil moisture level and allowed for measurement of soil temperature.

  8. Accumulation, subcellular distribution and toxicity of copper in earthworm (Eisenia fetida) in the presence of ciprofloxacin.

    PubMed

    Huang, Rixiang; Wen, Bei; Pei, Zhiguo; Shan, Xiao-Quan; Zhang, Shuzhen; Williams, Paul N

    2009-05-15

    Land application of wastes from concentrated animal feeding operations results in accumulation of copper (Cu) and antimicrobials in terrestrial systems. Interaction between Cu and antimicrobials may change Cu speciation in soil solution, and affect Cu bioavailability and toxicity. In this study, earthworms were exposed to quartz sand percolated with different concentrations of Cu and ciprofloxacin (CIP). Copper uptake by earthworms, its subcellular partition, and toxicity were studied. An increase in the applied CIP decreased the free Cu ion concentration in external solution and mortalities of earthworm, while Cu contents in earthworms increased. Copper and CIP in earthworms were fractionated into five fractions: a granular fraction (D), a fraction consisting of tissue fragments, cell membranes, and intact cells (E), a microsomal fraction (F), a denatured proteins fraction (G), and a heat-stable proteins fraction (H). Most of the CIP in earthworms was in fraction H. Copper was redistributed from the metal-sensitive fraction E to fractions D, F, G, and H with increasing CIP concentration. These results challenge the free ion activity model and suggested that Cu may be partly taken up as Cu-CIP complexes in earthworms, changing the bioavailability, subcellular distribution, and toxicity of Cu to earthworms. PMID:19544874

  9. Effects of heavy metals on earthworms along contamination gradients in organic rich soils.

    PubMed

    Lukkari, Tuomas; Taavitsainen, Mirka; Väisänen, Ari; Haimi, Jari

    2004-11-01

    Earthworm communities and metal (bio)availability to earthworms along contamination gradients was studied in order to support chemical analyses in risk assessment of metal contaminated soils. Earthworms were sampled in three metal contaminated areas with different habitat and soil properties in Finland. Earthworm and soil samples were collected at three distances (1, 2, and 4 km) from the emission sources. Earthworms were identified as to species and analyzed for heavy metals. Total soil metal concentrations were analyzed using an ultrasound-assisted extraction method and bioavailable metal fraction was estimated by acetic acid extraction. In two of the three areas studied, heavy metal concentrations close to the emission sources were high enough to have harmful effects on earthworms and their environments. In general, diversity, total numbers, and biomass of earthworms increased with increasing distance from the emission sources. When individuals were available for analyses close to the emission source, positive correlations between metal concentrations in the earthworms and those in the soils were observed. PMID:15388274

  10. Portable Conduction Velocity Experiments Using Earthworms for the College and High School Neuroscience Teaching Laboratory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shannon, Kyle M.; Gage, Gregory J.; Jankovic, Aleksandra; Wilson, W. Jeffrey; Marzullo, Timothy C.

    2014-01-01

    The earthworm is ideal for studying action potential conduction velocity in a classroom setting, as its simple linear anatomy allows easy axon length measurements and the worm's sparse coding allows single action potentials to be easily identified. The earthworm has two giant fiber systems (lateral and medial) with different conduction…

  11. Phagocytosis in earthworms: An environmentally acceptable endpoint to assess immunotoxic potential of contaminated soils

    SciTech Connect

    Giggleman, M.A.; Fitzpatrick, L.C.; Goven, A.J.; Venables, B.J.; Callahan, C.A.

    1995-12-31

    Phagocytosis, a host-defense mechanism phylogenetically conserved throughout the animal kingdom, by earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) coelomocytes has potential as a surrogate for vertebrates to be used as an environmentally acceptable endpoint to assess sublethal immunotoxic risks of contaminated soils to environmental (eg. higher wildlife) and public health. Coelomocytes can be exposed in vivo to complex contaminated parent soils by placing earthworms in situ at hazardous waste sites (HWS) or into soil samples and their dilutions with artificial soil (AS) in the laboratory, or in vitro to soil extracts and their fractionations. Here the authors report on phagocytosis by coelomocytes in earthworms exposed to pentachlorophenol (PCP) contaminated soils from a wood treatment HWS, PCP-spiked AS and PCP treated filter paper (FP). HWS soil was diluted to 25% with AS to a sublethal concentration (ca. 125 mg kg{sup {minus}1}) and earthworms exposed for 14d at 10 C under light conditions. AS was spiked at ca. 125 mg kg{sup {minus}1} PCP and earthworms were similarly exposed. Controls for both consisted of earthworms exposed to 100% AS. Earthworms were exposed to FP treated with a sublethal PCP concentration (15 {micro}g cm{sup {minus}2}) at 10 C under dark conditions for 96H. Controls were similarly exposed without PCP. Phagocytosis by coelomocytes in earthworms exposed to HWS soil, spiked AS and treated FP was suppressed 37, 41 and 29%, respectively. Results are discussed in terms of PCP body burdens and exposure protocols.

  12. Effects of treatment with sodium fluoride and subsequent starvation on fluoride content of earthworms

    SciTech Connect

    Walton, K.C.

    1987-01-01

    The two experiments described here originated during a long-term investigation into the occurrence and movement of pollutant fluoride in a terrestrial ecosystem. Moles (Talpa europaea) whose diet consist largely of various species of earthworm Lumbricidae, are one of the species under investigation. Bone fluoride in moles was found to be higher, on average, than in foxes or small rodents. Moles probably acquire fluoride from their earthworm diet. Earthworms do not have any readily identifiable tissue in which to store large amounts of fluoride but, for their size, they have a considerable amount of soil in their gut, up oto 20% of their dry weight. Preliminary measurements of fluoride in whole earthworms suggested that observed levels could probably be accounted for by fluoride bound in the mineral part of contained soil and released during preparatory ashing. Two experiments to investigate this situation are described; here their aims were: to expose earthworms kept in soil to different concentrations of sodium fluoride; to measure resulting fluoride in earthworms when soil was removed from their gut by starvation for varying periods of time; and to compare amounts of fluoride in whole starved earthworms with those in starved earthworms from which remaining soil had also been physically removed by dissection and washing.

  13. Earthworms as phoretic hosts for Steinernema carpocapsae and Beauveria bassiana: Implications for enhanced biological control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prior research indicated that earthworms may serve as phoretic hosts to entomopathogenic nematodes. Therefore, we hypothesized that biocontrol efficacy of nematodes could be enhanced in the presence of earthworms based on increased nematode dispersal through the soil. We also hypothesized that ear...

  14. Earthworms enhance soil health and may also assist in improving biological insect pest suppression in pecans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prior research indicated that earthworms may serve as phoretic hosts to entomopathogenic nematodes. Therefore, we hypothesized that biocontrol efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes could be enhanced in the presence of earthworms based on increased nematode dispersal through the soil. We also hypo...

  15. Mutualism between common earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) and giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) varies between Ohio and Illinois

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seed caching of giant ragweed by common earthworm has been found to contribute to giant ragweed recruitment success in Ohio (OH) by protecting the seeds from postdispersal predation at a depth in the earthworm midden that is also suitable for germination. The objective of this study was to quantify ...

  16. Earthworms, Microbes and the Release of C and N in Biochar Amended Soil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Land application of biochar has the potential to increase soil fertility and sequester carbon. It is unclear how soil microbes and earthworms interact with biochar and affect release or retention of nutrients. In order to determine the effects and interactions among soil microbes, earthworms, and bi...

  17. Toxicity of nickel to the earthworm and the applicability of the neutral red retention assay

    E-print Network

    Hopkin, Steve

    Toxicity of nickel to the earthworm and the applicability of the neutral red retention assay JANECK of nickel on survival, growth, and reproduction of Eisenia veneta were investigated following 4 weeks of exposure to a nickel-chloride spiked loamy sand soil. The ability of a simple earthworm biomarker

  18. Earthworm survival and behavior results from a Clark Fork River Superfund site: Grant-Kohrs Ranch N.H.S., Montana

    SciTech Connect

    Rader, B.R.; Nimmo, D.R.; Chapman, P.L.

    1995-12-31

    Concentrations of heavy metals in sediments and soils deposited along the floodplain of the Clark Fork River, within the boundaries of the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, have exceeded those typically found in uncontaminated soils. Upstream mining activities along the Clark Fork River in the Deer Lodge Valley, Montana, have produced substantial quantities of mine waste which have been deposited throughout the watershed. Releases and re-releases of these contaminated substances continue to occur, and appear to be preventing the germination and establishment of critical riparian plant species and depressing soil microbe activity. Slickens, bare spots devoid of all vegetation, occur frequently in the floodplain along the Clark Fork River. This research investigates the toxicity of slicken soils using a series of earthworm (Eisenia foetida andrei) survival and behavior tests. In dilution tests, earthworm survival was reduced significantly in as little as 12.5% slicken soil. Results from earthworm behavior tests currently being conducted using non-lethal slicken soil dilutions will also be presented.

  19. [Polycyclic musks exposure affects gene expression of specific proteins in earthworm Eisenia fetida].

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun; Liu, Xiao-wei; Zheng, Shun-an; Zhou, Qi-xing; Li, Song

    2013-05-01

    To investigate the changes in gene expression of earthworm specific proteins following long-term exposure to low-dose polycyclic musks in soil, the mRNA expression levels of the four representative protein-coding genes (HSP70, CRT, cyPA, TCTP) were examined in earthworm Eisenia fetida exposed to polycyclic musks using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). The purpose of this study was to investigate mRNA expression profiles of test protein genes in response to sublethal galaxolide (HHCB) and tonalide (AHTN) for 28 d exposure. The analysis results of both sequence alignment and melting curves of RT-qPCR reactions showed that the selected primers were appropriately qualified for quantitative mRNA analysis. mRNA expressions of HSP70 gene were not significantly changed in Eisenia fetida exposed to low concentrations of AHTN (less than 30 microg x g(-1)) and HHCB (less than 50 microg x g(-1)). But HSP70 gene expressions were significantly down-regulated at concentrations of AHTN or HHCB equal to or greater than 30 or 50 microg x g(-1). However, up-regulation of CRT gene expressions was induced in response to all test concentrations of AHTN and HHCB. Both cyPA and TCTP gene expressions were not varied compared to control groups after 28 days of exposure. Overall, the results indicated that HSP70 and CRT genes expression patterns might be potential early molecular biomarkers for predicting the harmful exposure level and ecotoxicological effects of polycyclic musks contaminated soil. PMID:23914539

  20. Arsenic resistance and cycling in earthworms residing at a former gold mine in Canada.

    PubMed

    Button, Mark; Koch, Iris; Reimer, Kenneth J

    2012-10-01

    Earthworms (Lumbricus castaneous and Dendrodrilus rubidus), their host soils and leaf litter were collected from a former gold mine with widespread arsenic (As) contamination in Nova Scotia, Canada and determined for total and speciated As. Resistance to As toxicity was investigated by measurement of DNA damage in exposed earthworm populations using the comet assay. Arsenobetaine (AB) was observed at low concentration in the earthworms but not in the host soil or leaf litter. Several different organoarsenic species were observed in the leaf litter and only inorganic As was found in the host soils. The results suggest that 1) adaptation to As toxicity in earthworms is widespread and not particular to a single species, 2) AB originates in the earthworm and not the consumed soil or leaf litter and 3) as previously hypothesised (Button et al., 2010), biotransformation of inorganic As to AB is not likely involved in the adaptation. PMID:22683483

  1. Reduced greenhouse gas mitigation potential of no-tillage soils through earthworm activity

    PubMed Central

    Lubbers, Ingrid M.; Jan van Groenigen, Kees; Brussaard, Lijbert; van Groenigen, Jan Willem

    2015-01-01

    Concerns about rising greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations have spurred the promotion of no-tillage practices as a means to stimulate carbon storage and reduce CO2 emissions in agro-ecosystems. Recent research has ignited debate about the effect of earthworms on the GHG balance of soil. It is unclear how earthworms interact with soil management practices, making long-term predictions on their effect in agro-ecosystems problematic. Here we show, in a unique two-year experiment, that earthworm presence increases the combined cumulative emissions of CO2 and N2O from a simulated no-tillage (NT) system to the same level as a simulated conventional tillage (CT) system. We found no evidence for increased soil C storage in the presence of earthworms. Because NT agriculture stimulates earthworm presence, our results identify a possible biological pathway for the limited potential of no-tillage soils with respect to GHG mitigation. PMID:26337488

  2. Fluoride accumulation in different earthworm species near an industrial emission source in southern Germany

    SciTech Connect

    Vogel, J.; Ottow, J.C.G. )

    1991-10-01

    The information on fluorides (F)-pollution of soil invertebrates is sparse and only a few recent publications deal with F accumulation in some taxonomic groups of soil fauna. Earthworms in particular become the focus of soil-soil fauna interactions in F-polluted sites, even more so since a significant relationship between soil pollution and F load in earthworms was observed. Earthworms coat their burrowings and this may be a mechanism of F-dissemination and subsoil contamination. Evidence is growing that fluorides pass through food chains. Earthworms as the preferred prey of a wide range of animals are therefore in the center of interest as a possible way of F-bioaccumulation in higher trophic levels. For a risk assessment of F-pollution and pathways of F through organisms and ecosystems, detailed knowledge of F-accumulation in soil fauna, and in earthworms in particular is required.

  3. Metal content of earthworms in sludge-amended soils: uptake and loss

    SciTech Connect

    Neuhauser, E.F.; Malecki, M.R.; Cukic, Z.V.

    1985-11-01

    The widespread practice of landspreading of sludge has raised concern about increasing concentrations of potentially toxic metals in soils, with the possibility of these metals adversely impacting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Earthworms, as one of the largest components of the soil biota, are useful indicators of potentially toxic soil metal concentrations. The study describes the metal content of five metals (Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in one earthworm species, Allolobophora tuberculata, as a function of varying soil metal concentrations in the same soil type and the ability of the earthworms to bioconcentrate the five metals. The rate of uptake of the five metals in earthworms with initially low concentrations of metals placed in a soil with high metal concentrations was evaluated for a 112 day period. The rate of loss of the five metals in earthworms with initially high metal concentrations placed in soil with low metal concentrations was also examined.

  4. Reduced greenhouse gas mitigation potential of no-tillage soils through earthworm activity.

    PubMed

    Lubbers, Ingrid M; van Groenigen, Kees Jan; Brussaard, Lijbert; van Groenigen, Jan Willem

    2015-01-01

    Concerns about rising greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations have spurred the promotion of no-tillage practices as a means to stimulate carbon storage and reduce CO2 emissions in agro-ecosystems. Recent research has ignited debate about the effect of earthworms on the GHG balance of soil. It is unclear how earthworms interact with soil management practices, making long-term predictions on their effect in agro-ecosystems problematic. Here we show, in a unique two-year experiment, that earthworm presence increases the combined cumulative emissions of CO2 and N2O from a simulated no-tillage (NT) system to the same level as a simulated conventional tillage (CT) system. We found no evidence for increased soil C storage in the presence of earthworms. Because NT agriculture stimulates earthworm presence, our results identify a possible biological pathway for the limited potential of no-tillage soils with respect to GHG mitigation. PMID:26337488

  5. Earthworms modify microbial community structure and accelerate maize stover decomposition during vermicomposting.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuxiang; Zhang, Yufen; Zhang, Quanguo; Xu, Lixin; Li, Ran; Luo, Xiaopei; Zhang, Xin; Tong, Jin

    2015-11-01

    In the present study, maize stover was vermicomposted with the epigeic earthworm Eisenia fetida. The results showed that, during vermicomposting process, the earthworms promoted decomposition of maize stover. Analysis of microbial communities of the vermicompost by high-throughput pyrosequencing showed more complex bacterial community structure in the substrate treated by the earthworms than that in the control group. The dominant microbial genera in the treatment with the earthworms were Pseudoxanthomonas, Pseudomonas, Arthrobacter, Streptomyces, Cryptococcus, Guehomyces, and Mucor. Compared to the control group, the relative abundance of lignocellulose degradation microorganisms increased. The results indicated that the earthworms modified the structure of microbial communities during vermicomposting process, activated the growth of lignocellulose degradation microorganisms, and triggered the lignocellulose decomposition. PMID:26139410

  6. Earthworm responses to different reclamation processes in post opencast mining lands during succession.

    PubMed

    Hlava, Jakub; Hlavová, Anna; Hakl, Josef; Fér, Miroslav

    2015-01-01

    This study provides earthworm population data obtained from localities with a substantial anthropogenic impact spoils. The spoil heaps were reclaimed at the end of an opencast brown coal mining period. We studied spoils reclaimed by the two most commonly used reclamation processes: forestry and agricultural. The results show the significance of the locality age and the utilized reclamation process and treatment and their effect on earthworm communities. Our data indicate that apart from soil physical and chemical properties, the reclamation process itself may also induce viability and distribution of earthworm communities. Under standardized soil properties, the changes in earthworm populations during the succession were larger within the agricultural reclamation process as opposed to the forestry reclamation process for earthworm ecological groups and individual species. PMID:25380717

  7. Avoided Crossing and Synchronization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sekii, T.; Shibahashi, H.

    2013-12-01

    We examine avoided crossing of stellar pulsations in the nonlinear regime, where synchronization may occur, based on a simple model of weakly coupled van der Pol oscillators with close frequencies. For this simple case, avoided crossing is unaffected in the sense that there is a frequency difference between the symmetric and antisymmetric modes, but as a result of synchronization, unlike the linear oscillations case, the system can vibrate in only one of the modes.

  8. Operational Collision Avoidance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guit, Bill

    2015-01-01

    This presentation will describe the early days of the EOS Aqua and Aura operational collision avoidance process. It will highlight EOS debris avoidance maneuvers, EOS high interest event statistic and A-Train systematic conjunctions and conclude with future challenges. This is related to earlier e-DAA (tracking number 21692) that an abstract was submitted to a different conference. Eric Moyer, ESMO Deputy Project Manager has reviewed and approved this presentation on May 6, 2015

  9. Utilizing thin-film solid-phase extraction to assess the effect of organic carbon amendments on the bioavailability of DDT and dieldrin to earthworms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Andrade, Natasha A.; Centofanti, Tiziana; McConnell, Laura L.; Hapeman, Cathleen J.; Torrents, Alba; Anh, Nguyen; Beyer, W. Nelson; Chaney, Rufus L.; Novak, Jeffrey M.; Anderson, Marya O.; Cantrell, Keri B.

    2014-01-01

    Improved approaches are needed to assess bioavailability of hydrophobic organic compounds in contaminated soils. Performance of thin-film solid-phase extraction (TF-SPE) using vials coated with ethylene vinyl acetate was compared to earthworm bioassay (Lumbricus terrestris). A DDT and dieldrin contaminated soil was amended with four organic carbon materials to assess the change in bioavailability. Addition of organic carbon significantly lowered bioavailability for all compounds except for 4,4?-DDT. Equilibrium concentrations of compounds in the polymer were correlated with uptake by earthworms after 48d exposure (R2 = 0.97; p 40yr of aging. Results show that TF-SPE can be useful in examining potential risks associated with contaminated soils and to test effectiveness of remediation efforts.

  10. Integration of Weather Avoidance and Traffic Separation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Consiglio, Maria C.; Chamberlain, James P.; Wilson, Sara R.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes a dynamic convective weather avoidance concept that compensates for weather motion uncertainties; the integration of this weather avoidance concept into a prototype 4-D trajectory-based Airborne Separation Assurance System (ASAS) application; and test results from a batch (non-piloted) simulation of the integrated application with high traffic densities and a dynamic convective weather model. The weather model can simulate a number of pseudo-random hazardous weather patterns, such as slow- or fast-moving cells and opening or closing weather gaps, and also allows for modeling of onboard weather radar limitations in range and azimuth. The weather avoidance concept employs nested "core" and "avoid" polygons around convective weather cells, and the simulations assess the effectiveness of various avoid polygon sizes in the presence of different weather patterns, using traffic scenarios representing approximately two times the current traffic density in en-route airspace. Results from the simulation experiment show that the weather avoidance concept is effective over a wide range of weather patterns and cell speeds. Avoid polygons that are only 2-3 miles larger than their core polygons are sufficient to account for weather uncertainties in almost all cases, and traffic separation performance does not appear to degrade with the addition of weather polygon avoidance. Additional "lessons learned" from the batch simulation study are discussed in the paper, along with insights for improving the weather avoidance concept. Introduction

  11. Interactions between organic matter and mineral surfaces along an earthworm invasion gradient in a sugar maple forest of Minnesota

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyttle, A.; Yoo, K.; Aufdenkampe, A. K.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Hale, C.

    2012-12-01

    Sorption of organic matter on mineral surface is critical for protection of organic carbon (C) against decomposition and thus may potentially increase the capacity of soils to store C. Such sorption, however, requires physical contacts between organic matter and available mineral surfaces. This study attempts to better understand how bioturbation by invasive earthworms influences the contacts between organic matter and mineral surface, and affects sorption of organic matter on mineral surface. Vertical soil mixing is a direct consequence of the introduction of invasive earthworms in natural forests previously devoid of native earthworm populations. Here we focus on an intensively studied earthworm invasion chronosequence in a glaciated sugar maple forest in northern Minnesota. With the advance of invasive earthworms, leaf litter disappears while the A horizon expands at the expense of the overlying litter layer and the underlying wind blown silt materials. Earthworms' biomasses and functional group compositions, depth profiles of soil C contents, and total and organic matter-covered mineral surface areas are determined at different stages of invasion. We found that minerals' specific surface areas (SSA) in the A horizons decrease with greater degree of earthworm invasion. Furthermore, less fractions of mineral SSA were found to be coated with organic C in the soils with active earthworm populations. These observations appear to contradict another finding that amounts of crystalline Fe oxide and organically-complexed Fe increase with the greater earthworm population. The overall trend shows that earthworms' active mixing resulting in incorporating silt materials with low SSA from the underlying E horizons to the A horizons. We are currently investigating whether the increased crystalline Fe oxides and organically-complexed Fe pools with increasing earthworm population helped reducing the gradient of overall trend. Our study highlights the importance of earthworm bioturbation and material processing through earthworm intestines in determining the interactions between organic matter and mineral surface and thus helps understanding how soils' capacity to stabilize organic matter is influenced by invasive earthworm species.

  12. Aggregate formation and soil carbon sequestration by earthworms at the ORNL FACE experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez-de Leon, Y.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.; Lugo-Perez, J.; Wise, D. H.; Jastrow, J. D.

    2012-12-01

    Earthworms have an important role in soil carbon sequestration, but their contribution to carbon sequestration in soils exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations has been largely overlooked. Previous studies at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Free Air CO2 Experiment (ORNL FACE) site showed that the formation of soil aggregates is a key mechanism for soil carbon sequestration. We did a microcosm experiment to quantify earthworm-mediated aggregate formation and compare between two earthworm species with different feeding habits (endogeic vs. epi-edogeic). In addition, we wanted to identify the carbon source (soil, leaf litter or root litter) within aggregates formed by earthworms. We used 13C-depleted soil and 15N-enriched sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) leaf and root litter collected from the ORNL FACE site to assess soil aggregate formation of the native, endogeic earthworm Diplocardia sp. and European, epi-endogeic earthworm Lumbricus rubellus. Both earthworm species are present at the ORNL FACE site. We crushed, sieved (< 250 ?m) soil and prepared four treatments: (I) soil only; (II) soil and plant material; (III) soil, plant material and Diplocardia sp.; (IV) soil, plant material and L. rubellus. All treatments were at 30% water content and temperature was maintained at 20°C. The incubation period lasted 26 days. We measured aggregate size distribution, total aggregate carbon content and 13C and 15N to elucidate aggregate carbon source. Newly formed soil macroaggregates (> 250 ?m) were higher in treatments with earthworms (III and IV) than in treatments without earthworms (I and II) (p = 0.02). Within macroaggregates, most of the carbon was soil-derived. Leaf and root-derived carbon was found in treatment IV only. Our results suggest that earthworms at the ORNL FACE site directly contribute to the formation of soil aggregates, thus contributing to soil carbon sequestration. Carbon source within macroaggregates correspond with earthworm feeding habits, with endogeic earthworms (Diplocardia sp.) feeding mostly on mineral soil and epi-endogeic earthworm (L. rubellus) feeding on both plant residues and soil organic matter.

  13. Reactive Collision Avoidance Algorithm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scharf, Daniel; Acikmese, Behcet; Ploen, Scott; Hadaegh, Fred

    2010-01-01

    The reactive collision avoidance (RCA) algorithm allows a spacecraft to find a fuel-optimal trajectory for avoiding an arbitrary number of colliding spacecraft in real time while accounting for acceleration limits. In addition to spacecraft, the technology can be used for vehicles that can accelerate in any direction, such as helicopters and submersibles. In contrast to existing, passive algorithms that simultaneously design trajectories for a cluster of vehicles working to achieve a common goal, RCA is implemented onboard spacecraft only when an imminent collision is detected, and then plans a collision avoidance maneuver for only that host vehicle, thus preventing a collision in an off-nominal situation for which passive algorithms cannot. An example scenario for such a situation might be when a spacecraft in the cluster is approaching another one, but enters safe mode and begins to drift. Functionally, the RCA detects colliding spacecraft, plans an evasion trajectory by solving the Evasion Trajectory Problem (ETP), and then recovers after the collision is avoided. A direct optimization approach was used to develop the algorithm so it can run in real time. In this innovation, a parameterized class of avoidance trajectories is specified, and then the optimal trajectory is found by searching over the parameters. The class of trajectories is selected as bang-off-bang as motivated by optimal control theory. That is, an avoiding spacecraft first applies full acceleration in a constant direction, then coasts, and finally applies full acceleration to stop. The parameter optimization problem can be solved offline and stored as a look-up table of values. Using a look-up table allows the algorithm to run in real time. Given a colliding spacecraft, the properties of the collision geometry serve as indices of the look-up table that gives the optimal trajectory. For multiple colliding spacecraft, the set of trajectories that avoid all spacecraft is rapidly searched on-line. The optimal avoidance trajectory is implemented as a receding-horizon model predictive control law. Therefore, at each time step, the optimal avoidance trajectory is found and the first time step of its acceleration is applied. At the next time step of the control computer, the problem is re-solved and the new first time step is again applied. This continual updating allows the RCA algorithm to adapt to a colliding spacecraft that is making erratic course changes.

  14. Capacitor Test, Evaluation. and Modeling Within NASA Electronic Parts and Packaging (NEPP) Program. "Why Ceramic Capacitors Fracture During Manual Soldering and How to Avoid Failures"

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teverovsky, Alexander

    2011-01-01

    Presentation discusses: (1) Why Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitors(MLCCs) crack during manual soldering? Workmanship and parts issues. (2) Do existing qualification requirements assure crack-free soldering? MIL-spec Thermal Shock (TS) testing. MIL-spec Resistance to Soldering Heat (RSH) test. (3) What test can assure reliable soldering? Mechanical characteristics of ceramics. Comparison of three TS techniques: LND, TSD, and IWT. (4) Simulation of TS conditions.

  15. Journal of Chemical Ecology, Vol. 28, No. 11, November 2002 (C 2002) A COMPLEX, CROSS-TAXON, CHEMICAL RELEASER OF

    E-print Network

    Rohr, Jason

    from salamanders (undis- turbed, distressed, and injured P. cinereus) and snakes (unfed, earthworm fed (unfed or earthworm-fed) and tested against a water control, the combinations elicited avoidance. When

  16. Effects of heavy metals on the litter consumption by the earthworm Lumbricus rubellus in field soils

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hobbelen, P.H.F.; Koolhaas, J.E.; van Gestel, C.A.M.

    2006-01-01

    Aim of this study was to determine effects of heavy metals on litter consumption by the earthworm Lumbricus rubellus in National Park the "Brabantsche Biesbosch", the Netherlands. Adult L. rubellus were collected from 12 polluted and from one unpolluted field site. Earthworms collected at the unpolluted site were kept in their native soil and in soil from each of the 12 Biesbosch sites. Earthworms collected in the Biesbosch were kept in their native soils. Non-polluted poplar (Populus sp.) litter was offered as a food source and litter consumption and earthworm biomass were determined after 54 days. Cd, Cu and Zn concentrations were determined in soil, pore water and 0.01 M CaCl2 extracts of the soil and in earthworms. In spite of low available metal concentrations in the polluted soils, Cd, Cu and Zn concentrations in L. rubellus were increased. The litter consumption rate per biomass was positively related to internal Cd and Zn concentrations of earthworms collected from the Biesbosch and kept in native soil. A possible explanation is an increased demand for energy, needed for the regulation and detoxification of heavy metals. Litter consumption per biomass of earthworms from the reference site and kept in the polluted Biesbosch soils, was not related to any of the determined soil characteristics and metal concentrations. ?? 2005 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  17. The Impact of Invasive Earthworm Activity on Biopolymer Character of ýDecayed Litter ý

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filley, T.; Crow, S.; Johnston, C.; McCormick, M.; Szlavecz, K.

    2007-12-01

    Over the last 400-500 years invasive European earthworm populations have ýmoved steadily into North American forests either previously devoid of ýearthworms or that contained their own native populations. This has profound ýimpacts upon litter decay and soil organic matter dynamics. To determine the ýimpact of earthworm activity on the biopolymer and stable isotope chemistry of ýlitter residues and the nature of organic carbon moved to the soil profile we ýanalyzed tulip poplar leaves from a multi-year addition experiment in open ýsurface decay litter and litter bag decay experiments, as well as the associated ýsoils among forest plots that varied in non-native earthworm density and ýbiomass. The chemical alteration of biopolymers was tracked with FTIR ýspectroscopy, 13C-TMAH thermochemolysis, alkaline CuO extraction, and stable ýisotope mass spectrometry. Earthworm activity resulted in residues and soil ýparticulate organic matter depleted in cuticular aliphatic components and ýpolyphenols but highly enriched in ether-linked lignin with respect to initial litter ýmaterial. Decay in low earthworm abundance plots, as well as all experiments ýwith earthworm-excluding litter bags, resulted in enrichment in cutin aliphatics ýand only minor increases in ether linked lignin phenols which was also reflected ýin the soils below the amendments. Additionally, the stable carbon and nitrogen ýisotope composition of tulip poplar residues became isotopically distinct. The ýresults from litter bag decays were only reflective of the chemistry at sites with ývery low earthworm abundances. ý

  18. Conserved lamin A protein expression in differentiated cells in the earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae.

    PubMed

    Kalidas, Ramamoorthy M; Raja, Subramanian Elaiya; Mydeen, Sheik Abdul Kader Nagoor Meeran; Samuel, Selvan Christyraj Johnson Retnaraj; Durairaj, Selvan Christyraj Jackson; Nino, Gopi D; Palanichelvam, Karuppaiah; Vaithi, Arumugaswami; Sudhakar, Sivasubramaniam

    2015-09-01

    Lamin A is an intermediate filament protein found in most of the differentiated vertebrate cells but absent in stem cells. It shapes the skeletal frame structure beneath the inner nuclear membrane of the cell nucleus. As there are few studies of the expression of lamin A in invertebrates, in the present work, we have analyzed the sequence, immunochemical conservation and expression pattern of lamin A protein in the earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae, a model organism for tissue regeneration. The expression of lamin A has been confirmed in E. eugeniae by immunoblot. Its localization in the nuclear membrane has been observed by immunohistochemistry using two different rabbit anti-sera raised against human lamin A peptides, which are located at the C-terminus of the lamin A protein. These two antibodies detected 70?kDa lamin A protein in mice and a single 65?kDa protein in the earthworm. The Oct-4 positive undifferentiated blastemal tissues of regenerating earthworm do not express lamin A, while the Oct-4 negative differentiated cells express lamin A. This pattern was also confirmed in the earthworm prostate gland. The present study is the first evidence for the immunochemical identification of lamin A and Oct-4 in the earthworm. Along with the partial sequence obtained from the earthworm genome, the present results suggest that lamin A protein and its expression pattern is conserved from the earthworm to humans. PMID:25858151

  19. How within field abundance and spatial distribution patterns of earthworms and macropores depend on soil tillage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Schaik, Loes; Palm, Juliane; Schröder, Boris

    2014-05-01

    Earthworms play a key role in soil systems. They are ecosystem engineers affecting soil structure as well as the transport and availability of water and solutes through their burrowing behaviour. There are three different ecological earthworm types with different burrowing behaviour that can result in varying local infiltration patterns: from rapid deep vertical infiltration to a stronger diffuse distribution of water and solutes in the upper soil layers. The small scale variation in earthworm abundance is often very high and within fields earthworm population processes might result in an aggregated pattern. The question arises how the local distribution of earthworms affects spatial distributions of macroporosity and how both are influenced by soil tillage. Therefore we performed a total number of 430 earthworm samplings on four differently tilled agricultural fields in the Weiherbach catchment (South East Germany). Additionally, at a limited amount of 32 locations on two of the fields we performed sprinkling experiments with brilliant blue and excavated the soil to count macropores at different soil depths (10 cm, 30 cm and 50 cm) to compare macropore distributions to the earthworm distributions.

  20. Interactions of earthworms with indigenous and bioaugmented PCB-degrading bacteria.

    PubMed

    Luepromchai, Ekawan; Singer, Andrew C; Yang, Ching-Hong; Crowley, David E

    2002-09-01

    Partial bioremediation of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated soils has been achieved using bioaugmentation with PCB-degrading bacteria and earthworms. To further study the contribution of earthworms to bioremediation, an experiment was conducted in which the changes in indigenous and bioaugmented PCB-degrading bacteria were analyzed during treatment of contaminated soil using earthworms (Pheretima hawayana) alone or in combination with the PCB-degrading bacteria, Ralstonia eutrophus and Rhodococcus sp. ACS. Bacteria used for bioaugmentation were induced with carvone and salicylic acid in culture and were repeatedly applied every 3-4 days to the surface of unmixed, 20-cm long soil columns containing 100 ppm Aroclor 1242. After 9 weeks of treatment, the soil bacterial communities were analyzed using PCR primers for the bph genes. Results showed that approximately 50% of the PCBs were removed in the top 9 cm using a combination of earthworms and bioaugmentation, whereas bioaugmentation or earthworms applied alone were effective only for removing PCBs from the top 3 cm of the soil columns. Enhanced removal of PCBs caused by earthworms was associated with an increase in the population size of culturable, indigenous biphenyl-degrading bacteria, and an increase in the level of the bphA and bphC genes. The results suggest that earthworms facilitate PCB bioremediation by enhancing the dispersal of PCB-degrading bacteria in bioaugmented columns, as well as providing environmental conditions that favor the growth and activity of indigenous PCB-degrading bacteria. PMID:19709253

  1. Earthworm populations as related to woodcock habitat usage in Central Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, J.W.; Krohn, W.B.; Hordan, G.A.

    1977-01-01

    Lumbricid earthworms were sampled 'on two central Maine study areas between late April and early September, 1974, to relate earthworm abundance to use of feeding covers by American woodcock(Philoheli minor). On sampling days, occurring at 2 to 3 week intervals, a formalin solution was applied to thirty O.25m areas in heavjly, commonly, and rarely used woodcock covers (5 samples/type of feedjngcover/study area). The extent of cover usage was based on use of vegetation by 51 radio-equipped woodcock, 1970-73 (605 woodcockdays). A total of 2,546 earthworms of nine species was collected; species and age compositions of collected lumbricids were similar on both study areas. Similarly. number and biomass (dry weight) of earthworms extracted did not differ significantly between study areas. However. the number and biomass of sampled earthworms were directly and significantly related to the intensity to which woodcock used covers. Those diurnal covers most heavily used by woodcock sustained the highest lumbricid populations, ostensibly because these covers provided earthworms with preferred foods (i.e., leaf litters) and optimum soil moisture-temperature conditions. In terms of earthworms and woodcock supported per unit area, management of second-growth hardwoods appears more efficient than attempting to alter coniferous or mixed forests.

  2. Influence of earthworm mucus and amino acids on tomato seedling growth and cadmium accumulation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shujie; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin; Li, Xiuqiang

    2009-10-01

    The effects on the growth of tomato seedlings and cadmium accumulation of earthworm mucus and a solution of amino acids matching those in earthworm mucus was studied through a hydroponic experiment. The experiment included four treatments: 5 mg Cd L(-1) (CC), 5 mg Cd L(-1) + 100 mL L(-1) earthworm mucus (CE), 5 mg Cd L(-1) + 100 mL L(-1) amino acids solution (CA) and the control (CK). Results showed that, compared with CC treatment, either earthworm mucus or amino acids significantly increased tomato seedling growth and Cd accumulation but the increase was much higher in the CE treatment compared with the CA treatment. This may be due to earthworm mucus and amino acids significantly increasing the chlorophyll content, antioxidative enzyme activities, and essential microelement uptake and transport in the tomato seedlings. The much greater increase in the effect of earthworm mucus compared with amino acid treatments may be due to IAA-like substances in earthworm mucus. PMID:19535186

  3. Joint toxicity of chlorpyrifos, atrazine, and cadmium at lethal concentrations to the earthworm Eisenia fetida.

    PubMed

    Yang, Guiling; Chen, Chen; Wang, Yanhua; Cai, Leiming; Kong, Xiangzhen; Qian, Yongzhong; Wang, Qiang

    2015-06-01

    Contaminants in the environment often occur as complex mixtures, and their combined effect may exhibit toxicity to organisms. Risk assessments based on individual components tend to underestimate the effects associated with toxic action of mixtures. Toxicity studies on chemical mixtures are urgently required to assess their potential combined toxicities. The combination index (CI)-isobologram method was used to study chemical interactions to determine the nature of toxicological interactions of two pesticides chlorpyrifos and atrazine and a heavy metal cadmium toward earthworm Eisenia fetida by artificial soil and filter paper acute toxicity tests. The results showed that the binary mixture of chlorpyrifos and atrazine was antagonistic toward E. fetida at all f a levels in an artificial soil test. The combination of atrazine and Cd exhibited a slight degree of synergism throughout the exposure range, while chlorpyrifos plus Cd combination led to dual antagonistic/synergistic behavior. The nature of binary combinations in filter paper displayed opposite interaction to that in the artificial soil test, and the toxicity of ternary mixtures was not significantly synergistic than their binaries. The combination index (CI)-isobologram equation method could determine the interaction types for a series of effect levels of three chemicals in binary and ternary combinations in two types of acute earthworm tests. However, the nature of these interactions was not uniform along the f a level range in any of the two tests. Bioavailability, the nature of toxicological interaction, and the test organism need to be considered for understanding exposures and chemical measures. The synergistic effect for the particular binary combination suggests that a potential risk associated with the co-occurrence of these pollutants may still exist, which may have implications in risk assessment for the terrestrial environment. The combined effects between different contaminants might be influenced by the category of chemical, as well as the bioassay procedures. More studies of combined toxicities among these contaminants in the terrestrial environment should be conducted to identify the mixtures exhibiting synergistic pattern of interactions. PMID:25595933

  4. Concentration of cadmium in Coturnix quail fed earthworms

    SciTech Connect

    Stoewsand, G.S.; Bache, C.A.; Gutenmann, W.H.; Lisk, D.J.

    1986-01-01

    Earthworms (Lumbriscus terrestris), collected from soils in southern Ontario, Canada, that had no previous history of cadmium application, contained 3 ppm cadmium. They were fed to Coturnix quail as 60% dry weight of their diet for 63 d to examine the extent of deposition of native cadmium. Cadmium in kidney, liver, and excreta was greatly elevated above that of birds fed a control diet without worms. No increase in the level of cadmium in eggs was found. The factors affecting the association of cadmium in soils and worms and their assimilation and possible toxic effects in foraging birds are discussed.

  5. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) depress allogeneic natural cytotoxicity by earthworm coelomocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Suzuki, M.M.; Cooper, E.L.; Eyambe, G.S.; Goven, A.J.; Fitzpatrick, L.C.; Venables, B.J. |

    1995-10-01

    Coelomocytes of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris caused significant spontaneous allogeneic cytotoxicity in a 24-h trypan blue assay, but not in an assay using lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release. Allogeneic cytotoxicity assays using cells from worms exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) suggest that PCBs can suppress a natural killing (NK-like) reaction. The implications of this work are twofold: understanding the evolution of natural killing (NK-like) activity and providing preliminary information on how spontaneous killing, a component of cellular immunity, may be compromised by pollutants.

  6. Importance of earthworm-seed interactions for the composition and structure of plant communities: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forey, Estelle; Barot, Sébastien; Decaëns, Thibaud; Langlois, Estelle; Laossi, Kam-Rigne; Margerie, Pierre; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2011-11-01

    Soil seed bank composition and dynamics are crucial elements for the understanding of plant population and community ecology. Earthworms are increasingly recognized as important dispersers and predators of seeds. Through direct and indirect effects they influence either positively or negatively the establishment and survival of seeds and seedlings. Seedling establishment is affected by a variety of earthworm-mediated mechanisms, such as selective seed ingestion and digestion, acceleration or deceleration of germination, and seed transport. Earthworm casts deposited on the soil surface and the entrance of earthworm burrows often contain viable seeds and constitute important regeneration niches for plant seedlings and therefore likely favour specific seed traits. However, the role of earthworms as seed dispersers, mediators of seed bank dynamics and seed predators has not been considered in concert. The overall effect of earthworms on plant communities remains little understood. Most knowledge is based on laboratory studies on temperate species and future work has to explore the biological significance of earthworm-seed interactions under more natural conditions. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on earthworm-seed interactions and discuss factors determining these interactions. We highlight that this interaction may be an underappreciated, yet major driving force for the dynamics of soil seed banks and plant communities which most likely have experienced co-evolutionary processes. Despite the experimental bias, we hypothesize that the knowledge gathered in the present review is of crucial relevance for restoration and conservation ecology. For instance, as earthworms emerge as successful and ubiquitous invaders in various ecosystems, the summarized information might serve as a basis for realistic estimations and modelling of consequences on native plant communities. We depict promising directions of future research and point to the need to consider above- and belowground interactions in order to mechanistically understand the driving forces of plant community assembly.

  7. Metallothionein gene expression differs in earthworm populations with different exposure history.

    PubMed

    Mustonen, M; Haimi, J; Väisänen, A; Knott, K E

    2014-11-01

    Metals are persistent pollutants in soils that can harm soil organisms and decrease species diversity. Animals can cope with metal contamination with the help of metallothioneins, small metal-binding proteins involved in homeostasis and detoxification of metals. We studied the expression of metallothionein with qPCR in a small, epigeic earthworm, Dendrobaena octaedra. We compared expression patterns and metal body content in earthworms collected from two sites with different metal contamination histories: Harjavalta, contaminated by a Cu-Ni smelter operational for over 50 years, and Jyväskylä, an uncontaminated site. Earthworms from both sites were also experimentally exposed to different concentrations of Cu (control, 50, 100 or 200 mg/kg) or Zn (control, 75, 150 or 300 mg/kg) for 7, 14 or 28 days to determine if there is a time related dose-response in gene expression. Population comparison showed that metallothionein expression was higher in earthworms from the contaminated site. In the exposure experiment, exposure time affected expression, but only in the earthworms from the uncontaminated site, suggesting that there is a delay in the metallothionein response of earthworms in this population. In contrast, earthworms from the contaminated site showed higher and constant levels of metallothionein expression at all exposure concentrations and durations. The constant metallothionein expression in earthworms from the contaminated site suggests that inducibility of metallothionein response could be lost in earthworms with metal exposure history. Adaptation of D. octaedra to metal exposure could explain the differences between the populations and explain the persistence of this species in contaminated forest soils. PMID:25179588

  8. Avoiding Sophomore Jinx.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzpatrick, James

    2002-01-01

    After the first year, new superintendents should take care to avoid the "sophomore jinx" by communicating effectively with the board president every week and with board members before meetings. Public engagement is also an integral part of a superintendent's job. (MLF)

  9. Avoiding Plagiarism: Strategies & Resources

    E-print Network

    MacMillan, Andrew

    Avoiding Plagiarism: Strategies & Resources Rob Desjardins, PhD Based on a presentation by Stephen yourself with plagiarism: Don't read anything written by anyone. 2 #12;CAUSES AND INCENTIVES 3 Starting Points #12;The Stats: Grad-Level Plagiarism One British report "estimate[d] that plagiarism among taught

  10. Plants to Avoid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Knowledge of poisonous plants is extremely important for home owners, gardeners, farmers, hunters, hikers, and the rest of the general public. Among the most important plants to avoid in the Delta Region are poison ivy, bull nettle, eastern black nightshade, Queen Ann’s lace, jimsonweed, and trumpe...

  11. Avoiding a Lawsuit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moss, Jim

    1991-01-01

    The staff of an outdoor recreational or adventure program inadvertently, through its actions, may plant the idea of a lawsuit in an injured participant's mind. Lawsuits may be avoided by continuing the relationship of trust developed in the program and by helping the injured party get back to normal life or even rejoin the program. (SV)

  12. Using of ants and earthworm to modify of soil biological quality and its effect on cocoa seedlings growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kilowasid, Laode Muhammad Harjoni; Budianto, Wayan; Syaf, Hasbullah; Tufaila, Muhammad; Safuan, La Ode

    2015-09-01

    Ant and earthworm can act as soil ecosystem engineers. Ant and earthworm are very dominant in smallholder cocoa plantation. The first experiment aimed to study the effect of the abundance of ants and earthworms on soil microbial activity and microfauna, and the second experiment to analyse the effect of soil modified by ants and earthworms on the cocoa seedlings growth. Ant (Ponera sp.) and earthworm (Pontoscolex sp.) collected from smallholder cocoa plantation, and kept in a container up to applied. In the first experiment, nine combinations of the abundance of ants and earthworms applied to each pot containing 3 kg of soil from smallholder cocoa plantation, and each combination of the abundance was repeated five times in a completely randomized design. After the soil was incubated for thirty days, ants and earthworms removed from the soil using hand sorting techniques. Soil from each pot was analysed for soil microbial activity, abundance of flagellates and nematodes. In the second experiment, the soil in each pot was planted with cocoa seedlings and maintained up to ninety days. The results showed the FDA hydrolytic activity of microbes, the abundance of flagellates and nematodes between the combination of the abundance of ants and earthworms have been significantly different. Dry weight of root, shoot and seedling cacao have been significantly different between the combination of the abundance of ants and earthworms. It was concluded that the combination of the abundance of ants and earthworms can be used in ecological engineering to improve soil quality.

  13. Soil Chemical Weathering and Nutrient Budgets along an Earthworm Invasion Chronosequence in a Northern Minnesota Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Resner, K. E.; Yoo, K.; Sebestyen, S. D.; Aufdenkampe, A. K.; Lyttle, A.; Weinman, B. A.; Blum, A.; Hale, C. M.

    2011-12-01

    We are investigating the impact of exotic earthworms on the rate of nutrient and ion release from soil chemical weathering along an ~200 m invasion chronosequence in a northern Minnesota sugar maple forest. The earthworms belong to three ecological groups that represent different feeding and burrowing behaviors, all of which were introduced from Europe to the previously earthworm-free Great Lakes Region through fishing and agricultural activities. As earthworms digest and mix the soil, we hypothesize that they significantly alter chemical weathering processes by incorporating mineral surfaces to new geochemical environments in their intestines and at different soil depths. The effect of mixing on soil morphology is dramatic, but biogeochemical changes remain largely unknown and therefore are poorly coupled to the current and potential changes in forest ecosystems under the threat of exotic earthworms. We analyze the activities of short-lived isotopes 137-Cs and 210-Pb along with the inorganic chemistry of soil, water, and leaf litter across an invasion transect and link these measurements to the biomass and species composition of exotic earthworms. Earthworms vertically relocate minerals and organic matter largely within the top ~10 cm, which is reflected in the depth profiles of the short-lived isotopes. Among the inorganic nutrients analyzed, Ca is of particular interest due to sugar maple's aptitude for recycling Ca. Fractional mass loss values (tau) of Ca, relative to the soil's parent material, show an enrichment factor of 14 in the least invaded A horizon soils. However, such a high enrichment factor declines dramatically in the heavily invaded soils, suggesting that earthworm activities contribute to leaching Ca. In contrast, the enrichment factor of Fe increases with greater degrees of earthworm invasion, which is consistent with the extraction chemistry data showing greater quantities of pedogenic crystalline iron oxides and greater mineral specific surface area (presumably due to the crystalline iron oxides) in the heavily invaded soils. Water chemistry of lysimeter samples show a similar trend: the heavily invaded soils show a lower solute concentration of Ca but higher concentrations of Fe. These data indicate that exotic earthworms, while significantly affecting chemical weathering processes in the soils, are seriously altering (1) the budgets of inorganic nutrient in these hardwood forests and (2) the minerals' potential capacity to complex carbon on their surface area. Our ongoing work includes the use of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating which may complement the 137-Cs and 210-Pb data in constraining soil mixing. Additionally, we will incorporate leaf litter chemistry and continue water and earthworm sampling to understand the degree that exotic earthworms contribute to chemical weathering in the Great Lakes hardwood ecosystems.

  14. The effect of earthworms on the fractionation and bioavailability of heavy metals before and after soil remediation.

    PubMed

    Udovic, Metka; Lestan, Domen

    2007-07-01

    The effect of two earthworm species, Lumbricus rubellus and Eisenia fetida, on the fractionation/bioavailability of Pb and Zn before and after soil leaching with EDTA was studied. Four leaching steps with total 12.5 mmol kg(-1) EDTA removed 39.8% and 6.1% of Pb and Zn, respectively. EDTA removed Pb from all soil fractions fairly uniformly (assessed using sequential extractions). Zn was mostly present in the chemically inert residual soil fraction, which explains its poor removal. Analysis of earthworm casts and the remainder of the soil indicated that L. rubellus and E. fetida actively regulated soil pH, but did not significantly change Pb and Zn fractionation in non-remediated and remediated soil. However, the bioavailability of Pb (assessed using Ruby's physiologically based extraction test) in E. fetida casts was significantly higher than in the bulk of the soil. In remediated soil the Pb bioavailability in the simulated stomach phase increased by 5.1 times. PMID:17234313

  15. Toxicity of coelomic fluid of the earthworm Eisenia foetida to vertebrates but not invertebrates: probable role of sphingomyelin.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, H; Ohtomi, M; Sekizawa, Y; Ohta, N

    2001-03-01

    The coelomic fluid (CF) of the earthworm Eisenia foetida exhibits a wide variety of biological activities. We found that the CF was not toxic to 42 species, belonging to seven invertebrate phyla, almost all in aquatic adults and larvae exposed to CF. Eleven teleostean species tested died in 0.2-1% CF mostly between 10 and 120 min and the effects were dose-dependent. Tadpoles of the toad Bufo japonicus formosus died in 0.4-2% CF between 80 and 225 min depending upon size, with larger tadpoles surviving longer. Before dying, all experimental tadpoles developed curled and shrunken tails. The Okinawa tree lizard, soft-shelled turtle, Japanese quail, mouse and rat all died after i.v. injection of CF (above 20 microl/kg). Thus, CF was not toxic to invertebrates, but toxic to vertebrates. After heating, CF lost its toxicity to fish, tadpoles and mice. Both CF and lysenin incubated with sphingomyelin-liposomes (SM-liposomes) were no longer toxic, suggesting the involvement of SM in the toxicity. Lysenin, which is a constituent of CF and known to bind specifically to sphingomyelin, exhibited toxicity similar to that of CF. Thus, lysenin in CF is probably responsible for the toxic effects of CF by binding to SM in vertebrate tissues. The bodies of invertebrates might contain little or no SM, while those of vertebrates do contain SM. The coelomic fluid of the earthworm Pheretima communissima has no toxicity to mouse. PMID:11255113

  16. Interactions between plant species and earthworm casts in a calcareous grassland under elevated CO{sub 2}

    SciTech Connect

    Zaller, J.G.; Arnone, J.A. III

    1999-04-01

    The authors tested the hypothesis that the spatial proximity of a plant species to nutrient-rich earthworm casts (e.g., 100% more ammonium and 30% more phosphate than in adjacent soil) is an important determinant of a plant`s responsiveness to elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2}. In 1995 the authors mapped the location of both earthworm surface casts and plants in each of 16 1.2-m{sup 2} plots in a species-rich calcareous grassland in northwestern Switzerland. Eight plots have been maintained under current ambient CO{sub 2} concentrations and eight have been maintained at elevated CO{sub 2} since March 1994. In addition, total ramet production of each species, as a measure of performance, and cumulative cast production at each location (cell) were recorded at peak community biomass in 1995. Plant species within functional groups differed markedly in their degree of association with casts; however, after two growing seasons elevated CO{sub 2} had no effect on plant species or functional group associations with casts. No statistically significant relationship could be demonstrated between plant-species response to elevated CO{sub 2} and the degree of association with casts within any of the functional groups. However, a positive relationship was observed between the mean response of graminoid species to elevated CO{sub 2} and their mean degree of association with surface casts at ambient CO{sub 2}.

  17. The Perceived-Threat Behavioral Approach Test (PT-BAT): Measuring Avoidance in High-, Mid-, and Low-Spider-Fearful Participants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cochrane, Andy; Barnes-Holmes, Dermot; Barnes-Holmes, Yvonne

    2008-01-01

    One hundred twenty female participants, with varying levels of spider fear were asked to complete an automated 8-step perceived-threat behavioral approach test (PT-BAT). The steps involved asking the participants if they were willing to put their hand into a number of opaque jars with an incrementally increasing risk of contact with a spider (none…

  18. Biosynthesis of luminescent quantum dots in an earthworm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stürzenbaum, S. R.; Höckner, M.; Panneerselvam, A.; Levitt, J.; Bouillard, J.-S.; Taniguchi, S.; Dailey, L.-A.; Khanbeigi, R. Ahmad; Rosca, E. V.; Thanou, M.; Suhling, K.; Zayats, A. V.; Green, M.

    2013-01-01

    The synthesis of designer solid-state materials by living organisms is an emerging field in bio-nanotechnology. Key examples include the use of engineered viruses as templates for cobalt oxide (Co3O4) particles, superparamagnetic cobalt-platinum alloy nanowires and gold-cobalt oxide nanowires for photovoltaic and battery-related applications. Here, we show that the earthworm's metal detoxification pathway can be exploited to produce luminescent, water-soluble semiconductor cadmium telluride (CdTe) quantum dots that emit in the green region of the visible spectrum when excited in the ultraviolet region. Standard wild-type Lumbricus rubellus earthworms were exposed to soil spiked with CdCl2 and Na2TeO3 salts for 11 days. Luminescent quantum dots were isolated from chloragogenous tissues surrounding the gut of the worm, and were successfully used in live-cell imaging. The addition of polyethylene glycol on the surface of the quantum dots allowed for non-targeted, fluid-phase uptake by macrophage cells.

  19. Earthworm coelomocytes as nanoscavenger of ZnO NPs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Shruti; Kushwah, Tanuja; Yadav, Shweta

    2014-05-01

    Earthworms can `biotransform' or `biodegrade' chemical contaminants, rendering them harmless in their bodies, and can bioaccumulate them in their tissues. They `absorb' the dissolved chemicals through their moist `body wall' due to the interstitial water and also ingest by `mouth' while soil passes through the gut. Since the advent of the nanotechnology era, the environmental sink has been continuously receiving engineered nanomaterials as well as their derivatives. Our current understanding of the potential impact of nanomaterials and their natural scavenger is limited. In the present investigation, we studied the cellular uptake of ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) by coelomocytes especially by chloragocytes of Eisenia fetida and their role as nanoscavenger. Results from exposure to 100- and 50-nm ZnO NPs indicate that coelomocytes of the earthworm E. fetida show no significant DNA damage at a dose lower than 3 mg/l and have the potential ability to uptake ZnO NPs from the soil ecosystem and transform them into microparticles.

  20. Differences in scaling and morphology between lumbricid earthworm ecotypes.

    PubMed

    Kurth, Jessica A; Kier, William M

    2015-09-01

    Many soft-bodied invertebrates use a flexible, fluid-filled hydrostatic skeleton for burrowing. The aim of our study was to compare the scaling and morphology between surface-dwelling and burrowing earthworm ecotypes to explore the specializations of non-rigid musculoskeletal systems for burrowing locomotion. We compared the scaling of adult lumbricid earthworms across species and ecotypes to determine whether linear dimensions were significantly associated with ecotype. We also compared the ontogenetic scaling of a burrowing species, Lumbricus terrestris, and a surface-dwelling species, Eisenia fetida, using glycol methacrylate histology. We show that burrowing species are longer, thinner and have higher length-to-diameter ratios than non-burrowers, and that L. terrestris is thinner for any given body mass compared with E. fetida. We also found differences in the size of the musculature between the two species that may correlate with surface crawling or burrowing. Our results suggest that adaptations to burrowing for soft-bodied animals include a disproportionately thin body and strong longitudinal muscles. PMID:26232418

  1. The binding interactions of imidacloprid with earthworm fibrinolytic enzyme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yan-Qing; Zhang, Hong-Mei; Chen, Tao

    2014-08-01

    In this paper, several studies were conducted to elucidate the binding mechanism of earthworm fibrinolytic enzyme (EFE) with imidocloprid (IMI) by using theoretical calculation, fluorescence, UV-vis, circular dichroism spectroscopy and an enzymatic inhibition assay. The spectral data showed that the binding interactions existed between IMI and EFE. The binding constants, binding site, thermodynamic parameters and binding forces were analyzed in detail. The results indicate a single class of binding sites for IMI in EFE and that this binding interaction is a spontaneous process with the estimated enthalpy and entropy changes being 2.195 kJ mol-1 and 94.480 J mol-1 K-1, respectively. A single class of binding site existed for IMI in EFE. The tertiary or secondary structure of EFE was partly destroyed by IMI. The visualized binding details were also exhibited by the theoretical calculation and the results indicated that the interaction between IMI and Phe (Tyr, or Trp) or EFE occurred. Combining the experimental data with the theoretical calculation data, we showed that the binding forces between IMI and EFE were mainly hydrophobic force accompanied by hydrogen binding, and ?-? stacking. In addition, IMI did not obviously influence the activity of EFE. In a word, the above analysis offered insights into the binding mechanism of IMI with EFE and could provide some important information for the molecular toxicity of IMI for earthworms.

  2. Earthworm coelomocytes as nanoscavenger of ZnO NPs

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Earthworms can ‘biotransform’ or ‘biodegrade’ chemical contaminants, rendering them harmless in their bodies, and can bioaccumulate them in their tissues. They ‘absorb’ the dissolved chemicals through their moist ‘body wall’ due to the interstitial water and also ingest by ‘mouth’ while soil passes through the gut. Since the advent of the nanotechnology era, the environmental sink has been continuously receiving engineered nanomaterials as well as their derivatives. Our current understanding of the potential impact of nanomaterials and their natural scavenger is limited. In the present investigation, we studied the cellular uptake of ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) by coelomocytes especially by chloragocytes of Eisenia fetida and their role as nanoscavenger. Results from exposure to 100- and 50-nm ZnO NPs indicate that coelomocytes of the earthworm E. fetida show no significant DNA damage at a dose lower than 3 mg/l and have the potential ability to uptake ZnO NPs from the soil ecosystem and transform them into microparticles. PMID:24959107

  3. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-07-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services.

  4. NON-INVASIVE ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL MONITORING: A SENSITIVE METHOD FOR DETECTING SUBLETHAL NEUROTOXICITY IN EARTHWORMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Earthworms were exposed, by external surface contact, to three chemical pollutants: dieldrin (a known neurotoxicant), dimethyl phthalate and fluorene (a possible neurotoxicant). After 48 h of exposure, LC50 values were determined and compared with concentrations required for subl...

  5. METAL CONTENT OF EARTHWORMS IN SLUDGE AMENDED SOILS: UPTAKE AND LOSS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The widespread practice of landspreading of sludge has raised concern about increasing concentrations of potentially toxic metals in soils, with the possibility of these metals adversely impacting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Earthworms, as one of the largest components of...

  6. Syntheses of glycoclusters containing a phosphocholine residue related to a glycosphingolipid from the earthworm Pheretima hilgendorfi.

    PubMed

    Hada, Noriyasu; Shida, Yukihiko; Negishi, Natsuko; Schweizer, Frank; Takeda, Tadahiro

    2009-10-01

    Three types of glycoclusters related to an amphoteric glycosphingolipid found in the earthworm Pheretima hilgendorfi were synthesized. The glycoclusters were prepared from a common precursor and a simple approach for the rational design of a glycocluster was developed. PMID:19801862

  7. Effect of lead on survival, locomotion and sperm morphology of Asian earthworm, Pheretima guillelmi.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Rongquan; Li, Canyang

    2009-01-01

    To provide basic toxicity data for formulating risk characterization benchmarks, the effects of lead on survival, locomotion, and sperm morphology were investigated in the Asian earthworm Pheretima guillelmi. The LC50 of P. guillelmi for 7 and 14 d were 4285 +/- 339 mg/kg and 3207 +/- 248 mg/kg, which shows P. guillelmi can tolerate a higher concentration of lead nitrate. The average weight of the surviving earthworms decreased at concentration of 2800 mg Pb/kg soil, and the locomotor ability of earthworms exposed to a range of soil Pb concentrations showed a general decrease with increasing Pb concentrations. We also presented data depicting the sperm morphology of earthworms, which shows potential as a sensitive biomarker for measuring the effects of heavy metal on reproduction. PMID:20108673

  8. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services. PMID:25005713

  9. Taxonomic composition and physiological and biochemical properties of bacteria in the digestive tracts of earthworms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byzov, B. A.; Tikhonov, V. V.; Nechitailo, T. Yu.; Demin, V. V.; Zvyagintsev, D. G.

    2015-03-01

    Several hundred bacterial strains belonging to different taxa were isolated and identified from the digestive tracts of soil and compost earthworms. Some physiological and biochemical properties of the bacteria were characterized. The majority of intestinal bacteria in the earthworms were found to be facultative anaerobes. The intestinal isolates as compared to the soil ones had elevated activity of proteases and dehydrogenases. In addition, bacteria associated with earthworms' intestines are capable of growth on humic acids as a sole carbon source. Humic acid stimulated the growth of the intestinal bacteria to a greater extent than those of the soil ones. In the digestive tracts, polyphenol oxidase activity was found. Along with the data on the taxonomic separation of the intestinal bacteria, the features described testified to the presence of a group of bacteria in the earthworms intestines that is functionally characteristic and is different from the soil bacteria.

  10. [Effects of methamidophos and copper on ecological detoxification of acetochlor by earthworm in phaeozem].

    PubMed

    Liang, Jidong; Zhou, Qixing

    2006-10-01

    By using microcosm culture method, this paper studied the dynamic changes of acetochlor degradation by earthworm in phaeozem with methamidophos or copper addition, aimed to approach the feasibility of using earthworm to intensify the detoxification of acetochlor. The results showed that the dynamics of acetochlor degradation accorded with the first-order reaction kinetics, whether earthworm existed or not. The activities of earthworm accelerated the detoxification of acetochlor, and the coexistence of methamidophos or copper with acetochlor evidently inhibited the degradation of acetochlor. The coexistence of methamidophos and acetochlor or of copper and higher concentration acetochlor altered the dynamics of acetochlor degradation, while the coexistence of copper and lower concentration acetochlor didn't have any obvious effect on the detoxification of acetochlor. PMID:17209401

  11. FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIONS ARE ESTABLISHED BETWEEN GIANT NERVE FIBERS IN GRAFTED EARTHWORMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Giant fiber interconnections were examined in successful grafts between two posterior portions of earthworms (Eisenia foetida). Electrophysiological and histological results indicated that cell-specific interanimal connections were formed between the medial giant fibers (MGF) in ...

  12. Glyphosate herbicide affects belowground interactions between earthworms and symbiotic mycorrhizal fungi in a model ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zaller, Johann G; Heigl, Florian; Ruess, Liliane; Grabmaier, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services. PMID:25005713

  13. Determination of multi-walled carbon nanotube bioaccumulation in earthworms measured by a microwave-based detection technique.

    PubMed

    Li, Shibin; Irin, Fahmida; Atore, Francis O; Green, Micah J; Cañas-Carrell, Jaclyn E

    2013-02-15

    Reliable quantification techniques for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are limited. In this study, a new procedure was developed for quantifying multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in earthworms (Eisenia fetida) based on freeze drying and microwave-induced heating. Specifically, earthworms were first processed into a powder by freeze drying. Then, samples were measured by utilizing 10 s exposure to 30 W microwave power. This method showed the potential to quantitatively measure MWNTs in earthworms at low concentrations (~0.1 ?g in 20 mg of earthworm). Also, a simple MWNT bioaccumulation study in earthworms indicated a low bioaccumulation factor of 0.015±0.004. With an appropriate sample processing method and instrumental parameters (power and exposure time), this technique has the potential to quantify MWNTs in a variety of sample types (plants, earthworms, human blood, etc.). PMID:23298789

  14. Effects of earthworms on physicochemical properties and microbial profiles during vermicomposting of fresh fruit and vegetable wastes.

    PubMed

    Huang, Kui; Li, Fusheng; Wei, Yongfen; Fu, Xiaoyong; Chen, Xuemin

    2014-10-01

    This study aimed to investigate the effect of earthworms on physicochemical and microbial properties during vermicomposting of fresh fruit and vegetable wastes (FVW) by contrasting two decomposing systems of FVW with and without earthworms for 5weeks. Compared to control treatment (without earthworms), vermicomposting treatment resulted in a rapid decrease of electrical conductivity and losses of total carbon and nitrogen from the 2nd week. Quantitative PCR displayed that earthworms markedly enhanced bacterial and fungal densities, showing the higher values than control, during the whole decomposition process. In addition, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis combined with sequencing analysis revealed that earthworms pronouncedly modified bacterial and fungal community structures, through broadening the community diversities of Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Ascomycotina. These results suggest that the presence of earthworms promoted the activity and population of bacteria and fungi, and modified their communities, thus altering the decomposition pathway of fresh FVW. PMID:25118152

  15. Emission of Methane by Eudrilus eugeniae and Other Earthworms from Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Depkat-Jakob, Peter S.; Hunger, Sindy; Schulz, Kristin; Brown, George G.; Tsai, Siu M.

    2012-01-01

    Earthworms emit denitrification-derived nitrous oxide and fermentation-derived molecular hydrogen. The present study demonstrated that the earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae, obtained in Brazil, emitted methane. Other worms displayed a lesser or no capacity to emit methane. Gene and transcript analyses of mcrA (encoding the alpha subunit of methyl-CoM reductase) in gut contents of E. eugeniae suggested that Methanosarcinaceae, Methanobacteriaceae, and Methanomicrobiaceae might be associated with this emission. PMID:22344639

  16. Emission of methane by Eudrilus eugeniae and other earthworms from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Depkat-Jakob, Peter S; Hunger, Sindy; Schulz, Kristin; Brown, George G; Tsai, Siu M; Drake, Harold L

    2012-04-01

    Earthworms emit denitrification-derived nitrous oxide and fermentation-derived molecular hydrogen. The present study demonstrated that the earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae, obtained in Brazil, emitted methane. Other worms displayed a lesser or no capacity to emit methane. Gene and transcript analyses of mcrA (encoding the alpha subunit of methyl-CoM reductase) in gut contents of E. eugeniae suggested that Methanosarcinaceae, Methanobacteriaceae, and Methanomicrobiaceae might be associated with this emission. PMID:22344639

  17. Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pheretimoid earthworm Metaphire vulgaris (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liangliang; Jiang, Jibao; Dong, Yan; Qiu, Jiangping

    2016-01-01

    We have determined the mitochondrial genome of the first Pheretimoid earthworm, Metaphire vulgaris (Chen, 1930). This mitogenome is 15,061?bp in length containing 37 genes typical of other annelid. All genes are encoded by the same strand, ATP8 is not adjacent to ATP6, all 13 PCGs use ATG as a start codon. These features are consistent with first determined earthworm Lumbricus terrestris, but unusual among animal mtDNAs. PMID:24617491

  18. Organochlorine pesticide residues in woodcock, soils and earthworms in Louisiana, 1965

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McLane, M.A.R.; Stickel, L.F.; Newsom, J.D.

    1971-01-01

    Woodcock (Philohela minor), earthworms, and soil samples were collected from January-March 1965, from fields in southeastern Louisiana approximately 3 years after discontinuance of areal treatments with heptachlor in this region. Heptachlor epoxide residues in woodcock averaged 0.42 ppm (dry weight), conspicuously lower than in 1961 and 1962. Residues of DDE in woodcock averaged 3.62 pprn, higher than in birds taken in the same area in 1961-62. Earthworms and soils contained traces of several organochlorine pesticides.

  19. Toxicity testing of trinitrotoluene-contaminated soil composts

    SciTech Connect

    Honeycutt, M.E.; McFarland, V.A.; Jarvis, A.S.

    1997-10-01

    The Mutatox{trademark} assay and earthworm acute toxicity test were employed to evaluate the efficacy of composting in reducing the toxicity of TNT-contaminated soils. The Mutatox assay is a proprietary bacterial bioluminescence test that determines the mutagenic potential of sample extracts. The earthworm acute toxicity test was chosen because it exposes the organisms to the unaltered contaminant/solid matrix. Rockeye soil, a TNT-contaminated soil collected from a military installation, was composted using two methods. This yielded five samples, Rockeye, Compost A composting. Soil extracts were prepared for Mutatox using the sonification method. Ten serial dilution samples were tested soils/artificial soil were tested in the earthworm toxicity test. In the Rockeye soil samples, a toxic response was shown in both test methods. Mutatox indicated no toxicity in Composts A and B after composting but did not show a positive mutagenic response in the lower serial dilutions. The LC50s for Compost A and B after composting in the earthworm toxicity test were 35.3% and 100%, respectively. Using Mutatox and the earthworm toxicity test together provides a sensitive means of monitoring the effectiveness of various composting techniques for remediating TNT-contaminated soils.

  20. Invasive earthworms interact with abiotic conditions to influence the invasion of common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica).

    PubMed

    Roth, Alexander M; Whitfeld, Timothy J S; Lodge, Alexandra G; Eisenhauer, Nico; Frelich, Lee E; Reich, Peter B

    2015-05-01

    Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica L.) is one of the most abundant and ecologically harmful non-native plants in forests of the Upper Midwest United States. At the same time, European earthworms are invading previously glaciated areas in this region, with largely anecdotal evidence suggesting they compound the negative effects of buckthorn and influence the invasibility of these forests. Germination and seedling establishment are important control points for colonization by any species, and manipulation of the conditions influencing these life history stages may provide insight into why invasive species are successful in some environments and not others. Using a greenhouse microcosm experiment, we examined the effects of important biotic and abiotic factors on the germination and seedling establishment of common buckthorn. We manipulated light levels, leaf litter depth and earthworm presence to investigate the independent and interactive effects of these treatments on buckthorn establishment. We found that light and leaf litter depth were significant predictors of buckthorn germination but that the presence of earthworms was the most important factor; earthworms interacted with light and leaf litter to increase the number and biomass of buckthorn across all treatments. Path analysis suggested both direct and moisture-mediated indirect mechanisms controlled these processes. The results suggest that the action of earthworms may provide a pathway through which buckthorn invades forests of the Upper Midwest United States. Hence, researchers and managers should consider co-invasion of plants and earthworms when investigating invasibility and creating preemptive or post-invasion management plans. PMID:25481818

  1. Enantioselective toxicity, bioaccumulation and degradation of the chiral insecticide fipronil in earthworms (Eisenia feotida).

    PubMed

    Qu, Han; Wang, Peng; Ma, Rui-xue; Qiu, Xing-xu; Xu, Peng; Zhou, Zhi-qiang; Liu, Dong-hui

    2014-07-01

    The enantioselective acute toxicity to earthworms of racemic fipronil and its individual enantiomers was studied. R-(-)-fipronil was approximately 1.5 times more toxic than the racemate and approximately 2 times more toxic than S-(+)-fipronil after 72 and 96 h of exposure, respectively. Assays of fipronil enantiomer bioaccumulation and degradation in earthworms were conducted. The bio-concentration factors (BCFs) were slightly different between the two enantiomers. The enantiomeric fraction (EF) values in earthworms in the bioaccumulation period were approximately 0.5, which indicated there was no enantioselective bioaccumulation. In contrast, the degradation of fipronil in earthworms was enantioselective: the t1/2 values for R- and S-fipronil were 3.3 and 2.5 days, respectively, in natural soil, and 2.1 and 1.4 days, respectively, in artificial soil. The results of soil analyses showed that the degradation of fipronil was not enantioselective, which suggested that the enantioselectivity of fipronil in earthworms results from the organism's metabolism. The study also demonstrated that the presence of earthworms could accelerate the degradation of fipronil in soil. PMID:24742550

  2. The influence of earthworms on nutrient dynamics during the process of vermicomposting.

    PubMed

    Domínguez, Jorge; Gómez-Brandón, María

    2013-08-01

    In the present study the potential of the earthworm Eisenia andrei to modify chemical and microbiological properties, with a special focus on the nutrient content of fresh organic matter, was evaluated during 16 weeks of vermicomposting of cattle manure and sewage sludge. Samples were periodically collected in order to determine the changes in inorganic nitrogen (N), in total microbial biomass and activity, as well as in the total and available content of macro- and micronutrients. An optimal moisture level, ranging from 75% to 88%, was maintained throughout the process. The content of organic matter decreased over time, but no changes were found in this parameter as a result of earthworm activity. The carbon/N ratio rapidly decreased, but only in the manure, reflecting rapid decomposition and mineralisation of the organic matter by the earthworms. An increase in N mineralisation was also attributable to the presence of earthworms, although in the manure this effect was hardly detectable before the eighth week of vermicomposting. Earthworm activity also enhanced the total content of potassium, calcium and iron together with an increase in the availability of phosphorus and zinc. We did not detect a significant earthworm effect on microbial respiration, but their activity increased greatly microbial biomass nitrogen in sewage sludge. PMID:23831778

  3. Earthworms produce a collagen-like substance detected by the garter snake vomeronasal system.

    PubMed Central

    Kirschenbaum, D M; Schulman, N; Halpern, M

    1986-01-01

    Earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) produce a chemical substance that is readily detected by and serves as an attractant for garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis). This chemoattractant is sensed by the vomeronasal system of snakes. Amino acid analysis of the chemoattractant revealed a high hydroxyproline/proline ratio and large amounts of serine and threonine. More than one-third of the residues were glycine. No hydroxylysine and no cysteine were present. Carbohydrate analyses revealed a high content of galactose (11% by weight) and smaller amounts of fucose, mannose, glucose, N-acetylglucosamine, and N-acetylgalactosamine. These results were very similar to results reported for the amino acid composition and carbohydrate content of earthworm cuticle collagen and gelatin. A preparation of purified earthworm cuticle collagen proved to be a potent source of chemoattractant for garter snakes. Further, it was not possible to prepare chemoattractant from decuticlized earthworms. These results strongly suggest that a component of the earthworm chemoattractant for snakes is structurally related to earthworm cuticle collagen. PMID:3456581

  4. Isolation and characterization of aerobic microorganisms with cellulolytic activity in the gut of endogeic earthworms.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Katsuhiko; Ikeda, Kana; Yoshida, Seo

    2012-09-01

    The ability of earthworms to decompose lignocellulose involves the assistance of microorganisms in their digestive system. While many studies have revealed a diverse microbiota in the earthworm gut, including aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms, it remains unclear which of these species contribute to lignocellulose digestion. In this study, aerobic microorganisms with cellulolytic activity isolated from the gut of two endogeic earthworms, Amynthas heteropoda (Megascolecidae) and Eisenia fetida (Lumbricidae) were isolated by solid culture of gut homogenates using filter paper as a carbon source. A total of 48 strains, including four bacterial and four fungal genera, were isolated from two earthworm species. Characterization of these strains using enzyme assays showed that the most representative ones had exocellulase and xylanase activities, while some had weak laccase activity. These findings suggest that earthworms digest lignocellulose by exploiting microbial exocellulase and xylanase besides their own endocellulase. Phylogenetic analysis showed that among the cellulolytic isolates in both earthworm species Burkholderia and Chaetomium were the dominant bacterial and fungal members. PMID:23847816

  5. Effect of heavy metals on earthworm activities during vermicomposting of municipal solid waste.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sunil; Sharma, Vishal; Bhoyar, R V; Bhattacharyya, J K; Chakrabarti, Tapan

    2008-02-01

    The effect of heavy metals on the activities of earthworm species Eudrillus eugineae was studied during vermicomposting of municipal solid waste (MSW) spiked with heavy metals. The activities of earthworms, in terms of growth and biomass production and number of cocoons produced, were monitored periodically, and the concentration of heavy metals in earthworms and substrates was determined at definite intervals. Laboratory-scale experiments were performed by mixing individual heavy metals in MSW. Copper, cadmium, chromium, lead, and zinc were selected for the study. The study concludes that heavy metals tend to accumulate in the body of earthworms; hence, the inherent concentration of heavy metals in the substrate before vermicomposting must be considered in view of composting of MSW and its application to soil. It was observed that copper and cadmium were toxic for the worms at 1.5 and 0.1 g/kg of the waste, respectively. The studies also suggest that earthworms are susceptible to the free form of heavy metals. Cadmium is the most toxic metal, followed by copper. Based on the investigation and observation, it was also found that earthworms should be separated from castings before the use of castings in soil amendments. PMID:18330226

  6. Radiocesium ([sup 137]Cs) from the Chernobyl reactor in Eurasian woodcock and earthworms in Norway

    SciTech Connect

    Kalas, J.A. ); Bretten, S.; Njastad, O. ); Byrkjedal, I. )

    1994-01-01

    To understand the ecological effects of the Chernobyl reactor accident, we investigated radiocesium ([sup 137]Cs) levels in Eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), earthworms (Lambricidae), litter (dead organic materials lying on the ground), humus (beneath litter 2 cm deep), and mineral soil samples (3-6 cm deep) from a heavily effected (20-60 kBq/m[sup 2][1 Bq = 1 nuclear fission/sec]) area in Norway. The highest concentrations measured in earthworms (1988 median = 142 Bq/Kg) and woodcock (1986 median = 730 Bq/kg) for human food (600 Bq/kg fresh mass) only were found in woodcock during 1986. Radiocesium concentrations decreased (P < 0.001) in earthworms (40%) and woodcock (95%) from 1986 to 1990. There was no reduction in total radiocesium in soil over the same period. The relatively high radiocesium concentrations in woodcock during 1986 and the decreasing radiocesium ratio in woodcock to earthworms during the first years following fallout could have been caused by woodcock ingesting abiotic radiocesium with earthworms. The decrease in radiocesium in woodcock and earthworms during the study (1986-90) probably resulted from decreasing bioavailability of radiocesium during the first years after fallout rather than by radiocesium disappearing from the ecosystem. 38 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  7. Soil geochemistry and digestive solubilization control mercury bioaccumulation in the earthworm Pheretima guillemi.

    PubMed

    Dang, Fei; Zhao, Jie; Greenfield, Ben K; Zhong, Huan; Wang, Yujun; Yang, Zhousheng; Zhou, Dongmei

    2015-07-15

    Mercury presents a potential risk to soil organisms, yet our understanding of mercury bioaccumulation in soil dwelling organisms is limited. The influence of soil geochemistry and digestive processes on both methylmercury (MeHg) and total mercury (THg) bioavailability to earthworms (Pheretima guillemi) was evaluated in this study. Earthworms were exposed to six mercury-contaminated soils with geochemically contrasting properties for 36 days, and digestive fluid was concurrently collected to solubilize soil-associated mercury. Bioaccumulation factors were 7.5-31.0 and 0.2-0.6 for MeHg and THg, respectively, and MeHg accounted for 17-58% of THg in earthworm. THg and MeHg measured in soils and earthworms were negatively associated with soil total organic carbon (TOC). Earthworm THg and MeHg also increased with increasing soil pH. The proportion of MeHg and THg released into the digestive fluid (digestive solubilizable mercury, DSM) was 8.3-18.1% and 0.4-1.3%, respectively. The greater solubilization of MeHg by digestive fluid than CaCl2, together with a biokinetic model-based estimate of dietary MeHg uptake, indicated the importance of soil ingestion for MeHg bioaccumulation in earthworms. PMID:25781374

  8. Earthworms Dilong: Ancient, Inexpensive, Noncontroversial Models May Help Clarify Approaches to Integrated Medicine Emphasizing Neuroimmune Systems

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Edwin L.; Balamurugan, Mariappan; Huang, Chih-Yang; Tsao, Clara R.; Heredia, Jesus; Tommaseo-Ponzetta, Mila; Paoletti, Maurizio G.

    2012-01-01

    Earthworms have provided ancient cultures with food and sources of medicinal cures. Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and practices in Japan, Vietnam, and Korea have focused first on earthworms as sources of food. Gradually fostering an approach to potential beneficial healing properties, there are renewed efforts through bioprospecting and evidence-based research to understand by means of rigorous investigations the mechanisms of action whether earthworms are used as food and/or as sources of potential medicinal products. Focusing on earthworms grew by serendipity from an extensive analysis of the earthworm's innate immune system. Their immune systems are replete with leukocytes and humoral products that exert credible health benefits. Their emerging functions with respect to evolution of innate immunity have long been superseded by their well-known ecological role in soil conservation. Earthworms as inexpensive, noncontroversial animal models (without ethical concerns) are not vectors of disease do not harbor parasites that threaten humans nor are they annoying pests. By recognizing their numerous ecological, environmental, and biomedical roles, substantiated by inexpensive and more comprehensive investigations, we will become more aware of their undiscovered beneficial properties. PMID:22888362

  9. Complete mitochondrial genome of four pheretimoid earthworms (Clitellata: Oligochaeta) and their phylogenetic reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liangliang; Jiang, Jibao; Dong, Yan; Qiu, Jiangping

    2015-12-15

    Among oligochaetes, the Pheretima complex within the Megascolecidae is a major earthworm group. Recently, however, the systematics of the Pheretima complex based on morphology are challenged by molecular studies. Since little comparative analysis of earthworm complete mitochondrial genomes has been reported yet, we sequenced mitogenomes of four pheretimoid earthworm species to explore their phylogenetic relationships. The general earthworm genomic features are also found in four earthworms: all genes transcribed from the same strand, the same initiation codon ATG for each PCGs, and conserved structures of RNA genes. Interestingly we find an extra potential tRNA-leucine (CUN) in Amynthas longisiphonus. The earthworm mitochondrial ATP8 exhibits the highest evolutionary rate, while the gene CO1 evolves slowest. Phylogenetic analysis based on protein-coding genes (PCGs) strongly supports the monophyly of the Clitellata, Hirudinea, Oligochaeta, Megascolecidae and Pheretima complex. Our analysis, however, reveals non-monophyly within the genara Amynthas and Metaphire. Thus the generic divisions based on morphology in the Pheretima complex should be reconsidered. PMID:26291739

  10. New methodology for determining chronic effects on the earthworm, Eisenia foetida

    SciTech Connect

    Garvey, N.A.

    1994-12-31

    The study design incorporates the exposure of two generations of earthworms, Eisenia foetida, and includes the sensitive developmental stage following emergence from the cocoon. Adult earthworms (F{sub 0} generation) were exposed to nominal concentrations of 16, 31, 63, 125 and 250 mg A.I. copper sulfate/kg in composted cattle manure for 14 days. Cocoons were collected six times throughout the F{sub 0} generation exposure. Upon collection, individual cocoons were weighed and transferred to separate aliquots of treated and untreated exposure manure and were allowed to hatch. Hatched F{sub 1} earthworms were allowed to mature for 21 days before being counted and individually weighed. Parameters monitored and statistically analyzed were: F{sub 0} burrowing time at initiation, F{sub 0} survival following 7 and 14 days of exposure, cocoon production, cocoon weight, cocoon viability, number and weight of F{sub 1} earthworms at 21 days post-hatch. The following endpoints clearly demonstrated chronic effects in at least the highest exposure concentration: cocoon production, mean cocoon weight, sum of cocoon weights, cocoon viability, number and weight of surviving earthworms (F{sub 1}) at 21 days post-hatch, mean and total earthworm (F{sub 1}) biomass at 21 days post-hatch. Although the acute LC50 of copper sulfate to Eisenia foetida was previously determined to be 1,100 {+-} 380 mg copper sulfate/kg, this methodology indicates that chronic toxicity effects can be observed at substantially lower concentrations.

  11. Persistence in earthworms and potential hazards to birds of soil applied DDT, dieldrin, and heptachlor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.; Gish, C.D.

    1980-01-01

    (1) DDT, dieldrin, and heptachlor were each applied to separate replicate plots in a hay field at 0.6, 2.2, or 9.0 kg/ha. For 11 yr thereafter, soil and earthworms were analysed for residues. (2) The average ratios of residues in earthworms (dry weight) to residues in soil (dry weight) were: total DDT, 5; dieldrin, 8; and heptachlor epoxide, 10. The average time for the initial residues in soil to be reduced by 50% were: total DDT, 3.2 yr; dieldrin, 5.1 yr; and heptachlor epoxide, 3.2 yr. The corresponding times for residues in earthworms were: total DDT, 3.2 yr; dieldrin, 2.6 yr; and heptachlor epoxide, 3.0 yr. (3) DDE was most persistent, and in plots treated at 9.0 kg/ha its concentration remained constant at about 0.4 ppm in soil and about 7 ppm in earthworms. (4) When applied at 9.0 kg/ha, DDT accumulated in earthworms to concentrations (32 ppm) which laboratory studies have shown to be hazardous to some sensitive bird species. When heptachlor was applied at 2.2 or 9.0 kg/ha, heptachlor epoxide in earthworms reached concentrations (8 ppm) potentially hazardous to woodcock. Dieldrin remained at potentially hazardous concentrations (8 ppm) for 3 yr in plots treated with 2.2 kg/ha and for 11 yr in plots treated with 9.0 kg/ha.

  12. Soil bioturbation by earthworms and plant roots- mechanical and energetic considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, S.; Or, D.; Schymanski, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    Soil structure is a key factor shaping hydrological and ecological functions including water storage, deep recharge and plant growth. Compaction adversely impacts soil ecosystem services over extended periods (years to decades) until structure and functionality are restored. An important class of soil structural restoration processes are related to biomechanical activity associated with borrowing of earthworms and root proliferation in impacted soils. This study employs a new biomechanical model to estimate stresses required for earthworm and plant root bioturbation under different conditions and the mechanical energy required. We consider steady state plastic cavity expansion to determine burrowing pressures of earthworms and plant roots as linked with models for cone penetration required for initial burrowing into soil volumes. We use earthworm physical and ecological parameters (e.g., population density, burrowing rate, and burrowing behavior) to convert mechanical deformation to estimation of energy and soil organic carbon (energy source for earthworms). Results illustrate a reduction in strain energy with increasing water content and trade-offs between pressure and energy investment for various root and earthworm geometries and soil hydration. The study provides a quantitative framework for estimating energy costs of bioturbation in terms of soil organic carbon or plant assimilates and delineates mechanical and hydration conditions that promote or constrain such activities.

  13. Bioaccumulation of total and methyl mercury in three earthworm species (Drawida sp., Allolobophora sp., and Limnodrilus sp.).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhong Sheng; Zheng, Dong Mei; Wang, Qi Chao; Lv, Xian Guo

    2009-12-01

    We determined total and methyl mercury contents in soil, three earthworm species and their vomitus to study the species-specific differences of mercury bioconcentration in Huludao City, a heavily polluted region by chlor-alkali and nonferrous metal smelting industry in Liaoning Province, northeast China. Total and methyl mercury contents were 7.20 mg/kg and 6.94 ng/g in soil, 1.43 mg/kg and 43.03 ng/g in Drawida sp., 2.80 mg/kg and 336.52 ng/g in Alolobophora sp., respectively. Total mercury contents were 0.966 mg/kg in Drawida sp. vomitus and 4.979 mg/kg in Alolobophora sp. vomitus, respectively. Total mercury contents in earthworms and their vomitus were significantly species-specific different and were both in decreasing with earthworms body lengths, which might due to the growth dilution. Among the soil, earthworms and their vomitus, total mercury contents were in the order of soil > earthworms > earthworm vomitus. Methyl mercury was about 3.01% of total mercury in Drawida sp., 12.02% of total mercury in Alolobophora sp., respectively. It suggested that mercury was mostly in inorganic forms in earthworms. Bioaccumulation factors of methyl mercury from soil to earthworms were much higher than those of total mercury, which suggested that methyl mercury might be more easily absorbed by and accumulated in earthworms because of its lipid solubility. PMID:19779655

  14. Avoiding Death by Vacuum

    E-print Network

    A. Barroso; P. M. Ferreira; I. Ivanov; R. Santos; Joao P. Silva

    2013-05-08

    The two-Higgs doublet model (2HDM) can have two electroweak breaking, CP-conserving, minima. The possibility arises that the minimum which corresponds to the known elementary particle spectrum is metastable, a possibility we call the "panic vacuum". We present analytical bounds on the parameters of the softly broken Peccei-Quinn 2HDM which are necessary and sufficient conditions to avoid this possibility. We also show that, for this particular model, the current LHC data already tell us that we are necessarily in the global minimum of the theory, regardless of any cosmological considerations about the lifetime of the false vacua.

  15. Disorientation-avoidant and Despair-avoidant Cultures

    E-print Network

    Sullivan, Daniel Luc

    2013-08-31

    individuals. Disorientation-avoidance is linked to greater orthodox religiosity and collectivist social orientation, while despair-avoidance is linked to greater secularism and individualist social orientation. Study 1 examines different reactions...

  16. Avoidable waste management costs

    SciTech Connect

    Hsu, K.; Burns, M.; Priebe, S.; Robinson, P.

    1995-01-01

    This report describes the activity based costing method used to acquire variable (volume dependent or avoidable) waste management cost data for routine operations at Department of Energy (DOE) facilities. Waste volumes from environmental restoration, facility stabilization activities, and legacy waste were specifically excluded from this effort. A core team consisting of Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, and Oak Ridge Reservation developed and piloted the methodology, which can be used to determine avoidable waste management costs. The method developed to gather information was based on activity based costing, which is a common industrial engineering technique. Sites submitted separate flow diagrams that showed the progression of work from activity to activity for each waste type or treatability group. Each activity on a flow diagram was described in a narrative, which detailed the scope of the activity. Labor and material costs based on a unit quantity of waste being processed were then summed to generate a total cost for that flow diagram. Cross-complex values were calculated by determining a weighted average for each waste type or treatability group based on the volume generated. This study will provide DOE and contractors with a better understanding of waste management processes and their associated costs. Other potential benefits include providing cost data for sites to perform consistent cost/benefit analysis of waste minimization and pollution prevention (WMIN/PP) options identified during pollution prevention opportunity assessments and providing a means for prioritizing and allocating limited resources for WMIN/PP.

  17. Measuring Experiential Avoidance in Adults: The Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmalz, Jonathan E.; Murrell, Amy R.

    2010-01-01

    To date, general levels of experiential avoidance are primarily measured by the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II), but it includes items of questionable comprehensibility. The Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (AFQ-Y), previously validated as a measure of experiential avoidance with children and adolescents, was…

  18. Earthworms newly from Mongolia (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae, Eisenia).

    PubMed

    Blakemore, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    Two new megadrile earthworms from the steppes, the first species wholly from Outer Mongolia, are ascribed to the partially parthenogenetic Eisenia nordenskioldi (Eisen, 1879) species-complex. Taxonomic justification of sympatric Eisenia nordenskioldi mongol and Eisenia nordenskioldi onon ssp. n. are supported by mtDNA COI barcodes. The unreliability of molecular differentiation based on voucher names compared to definitive types is again demonstrated, as pertains to the ultimate Eisenia andrei Bouché, 1972 synonym of the Eisenia fetida (Savigny, 1826) sibling species-complex composed of more than a dozen prior names. Similar species described from Northeast China [formerly Manchuria] and North Korea are briefly considered, albeit they are intermittently held in synonymy of cosmopolitan Aporrectodea rosea (Savigny, 1826) along with many other taxa including some exotic lumbricids initially found in India. Japanese and North American lumbricids are also mentioned. Distributions are discussed and an annotated checklist of all nine Siberian/sub-arctic Eisenia nordenskioldi ssp. is appended. PMID:23798894

  19. Further records of non-cryptic New Zealand earthworms

    PubMed Central

    Blakemore, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Current descriptions add natives Aporodrilus aotea sp. n., Aporodrilus ponga sp. n. and Notoscolex repanga sp. n., plus new exotic records to the numbers of megadrile earthworms known from New Zealand, which are now raised from 193 to 222 species in five families, viz: Acanthodrilidae, Octochaetidae and Megascolecidae, plus Lumbricidae and Glossoscolecidae for exotics. Overlooked spermathecal diverticula have been located for Notoscolex equestris Benham, 1942 and for Megascolex animae Lee, 1959 and non-tubular prostrates were misconstrued as tubular in Megascolides tasmani Lee, 1959. Of these latter three species, a lectotype is designated for Notoscolex equestris and holotypes of the other two are briefly redescribed. Whereas Megascolides tasmani now belongs in Notoscolex Fletcher, 1887 and Megascolides animae belongs in Anisochaeta Beddard, 1890, further lack of dorsal pores in Notoscolex equestris as with Notoscolex esculentus (Benham, 1904) and Notoscolex mortenseni (Michaelsen, 1924) newly qualifies all three as additional combs. novae in primarily Tasmanian genus Aporodrilus Blakemore, 2000. PMID:22303118

  20. A novel gut tetradecapeptide isolated from the earthworm, Eisenia foetida.

    PubMed

    Ukena, K; Oumi, T; Matsushima, O; Ikeda, T; Fujita, T; Minakata, H; Nomoto, K

    1995-01-01

    A novel bioactive tetradecapeptide, GFKDGAADRISHGFamide, was isolated from the gut of the oligochaete annelid, Eisenia foetida, using the isolated anterior gut (crop-gizzard) as a bioassay system. A highly homologous peptide, GFRDGSADRISHGFamide, was also purified from the whole body of another species of earthworm, Pheretima vittata. These peptides were termed Eisenia tetradecapeptide (ETP) and Pheretima tetradecapeptide (PTP), respectively. Both the peptides showed a potent excitatory action on spontaneous contractions of the anterior gut with a threshold as low as 10(-10)-10(-9) M. These peptides were significantly homologous to molluscan tetradecapeptides and, to a lesser extent, to arthropodan tridecapeptides that have been reported to date. All these peptides seem to be evolutionally related to each other. PMID:8532604

  1. Inferred threat and safety: symbolic generalization of human avoidance learning.

    PubMed

    Dymond, Simon; Schlund, Michael W; Roche, Bryan; Whelan, Robert; Richards, Jennifer; Davies, Cara

    2011-10-01

    Symbolic generalization of avoidance may underlie the aetiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate inferred threat-avoidance and safety (non-avoidance) behaviours that occur in the presence of stimuli indirectly related to learned threat and safety cues. A laboratory experiment was conducted involving two symbolic stimulus equivalence relations consisting of three physically dissimilar stimuli (avoidance cues: AV1-AV2-AV3 and neutral cues: N1-N2-N3). During avoidance learning involving aversive images and sounds, a key-press avoidance response was trained for one member of one of the relations (AV2) and non-avoidance for another (N2). Inferred threat and safety behaviour and ratings of the likelihood of aversive events were tested with presentations of all remaining stimuli. Findings showed a significantly high percentage of avoidance to both the learned and inferred threat cues and less avoidance to both the learned and inferred safety cues. Ratings in the absence of avoidance were high during training and testing to threat cues and low to safety cues and were generally lower in the presence of avoidance. Implications for associative and behavioural accounts of avoidance, and modern therapies for anxiety disorders are discussed. PMID:21767825

  2. Traveler's Health: Avoid Bug Bites

    MedlinePLUS

    ... and clothes. What can I do to avoid bed bugs? Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. ... precautions to avoid them: Inspect your accommodations for bed bugs on mattresses, box springs, bedding, and furniture. Keep ...

  3. ISSUE PAPER METHANE AVOIDANCE FROM

    E-print Network

    Brown, Sally

    ISSUE PAPER METHANE AVOIDANCE FROM COMPOSTING An Issue Paper for the: Climate Action Reserve.......................................................................................................................................17 3.0 Scientific Uncertainty

  4. Avoiding dangerous climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Hans Joachim Schellnhuber; Wolfgang Cramer; Nebojsa Nakicenovic; Tom Wigley; Gary Yohe

    2006-02-15

    In 2005 the UK Government hosted the Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change conference to take an in-depth look at the scientific issues associated with climate change. This volume presents the most recent findings from the leading international scientists that attended the conference. The topics addressed include critical thresholds and key vulnerabilities of the climate system, impacts on human and natural systems, socioeconomic costs and benefits of emissions pathways, and technological options for meeting different stabilisation levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Contents are: Foreword from Prime Minister Tony Blair; Introduction from Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC; followed by 41 papers arranged in seven sections entitled: Key Vulnerabilities of the Climate System and Critical Thresholds; General Perspectives on Dangerous Impacts; Key Vulnerabilities for Ecosystems and Biodiversity; Socio-Economic Effects; Regional Perspectives; Emission Pathways; and Technological Options. Four papers have been abstracted separately for the Coal Abstracts database.

  5. Modelling spatiotemporal distribution patterns of earthworms in order to indicate hydrological soil processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palm, Juliane; Klaus, Julian; van Schaik, Loes; Zehe, Erwin; Schröder, Boris

    2010-05-01

    Soils provide central ecosystem functions in recycling nutrients, detoxifying harmful chemicals as well as regulating microclimate and local hydrological processes. The internal regulation of these functions and therefore the development of healthy and fertile soils mainly depend on the functional diversity of plants and animals. Soil organisms drive essential processes such as litter decomposition, nutrient cycling, water dynamics, and soil structure formation. Disturbances by different soil management practices (e.g., soil tillage, fertilization, pesticide application) affect the distribution and abundance of soil organisms and hence influence regulating processes. The strong relationship between environmental conditions and soil organisms gives us the opportunity to link spatiotemporal distribution patterns of indicator species with the potential provision of essential soil processes on different scales. Earthworms are key organisms for soil function and affect, among other things, water dynamics and solute transport in soils. Through their burrowing activity, earthworms increase the number of macropores by building semi-permanent burrow systems. In the unsaturated zone, earthworm burrows act as preferential flow pathways and affect water infiltration, surface-, subsurface- and matrix flow as well as the transport of water and solutes into deeper soil layers. Thereby different ecological earthworm types have different importance. Deep burrowing anecic earthworm species (e.g., Lumbricus terrestris) affect the vertical flow and thus increase the risk of potential contamination of ground water with agrochemicals. In contrast, horizontal burrowing endogeic (e.g., Aporrectodea caliginosa) and epigeic species (e.g., Lumbricus rubellus) increase water conductivity and the diffuse distribution of water and solutes in the upper soil layers. The question which processes are more relevant is pivotal for soil management and risk assessment. Thus, finding relevant environmental predictors which explain the distribution and dynamics of different ecological earthworm types can help us to understand where or when these processes are relevant in the landscape. Therefore, we develop species distribution models which are a useful tool to predict spatiotemporal distributions of earthworm occurrence and abundance under changing environmental conditions. On field scale, geostatistical distribution maps have shown that the spatial distribution of earthworms depends on soil parameters such as food supply, soil moisture, bulk density but with different patterns for earthworm stages (adult, juvenile) and ecological types (anecic, endogeic, epigeic). On landscape scales, earthworm distribution seems to be strongly controlled by management/disturbance-related factors. Our study shows different modelling approaches for predicting distribution patterns of earthworms in the Weiherbach area, an agricultural site in Kraichtal (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). We carried out field studies on arable fields differing in soil management practices (conventional, conservational), soil properties (organic matter content, texture, soil moisture), and topography (slope, elevation) in order to identify predictors for earthworm occurrence, abundance and biomass. Our earthworm distribution models consider all ecological groups as well as different life stages, accounting for the fact that the activity of juveniles is sometimes different from those of adults. Within our BIOPORE-project it is our final goal to couple our distribution models with population dynamic models and a preferential flow model to an integrated ecohydrological model to analyse feedbacks between earthworm engineering and transport characteristics affecting the functioning of (agro-) ecosystems.

  6. Figure 1. Literature-derived data on accumulation of As by earthworms. A) log-log scatterplot of As concentration in soil versus As concentration in depurated

    E-print Network

    Pennycook, Steve

    114 FIGURES #12;115 Figure 1. Literature-derived data on accumulation of As by earthworms. A) log-log scatterplot of As concentration in soil versus As concentration in depurated earthworms. Line represents by earthworms. A) log-log scatterplot of Cd concentration in soil versus Cd concentration in depurated

  7. Avoiding plagiarism (MLA) Lesson Objective

    E-print Network

    Sklar, Elizabeth

    1 Avoiding plagiarism (MLA) Lesson Objective Students will learn the definition of plagiarism and how to avoid it. They will complete a short quiz on plagiarism to show mastery of the skill. Handouts 1. "Strategies for Avoiding Plagiarism" 2. "Plagiarism Quiz" Length of Lesson 20-30 minutes

  8. Redundant Robot Can Avoid Obstacles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Homayoun, Seraji; Colbaugh, Richard; Glass, Kristin

    1991-01-01

    Simple and direct control scheme enables redundant robot to avoid obstacles in workspace. In proposed scheme, called "configuration control", degrees of freedom used to configure robot to satisfy set of inequality constraints representing avoidance of obstacles, while simultaneously making end effector follow desired trajectory. Provides capability to avoid obstacles in dynamically varying environment where apriori planning of tasks not feasible.

  9. Evolution of the tripartite symbiosis between earthworms, Verminephrobacter and Flexibacter-like bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Møller, Peter; Lund, Marie B.; Schramm, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Nephridial (excretory organ) symbionts are widespread in lumbricid earthworms and the complexity of the nephridial symbiont communities varies greatly between earthworm species. The two most common symbionts are the well-described Verminephrobacter and less well-known Flexibacter-like bacteria. Verminephrobacter are present in almost all lumbricid earthworms, they are species-specific, vertically transmitted, and have presumably been associated with their hosts since the origin of lumbricids. Flexibacter-like symbionts have been reported from about half the investigated earthworms; they are also vertically transmitted. To investigate the evolution of this tri-partite symbiosis, phylogenies for 18 lumbricid earthworm species were constructed based on two mitochondrial genes, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), and compared to their symbiont phylogenies based on RNA polymerase subunit B (rpoB) and 16S rRNA genes. The two nephridial symbionts showed markedly different evolutionary histories with their hosts. For Verminephrobacter, clear signs of long-term host-symbiont co-evolution with rare host switching events confirmed its ancient association with lumbricid earthworms, likely dating back to their last common ancestor about 100 million years (MY) ago. In contrast, phylogenies for the Flexibacter-like symbionts suggested an ability to switch to new hosts, to which they adapted and subsequently became species-specific. Putative co-speciation events were only observed with closely related host species; on that basis, this secondary symbiosis was estimated to be minimum 45 MY old. Based on the monophyletic clustering of the Flexibacter-like symbionts, the low 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity to the nearest described species (<92%) and environmental sequences (<94.2%), and the specific habitat in the earthworm nephridia, we propose a new candidate genus for this group, Candidatus Nephrothrix. PMID:26074907

  10. Supercritical fluid extraction of persistent organic pollutants from natural and artificial soils and comparison with bioaccumulation in earthworms.

    PubMed

    Bielská, Lucie; Šmídová, Klára; Hofman, Jakub

    2013-05-01

    Selective supercritical fluid extraction (SSFE) was used as a measurement of compound chemical accessibility and as a predictor of compound bioavailability from three natural soils and artificial analogues prepared to have comparable total organic carbon content. Soils spiked with phenanthrene, pyrene, PCB 153, lindane, and p,p'-DDT were aged for 0, 14, 28, or 56 days and then selectively extracted by supercritical fluid extraction. Compounds exhibited decreasing extractability with increasing pollutant-soil contact time and increasing total organic carbon content in tested soils. However, the different extractability of compounds from artificial and natural pairs having comparable TOC indicates the limitations of using TOC as an extrapolation basis between various soils. The comparison of extractability with bioaccumulation by earthworms (Eisenia fetida) previously published by Vl?ková and Hofman (2012) showed that only for PAHs it was possible to predict their bioaccumulation by means of selective SFE. PMID:23416268

  11. Effect of oral administration of Pheretima aspergillum (earthworm) in rats with cerebral infarction induced by middle-cerebral artery occlusion.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chung-Hsiang; Lin, Yi-Wen; Tang, Nou-Ying; Liu, Hsu-Jan; Huang, Chih-Yang; Hsieh, Ching-Liang

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the curative effect of Pheretima aspergillum (earthworm, PA) on rats with middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo). The MCAo-induced cerebral infarction was established and its underlying mechanisms by counting the infarction areas and evaluating the rats' neurological status. Immunostaining was used to test the expression of NeuN, and glial fibrillary acidic (GFAP), S100B, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) proteins. Our results showed that oral administration of PA for two weeks to rats with MCAo successfully reduced cerebral infarction areas in the cortex and striatum, and also reduced scores of neurological deficit. The PA-treated MCAo rats showed greatly decreased neuronal death, glial proliferation, and S100B proteins in the penumbra area of the cortex and in the ischemic core area of the cortex, but BDNF did not changed. These results demonstrated novel and detailed cellular mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of PA in MCAo rats. PMID:24082328

  12. Bioconcentrations of metals (Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb) in earthworms (Eisenia fetida), inoculated in municipal sewage sludge: do earthworms pose a possible risk of terrestrial food chain contamination?

    PubMed

    Suthar, Surindra; Singh, Sushma

    2009-02-01

    Efforts have been made to evaluate the possible risks of metal bioaccumulation in composting earthworms during vermicomposting of hazardous wastes, e.g., sewage sludge. The sewage sludge was diluted by mixing cow dung in different proportions, and vermicomposted sludge as well as inoculated earthworms were analyzed for metal (Fe, Cu, Zn, Pb) contents. The sludge processed by worms showed a significant reduction in concentration of metals, Cu (29.4-51.6%), Fe (13.1-19.9%), Zn (15.2-25.8%), and Pb (4.6-46.9%), at the end. A considerable concentration of metals, total Cu (16.7-27.6 mg kg(-1)), total Fe (42.9-89.8 mg kg(-1)), total Zn (5.85-75.0 mg kg(-1)), and total Pb (1.79-12.4 mg kg(-1)), in composting earthworms was also recorded. The greater values of bioconcentration factors for metals suggested the possible risk of entering contaminants in higher food chains; since, earthworms are near to the terrestrial food chain, they can potentially mediate metal transfer from soil to a range of predators, including birds. Therefore, feasibility of vermitechnology in hazardous waste recycling needs close attention in respect to possible risk of environmental contamination. PMID:18461553

  13. Species-specific differences in biomarker responses in two ecologically different earthworms exposed to the insecticide dimethoate.

    PubMed

    Velki, Mirna; Hackenberger, Branimir K

    2012-08-01

    Earthworms ingest large amounts of soil and therefore are continuously exposed to contaminants through their alimentary surfaces. Additionally, several studies have shown that earthworm skin is a significant route of contaminant uptake as well. In order to determine effects of dimethoate, a broad-spectrum organophosphorous insecticide, two ecologically different earthworm species were used - Eisenia andrei and Octolasion lacteum. Although several studies used soil organisms to investigate the effects of dimethoate, none of these studies included investigations of dimethoate effects on biochemical biomarkers in earthworms. Earthworms were exposed to 0.001, 0.005, 0.01, 0.5 and 1 ?g/cm(2) of dimethoate for 24 h, and the activities of acetylcholinesterase, carboxylesterase, catalase and efflux pump were measured. In both earthworm species dimethoate caused significant inhibition of acetylcholinesterase and carboxylesterase activities, however in E. andrei an hormetic effect was evident. Efflux pump activity was inhibited only in E. andrei, and catalase activity was significantly inhibited in both earthworm species. Additionally, responses of earthworm acetylcholinesterase, carboxylesterase and catalase activity to dimethoate were examined through in vitro experiments. Comparison of responses between E. andrei and O. lacteum has shown significant differences, and E. andrei has proved to be less susceptible to dimethoate exposure. PMID:22609974

  14. A survey of Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd, Cr, As, and Se in earthworms and soil from diverse sites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.; Cromartie, E.J.

    1987-01-01

    Earthworms and soils were collected from 20 diverse sites in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and were analyzed for Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd, Cr, As, and Se. Correlation coefficients relating Iconcentrations of the elements in earthworms to concentrations in soil were low (-0.20earthworms. The maximum concentrations of Pb (2100 ppm), Zn (1600 ppm), Cd (23 ppm) and Se (7.6 ppm) detected in earthworms were in the range reported to be toxic to animals fed diets containing these elements; however, even in the absence of any environmental contamination, some species of earthworms may contain high concentrations of Pb, Zn, and Se. Earthworms of the genus Eisenoides, for example, were exceptional in their ability to concentrate Pb. When earthworms are used as indicators of environmental contamination, it is important to identify the species, to report the soil characteristics, and to collect similar earthworms from very similar but uncontaminated soil.

  15. POPULATION DYNAMICS OF AMBIENT AND ALTERED EARTHWORM COMMUNITIES IN ROW-CROP AGROECOSYSTEMS IN THE MIDWESTERN U.S.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although earthworms affect agroecosystem processes, few studies have addressed population dynamics when earthworms are intentionally introduced. Therefore, handsorting and formalin extraction were used semi-annually from fall 1994 to fall 1997 to measure populations in ambient and addition plots in ...

  16. Testing Honey Bees' Avoidance of Predators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Jesse Wade; Nieh, James C.; Goodale, Eben

    2012-01-01

    Many high school science students do not encounter opportunities for authentic science inquiry in their formal coursework. Ecological field studies can provide such opportunities. The purpose of this project was to teach students about the process of science by designing and conducting experiments on whether and how honey bees (Apis mellifera)…

  17. CAT altitude avoidance system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gary, B. L. (inventor)

    1982-01-01

    A method and apparatus are provided for indicating the altitude of the tropopause or of an inversion layer wherein clear air turbulence (CAT) may occur, and the likely severity of any such CAT, includes directing a passive microwave radiometer on the aircraft at different angles with respect to the horizon. The microwave radiation measured at a frequency of about 55 GHz represents the temperature of the air at an ""average'' range of about 3 kilometers, so that the sine of the angle of the radiometer times 3 kilometers equals the approximate altitude of the air whose temperature is measured. A plot of altitude (with respect to the aircraft) versus temperature of the air at that altitude, can indicate when an inversion layer is present and can indicate the altitude of the tropopause or of such an inversion layer. The plot can also indicate the severity of any CAT in an inversion layer. If CAT has been detected in the general area, then the aircraft can be flown at an altitude to avoid the tropopause or inversion layer.

  18. Impact of Native and Invasive Earthworm Activity on Forest Soil Organic Matter Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Top, Sara; Filley, Timothy

    2010-05-01

    Many northern North American forests are experiencing the introduction of exotic European lumbricid species earthworms with documented losses in litter layers, expansion of A-horizons, loss of the organic horizon, changes in fine root density, and shifts in microbial populations as a result. Some of these forests were previously devoid of these ecosystem engineers. We compare the soil isotope and molecular chemistry from two free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) forest experiments (aspen FACE at Rhinelander, Wisconsin and sweet gum FACE at Oak Ridge National Lab, Tennessee) that lie within the zones of earthworm invasion. These sites exhibit differences in amounts of exotic and native species as well as endogeic (predominantly mineral soil dwelling) and epigeic (litter and organic matter horizon dwelling) types. We investigated the impact of earthworm activity by tracking the relative abundance and stable carbon isotope compositions of lignin and substituted fatty acids extracted from isolated earthworms and their fecal pellets and from host soils. Additionally, 15N-labeled additions to the soil provide additional methods for tracking earthworm impacts. Indications of root vs leaf input to earthworm casts and fecal matter were derived from differences in the chemical composition of cutin, suberin, and lignin. The isotopically depleted CO2 used in FACE and the resulting isotopically depleted plant organic matter afford an excellent opportunity to assess biopolymer-specific turnover dynamics. We find that endogeic species are proportionately more responsible for fine root cycling while some epigeic species are responsible for microaggregation of foliar cutin. CSIA of fecal pellet lignin and SFA indicate how these biopolymer pools can be derived from variable sources, roots, background soil, foliar tissue within one earthworm. Additionally, CSIA indicates the distinct roles that different earthworm types have in "aging" surface soil biopolymer pools through encapsulation and upward transport of deeper soil carbon, and "freshening" deeper soil biopolymer pools through downward transport of surface carbon to deeper layers. Although, endogeic species burrow down below 30 cm in these systems, comparison of 13C and 15N in soil layers and fecal matter indicate their greatest impact is restricted to the upper 5 cm. As earthworm species abundance and activity are not is steady state in these forests, the role of these important invertebrates should be more considered when assessing the ability of forest soils to accumulate new plant input.

  19. Proposed annex to the ASTM Standard Guide E1676-95, bioaccumulation testing utilizing Eisenia foetida

    SciTech Connect

    Roper, J.; Simmers, J.; Lee, C.; Tatem, H.

    1995-12-31

    A detailed description of the method developed at the Waterways Experiment Station (WES) to determine sediment toxicity utilizing the earthworm, Eisenia foetida. This method has been used successfully in evaluating the target contaminants; metals, PAHs, and PCBs. This procedure is currently a proposed annex to the ASTM Standard Guide E1676-95: Conducting a Laboratory Soil Toxicity Test With The Lumbricid Earthworm, Eisenia foetida.

  20. Hospital at home admission avoidance

    PubMed Central

    Shepperd, Sasha; Doll, Helen; Angus, Robert M; Clarke, Mike J; Iliffe, Steve; Kalra, Lalit; Ricauda, Nicoletta Aimonino; Wilson, Andrew D

    2014-01-01

    Background Admission avoidance hospital at home is a service that provides active treatment by health care professionals in the patient’s home for a condition that otherwise would require acute hospital in-patient care, and always for a limited time period. In particular, hospital at home has to offer a specific service to patients in their home requiring health care professionals to take an active part in the patients’ care. If hospital at home were not available then the patient would be admitted to an acute hospital ward. Many countries are adopting this type of care in an attempt to reduce the demand for acute hospital admission. Objectives To determine, in the context of a systematic review and meta analysis, the effectiveness and cost of managing patients with admission avoidance hospital at home compared with in-patient hospital care. Search methods The following databases were searched through to January 2008: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, EconLit and the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (EPOC) register. We checked the reference lists of articles identified electronically for evaluations of hospital at home and obtained potentially relevant articles. Unpublished studies were sought by contacting providers and researchers who were known to be involved in this field. Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials recruiting patients aged 18 years and over. Studies comparing admission avoidance hospital at home with acute hospital in-patient care. The admission avoidance hospital at home interventions may admit patients directly from the community thereby avoiding physical contact with the hospital, or may admit from the emergency room. Data collection and analysis Two authors independently extracted data and assessed study quality. Our statistical analyses sought to include all randomised patients and were done on an intention to treat basis. We requested individual patient data (IPD) from trialists, and relied on published data when we did not receive trial data sets or the IPD did not include the relevant outcomes. When combining outcome data was not possible because of differences in the reporting of outcomes we have presented the data in narrative summary tables. For the IPD meta-analysis, where at least one event was reported in both study groups in a trial, Cox regression models were used to calculate the log hazard ratio and its standard error for mortality and readmission separately for each data set (where both outcomes were available). We included randomisation group (admission avoidance hospital at home versus control), age (above or below the median), and gender in the models. The calculated log hazard ratios were combined using fixed effects inverse variance meta analysis. If there were no events in one group we used the Peto odds ratio method to calculate a log odds ratio from the sum of the log-rank test ‘O-E’ statistics from a Kaplan Meier survival analysis. Statistical significance throughout was taken at the two-sided 5% level (p<0.05) and data are presented as the estimated effect with 95% confidence intervals. For each comparison using published data for dichotomous outcomes we calculated risk ratios using a fixed effects model to combine data. Main results We included 10 RCTs (n=1333), seven of which were eligible for the IPD. Five out of these seven trials contributed to the IPD meta-analysis (n=850/975; 87%). There was a non significant reduction in mortality at three months for the admission avoidance hospital at home group (adjusted HR 0.77, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.09; p=0.15), which reached significance at six months follow-up (adjusted HR 0.62, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.87; p=0.005). A non significant increase in admissions was observed for patients allocated to hospital at home (adjusted HR 1.49, 95% CI 0.96 to 2.33; p=0.08). Few differences were reported for functional ability, quality of life or cognitive ability. Patients reported increased satisfaction with admission avoidance hospital at home. Two trials conducted a full economic analysis, when t

  1. Biomarker responses in earthworms (Eisenia fetida) to soils contaminated with di-n-butyl phthalates.

    PubMed

    Du, Li; Li, Guangde; Liu, Mingming; Li, Yanqiang; Yin, Suzhen; Zhao, Jie

    2015-03-01

    Di-n-butyl phthalates (DBP) are recognized as ubiquitous contaminants in soil and adversely impact the health of organisms. Changes in the activity of antioxidant enzymes and levels of glutathione-S-transferase (GST), glutathione (GSH), and malondialdehyde (MDA) were used as biomarkers to evaluate the impact of DBP on earthworms (Eisenia fetida) after exposure to DBP for 28 days. DBP was added to artificial soil in the amounts of 0, 5, 10, 50, and 100 mg kg(-1) of soil. Earthworm tissues exposed to each treatment were collected on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of the treatment. We found that superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) levels were significantly inhibited in the 100 mg kg(-1) treatment group on day 28. After 21 days of treatment, GST activity in 10-50 mg kg(-1) treatment groups was markedly stimulated compared to the control group. MDA content in treatment groups was higher than in the control group throughout the exposure time, suggesting that DBP may lead to lipid peroxidation (LPO) in cells. GSH content increased in the treatment group that received 50 mg kg(-1) DBP from 7 days of exposure to 28 days. These results suggest that DBP induces serious oxidative damage on earthworms and induce the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in earthworms. However, DBP concentration in current agricultural soil in China will not constitute any threat to the earthworm or other animals in the soil. PMID:25328097

  2. Metabolism and bioaccumulation of nitroaromatic munitions by-products in earthworms and plants

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, T.V.; Chang, L.W.; Smith, M.K.; Daniel, F.B.; Wiechman, B.; Reddy, G.

    1994-12-31

    Previously the authors have used earthworm and plant bioassays to evaluate the toxicity of nitroaromatic ammunition by-products. In the present study, they investigated the uptake, metabolism and possible bioaccumulation of these compounds in earthworms and plants. Earthworms were maintained on artificial soil supplemented with {sup 14}[C] trinitrobenzene (TNB). The authors also studied the translocation, metabolism and bioaccumulation of {sup 14}[C] 1,3-dinitrobenzene (DNB) by germinating oat and lettuce seeds planted on artificial soil. Acetone extracts of tissue and gut contents of earthworms exposed to TNB for different intervals contained only a small fraction of the original radioactivity, which did not increase with time. The radioactivity extracted from earthworms co-eluted with 1,3-dinitroaniline (DNAN) on HPLC and the amount of radioactivity decreased with time. In the DNB plant studies, five day old oat seedlings accumulated 17% of {sup 14}[C] radioactivity. HPLC of acetone extracts revealed unidentified radioactive peaks but DNB radioactivity was not detected. The radioactivity from butanol extracts of both oats and lettuce coeluted with aniline and 3-nitroaniline and the radioactivity increased with time. These results suggest that oats and lettuce bioaccumulate DNB metabolites, which might result in the transfer of toxicants to herbivores.

  3. The behavior and toxicological effects of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE209) in a soil-earthworm system.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Li, Jing; Liu, Kou; Lin, Kuangfei

    2015-12-15

    Decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE209) is easily absorbed by soil particles but barely degraded over time. Its potential ecological risk has received extensive attention. Here we supplemented natural soil with three different levels of BDE209 (1, 10 and 100 mg kg(-1) dry weight (i.e., dw)) to focus on the behavior and toxicological effects of BDE209 in a soil-earthworm system. Results demonstrated that earthworms accumulated BDE209 quickly, followed by biphasic elimination. The uptake rate constant (ku) values ranged from 0.156 to 0.232 mg soil kg(-1)worm d(-1), while the depuration rate (kd) values ranged from 0.228 to 0.239 d(-1). Biota-soil accumulation factor (BSAF) was also calculated in the present study, and the BSAF values for BDE209 ranged from 0.074 to 0.123. Throughout 28-d exposure, the concentrations of BDE209 among soil, worm casts and earthworms reached steady-state equilibrium. BDE209 content in worm casts might be a good indicator of actual concentration in soil. Neutral red retention time (NRRT) was also conducted to assess the lysosomal membrane stability, and it declined during the uptake phase when BDE209 gradually accumulated in earthworms, indicating a good dose-response relationship. These observations provide new insights into the potential ecological effects of BDE209 in a model soil-earthworm system. PMID:26282772

  4. Cellular biomarkers for measuring toxicity of xenobiotics: Effects of polychlorinated biphenyls on earthworm Lumbricus terrestris coelomocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Goven, A.J.; Fitzpatrick, L.C. ); Eyambe, G.S. ); Venables, B.J. ); Cooper, E.L. )

    1993-05-01

    Acute toxicity in earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) was assayed immediately after 5-d filter paper exposure to the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) Aroclor 1254, using coelomocyte viability, total extruded cell counts (ECC), differential cell counts (DCC), and formation of erythrocyte (ER) and secretory rosettes (SR) with, and phagocytosis of, antigenic rabbit red blood cells (RRBC). Chronic toxicity was assayed using rates by which earthworms replaced viable immunoactive coelomocytes, removed noninvasively immediately after exposure, over an 18-week depuration period. All cytological parameters, except ECC, were acutely affected immediately after exposure, when tissue concentrations were ([anti X] [plus minus] SE) 91.2 [plus minus] 8.19 [mu]g PCB per gram dry mass. Replacement of viable immunoactive coelomocytes occurred within six weeks in unexposed control earthworms. Exposed earthworms showed significant alteration in viability, ECC, DCC, ER, and SR formation, and phagocytosis at 6 and 12 weeks when PCB tissue concentrations were 41 [plus minus] 0.31 and 30.2 [plus minus] 0.88 [mu]g/g dry mass, respectively. Replacement of extruded coelomocytes with normal DCC of viable immunocompetent cells was not observed until week 18, when PCB had decreased to 15.7 [plus minus] 0.83 [mu]g/g dry mass. Low inherent natural variability in coelomocyte viability, ECC, DCC, rosette formation, and phagocytosis, and their sensitivity to sublethal PCB body burdens, indicated that earthworm coelomocytes have potential as nonmammalian biomarkers for assaying acute and chronic sublethal toxicity of xenobiotics.

  5. The Mechanics and Energetics of Soil Bioturbation by Plant Roots and Earthworms - Plastic Deformation Considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruiz, Siul; Or, Dani; Schymanski, Stanislaus

    2014-05-01

    Soil structure plays a critical factor in the agricultural, hydrological and ecological functions of soils. These services are adversely impacted by soil compaction, a damage that could last for many years until functional structure is restored. An important class of soil structural restoration processes are related to biomechanical activity associated with burrowing of earthworms and root proliferation in impacted soil volumes. We study details of the mechanical processes and energetics associated with quantifying the rates and mechanical energy required for soil structural restoration. We first consider plastic cavity expansion to describe earthworm and plant root radial expansion under various conditions. We then use cone penetration models as analogues to wedging induced by root tip growth and worm locomotion. The associated mechanical stresses and strains determine the mechanical energy associated with bioturbation for different hydration conditions and root/earthworm geometries. Results illustrate a reduction in strain energy with increasing water content and trade-offs between pressure and energy investment for various root and earthworm geometries. The study provides the basic building blocks for estimating rates of soil structural alteration, the associated energetic requirements (soil carbon, plant assimilates) needed to sustain structure regeneration by earthworms and roots, and highlights potential mechanical cut-offs for such activities.

  6. Edaphic factors affecting the toxicity and accumulation of arsenate in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris

    SciTech Connect

    Meharg, A.A.; Shore, R.F.; Broadgate, K.

    1998-06-01

    The toxicity and accumulation of arsenate was determined in the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris in soil from different layers of a forest profile. Toxicity increased fourfold between 2 and 10 d. Edaphic factors (pH, soil organic matter, and depth in soil profile) also affected toxicity with a three fold decrease in the concentration that causes 50% mortality with increasing depth in soil. In a 4-d exposure study, there was no evidence of arsenic bioconcentration in earthworm tissue, although bioaccumulation was occurring. There was a considerable difference in tissue residues between living and dead earthworms, with dead worms having higher concentrations. This difference was dependent on both soil arsenate concentration and on soil type. Over a wide range of soil arsenate concentrations, earthworm arsenic residues are homeostatically maintained in living worms, but this homeostasis breaks down during death. Alternatively, equilibration with soil residues may occur via accumulation after death. In long-term accumulation studies in soils dosed with a sublethal arsenate concentration, bioconcentration of arsenate did not occur until day 12, after which earthworm concentrations rose steadily above the soil concentration, with residues in worms three fold higher than soil concentrations by the termination of the study. This bioconcentration only occurred in depurated worms over the time period of the study. Initially, depurated worms had lower arsenic concentrations than undepurated until tissue concentrations were equivalent to the soil concentration. Once tissue concentration was greater than soil concentration, depurated worms had higher arsenic residues than undepurated.

  7. Remediation of polychlorinated biphenyl-contaminated soil by using a combination of ryegrass, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and earthworms.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yan-Fei; Lu, Mang; Peng, Fang; Wan, Yun; Liao, Min-Hong

    2014-07-01

    In this work, a laboratory experiment was performed to investigate the influences of inoculation with the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF) Glomus caledoniun L. and/or epigeic earthworms (Eisenia foetida) on phytoremediation of a PCB-contaminated soil by ryegrass grown for 180d. Planting ryegrass, ryegrass inoculated with earthworms, ryegrass inoculated with AMF, and ryegrass co-inoculated with AMF and earthworms decreased significantly initial soil PCB contents by 58.4%, 62.6%, 74.3%, and 79.5%, respectively. Inoculation with AMF and/or earthworms increased the yield of plants, and the accumulation of PCBs in ryegrass. However, PCB uptake by ryegrass accounted for a negligible portion of soil PCB removal. The number of soil PCB-degrading populations increased when ryegrass was inoculated with AMF and/or earthworms. The data show that fungal inoculation may significantly increase the remedial potential of ryegrass for soil contaminated with PCBs. PMID:24457052

  8. Mutual impacts of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and earthworms (Eisenia fetida) on the bioavailability of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in soil.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Shuyan; Fang, Shuhong; Zhu, Lingyan; Liu, Li; Liu, Zhengtao; Zhang, Yahui

    2014-01-01

    Wheat and earthworms were exposed individually and together to soils contaminated with 11 perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Wheat accumulated PFASs from soil with root concentration factors and bioconcentration factors that decreased as the number of perfluorinated carbons in the molecule increased. Earthworms accumulated PFASs from soil with biota-to-soil accumulation factors that increased with the number of carbons. Translocation factors (TF) of perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs) in wheat peaked at perfluorohexanoic acid and decreased significantly as the number of carbons increased or decreased. Perfluorohexane sulfonate produced the greatest TF of the three perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs) examined. Wheat increased the bioaccumulation of all 11 PFASs in earthworms and earthworms increased the bioaccumulation in wheat of PFCAs containing seven or less perfluorinated carbons, decreased bioaccumulation of PFCAs with more than seven carbons, and decreased bioaccumulation of PFSAs. In general, the co-presence of wheat and earthworms enhanced the bioavailability of PFASs in soil. PMID:24158108

  9. Assessing ecotoxicity and uptake of metals and metalloids in relation to two different earthworm species (Eiseina hortensis and Lumbricus terrestris).

    PubMed

    Leveque, Thibaut; Capowiez, Yvan; Schreck, Eva; Mazzia, Christophe; Auffan, Mélanie; Foucault, Yann; Austruy, Annabelle; Dumat, Camille

    2013-08-01

    Due to diffuse atmospheric fallouts of process particles enriched by metals and metalloids, polluted soils concern large areas at the global scale. Useful tools to assess ecotoxicity induced by these polluted soils are therefore needed. Earthworms are currently used as biotest, however the influence of specie and earthworm behaviour, soil characteristics are poorly highlighted. Our aim was therefore to assess the toxicity of various polluted soils with process particles enriches by metals and metalloids (Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn, As and Sb) collected from a lead recycling facility on two earthworm species belonging to different ecological types and thus likely to have contrasted behavioural responses (Eiseina hortensis and Lumbricus terrestris). The combination of behavioural factors measurements (cast production and biomass) and physico-chemical parameters such as metal absorption, bioaccumulation by earthworms and their localization in invertebrate tissues provided a valuable indication of pollutant bioavailability and ecotoxicity. Soil characteristics influenced ecotoxicity and metal uptake by earthworms, as well as their soil bioturbation. PMID:23688736

  10. Neutral red retention by lysosomes from earthworm (Lumbricus rubellus) coelomocytes: A simple biomarker of exposure to soil copper

    SciTech Connect

    Weeks, J.M.; Svendsen, C.

    1996-10-01

    A simple subcellular histochemical staining technique employing the lysosomal probe neutral red has been developed for use with the epiendogeic earthworm Lumbricus rubellus Hoffmeister. Coelomocytes extracted from the coelomic cavity of earthworms into an isotonic earthworm Ringer solution were allowed to adhere to a microscope slide for 30 s before the application of a neutral red dye. This red dye was rapidly accumulated within the lysosomes. Observation of the loss of this dye from these lysosomes into the surrounding cytosol has enabled the quantification of the degree of lysosomal damage caused to earthworms with exposure to an increasing range of soil copper concentrations, in both laboratory and mesocosm studies. This simple in vitro biomarker has potential for the rapid assessment of the toxic effects to earthworms from soils contaminated with heavy metals and metalloids.

  11. Signal Molecules Mediate the Impact of the Earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa on Growth, Development and Defence of the Plant Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Puga-Freitas, Ruben; Barot, Sébastien; Taconnat, Ludivine; Renou, Jean-Pierre; Blouin, Manuel

    2012-01-01

    Earthworms have generally a positive impact on plant growth, which is often attributed to a trophic mechanism: namely, earthworms increase the release of mineral nutrients from soil litter and organic matter. An alternative hypothesis has been proposed since the discovery of a signal molecule (Indole Acetic Acid) in earthworm faeces. In this study, we used methodologies developed in plant science to gain information on ecological mechanisms involved in plant-earthworm interaction, by looking at plant response to earthworm presence at a molecular level. First, we looked at plant overall response to earthworm faeces in an in vitro device where only signal molecules could have an effect on plant growth; we observed that earthworms were inducing positive or negative effects on different plant species. Then, using an Arabidopsis thaliana mutant with an impaired auxin transport, we demonstrated the potential of earthworms to stimulate root growth and to revert the dwarf mutant phenotype. Finally, we performed a comparative transcriptomic analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana in the presence and absence of earthworms; we found that genes modulated in the presence of earthworms are known to respond to biotic and abiotic stresses, or to the application of exogenous hormones. A comparison of our results with other studies found in databases revealed strong analogies with systemic resistance, induced by signal molecules emitted by Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria and/or elicitors emitted by non-virulent pathogens. Signal molecules such as auxin and ethylene, which are considered as major in plant-microorganisms interactions, can also be of prior importance to explain plant-macroinvertebrates interactions. This could imply revisiting ecological theories which generally stress on the role of trophic relationships. PMID:23226498

  12. Individual differences in incompetence avoidance.

    PubMed

    Kaye, Miranda P; Conroy, David E; Fifer, Angela M

    2008-02-01

    This study compared the fear of failure and perfectionism constructs by analyzing their latent structure as well as their motivational antecedents and consequences. College students (N = 372) enrolled in physical activity classes completed a battery of questionnaires assessing fear of failure, perfectionism, approach and avoidance motivational temperaments, and 2 x 2 achievement goals. Structural equation modeling revealed that responses were best summarized by two correlated factors representing perfectionistic strivings and concerns. Avoidance temperament was positively associated with both forms of incompetence avoidance; however, approach temperament was positively related only to perfectionist strivings. Perfectionistic concerns were positively related to the adoption of mastery-avoidance and performance-avoidance goals and negatively related to the adoption of mastery-approach goals. Perfectionistic strivings were positively associated with both approach goals. These results indicate that strivings to avoid incompetence can be distinguished with respect to their latent structure, temperamental antecedents, and motivational consequences. PMID:18369246

  13. Avoidance of Phycomyces in a controlled environment.

    PubMed

    Meyer, P W; Matus, I J; Berg, H C

    1987-03-01

    The sporangiophore of the fungus Phycomyces bends away from nearby objects without ever touching them. It has been thought that these objects act as aerodynamic obstacles that damp random winds, thereby generating asymmetric distributions of a growth-promoting gas emitted by the growth zone. In the interest of testing this hypothesis, we studied avoidance in an environmental chamber in which convection was suppressed by a shallow thermal gradient. We also controlled pressure, temperature, and relative humidity of the air, electrostatic charge, and ambient light. A protocol was established that yielded avoidance rates constant from sporangiophore to sporangiophore to within +/- 10%. We found that avoidance occurred at normal rates in the complete absence of random winds. The rates were smaller at 100% than at lower values of relative humidity, but not by much. Remarkably, at a distance as great as 0.5 mm, avoidance from a 30-micron diam glass fiber (aligned parallel to the sporangiophore) was about the same as that from a planar glass sheet. However, the rate for the fiber fell more rapidly with distance. The rate for the sheet remained nearly constant out to approximately 4 mm. We conclude that avoidance depends either on adsorption by the barrier of a growth-inhibiting substance or emission by the barrier of a growth-promoting substance; it cannot occur by passive reflection. Models that can explain these effects are analyzed in the Appendix. PMID:3567313

  14. Immune system participates in brain regeneration and restoration of reproduction in the earthworm Dendrobaena veneta.

    PubMed

    Molnar, Laszlo; Pollak, Edit; Skopek, Zuzanna; Gutt, Ewa; Kruk, Jerzy; Morgan, A John; Plytycz, Barbara

    2015-10-01

    Earthworm decerebration causes temporary inhibition of reproduction which is mediated by certain brain-derived neurohormones; thus, cocoon production is an apposite supravital marker of neurosecretory center functional recovery during brain regeneration. The core aim of the present study was to investigate aspects of the interactions of nervous and immune systems during brain regeneration in adult Dendrobaena veneta (Annelida; Oligochaeta). Surgical brain extirpation was combined, either with (i) maintenance of immune-competent coelomic cells (coelomocytes) achieved by surgery on prilocaine-anesthetized worms or (ii) prior extrusion of fluid-suspended coelomocytes by electrostimulation. Both brain renewal and cocoon output recovery were significantly faster in earthworms with relatively undisturbed coelomocyte counts compared with individuals where coelomocyte counts had been experimentally depleted. These observations provide empirical evidence that coelomocytes and/or coelomocyte-derived factors (e.g. riboflavin) participate in brain regeneration and, by implication, that there is close functional synergy between earthworm neural and immune systems. PMID:25863277

  15. [The composition of phospholipid and biosynthesis of platelet-activating factor in earthworm (Eisenia foetida)].

    PubMed

    Cheng, N N; Sugiura, T; Fukuda, T; Waku, K

    1992-01-01

    Platelet-activating factor (PAF) was for the first time confirmed to exist in a lower animal, earthworm (Eisenia foetida). It amounts to 10.7 +/- 6.1 pmol/g wet body weight, and varied seasonally. Phospholipid analysis revealed that 1-O-alkyl-2-acyl-sn-glycerophosphocholine, a stored form of PAF precursor, accounted for 61.4% of the choline glycerophospholipids. Two kinds of enzyme activities operating in PAF generation in mammalian cells were also detected from this species. The PAF level increased markedly under some injurious stimuli such as cutting and pricking. The results suggest that PAF may be a primary mediator involved in pathological and physiological reactions even in lower animal like earthworm. The findings also cast a new light on the mechanisms underlying the antihypertensive and other effects of the Chinese medicinal earthworm, pheretima. PMID:1299136

  16. Long-term persistence of dieldrin, DDT, and heptachlor epoxide in earthworms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beyer, W.N.; Krynitsky, A.J.

    1989-01-01

    Earthworms can accumulate persistent soilborne insecticides and are an important source of contamination of terrestrail wildlife. We treated experimental plots once with dieldrin, DDT, or heptachlor, and measured changes in insecticide concentrations in earthworms over a 20-year period. We estimated 'half-times,' defined as the time for a concentration in earthworms to be reduced by half. Deldrin had a half-time of 5.4 years. DDE, the metabolite of DDT most important to wildlife, increased until the third year and then decreased with a half-time of 5.7 years. Heptachlor epoxide, the metabolite of hepatachlor most important to wildlife, increased until the second year and then decreased with a half-time of 4.3 years. The declining parts of the curves of all three compounds fit exponential decay equations reasonably well. The estimates persistence are relevant to insecticides at low or moderate concentrations in relatively undistrubed soils in temperate climates.

  17. Effects of formalin on some biomarker activities of earthworms pre-exposed to temephos.

    PubMed

    Velki, Mirna; Stepi?, Sandra; Hackenberger, Branimir K

    2013-03-01

    Despite its negative effects, formalin has been often used for the expulsion of earthworms due to its high efficiency; however it is not known whether it will affect any significant measurable molecular processes in sampled earthworms. The aim of this research was to investigate effects of formalin on the activities of chosen molecular biomarkers in Eisenia andrei earthworms previously exposed to temephos. Additionally, the inhibitory effect of temephos, hitherto evaluated only on laboratory-bred earthworm species, was confirmed on two earthworm species obtained from their natural environment -Dendrobaena octaedra and Lumbricus rubellus. Earthworms were first exposed to the sub-lethal concentration of temephos for 2h and then to formalin 15 min in order to simulate the sampling procedure. Besides acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition - a known biomarker of exposure to organophosphate insecticides - the concentration of oximes and the activities of catalase (CAT) and efflux pump were measured. Results showed that in all species temephos caused inhibition of AChE and CAT activity. Exposure of E. andrei to formalin caused inhibition of AChE, however after post-exposure to formalin for 15 min significant increase in AChE activity was recorded. Similar results were obtained with the measurement of oximes concentrations. Exposure to only formalin and combination of temephos (2h) and formalin (15 min) led to an increase in the CAT activity. The obtained results showed that exposure to formalin during the sampling could affect measured molecular biomarkers and also may change effects caused by exposure to temephos. PMID:23298666

  18. In Vivo Emission of Dinitrogen by Earthworms via Denitrifying Bacteria in the Gut

    PubMed Central

    Horn, Marcus A.; Mertel, Ralph; Gehre, Matthias; Kästner, Matthias; Drake, Harold L.

    2006-01-01

    Earthworms emit the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O), and ingested denitrifiers in the gut appear to be the main source of this N2O. The primary goal of this study was to determine if earthworms also emit dinitrogen (N2), the end product of complete denitrification. When [15N]nitrate was injected into the gut, the earthworms Aporrectodea caliginosa and Lumbricus terrestris emitted labeled N2 (and also labeled N2O) under in vivo conditions; emission of N2 by these two earthworms was relatively linear and approximated 1.2 and 6.6 nmol N2 per h per g (fresh weight), respectively. Isolated gut contents also produced [15N]nitrate-derived N2 and N2O under anoxic conditions. N2 is formed by N2O reductase, and acetylene, an inhibitor of this enzyme, inhibited the emission of [15N]nitrate-derived N2 by living earthworms. Standard gas chromatographic analysis demonstrated that the amount of N2O emitted was relatively linear during initial incubation periods and increased in response to acetylene. The calculated rates for the native emissions of N2 (i.e., without added nitrate) by A. caliginosa and L. terrestris were 1.1 and 1.5 nmol N2 per h per g (fresh weight), respectively; these emission rates approximated that of N2O. These collective observations indicate that (i) earthworms emit N2 concomitant with the emission of N2O via the in situ activity of denitrifying bacteria in the gut and (ii) N2O is quantitatively an important denitrification-derived end product under in situ conditions. PMID:16461643

  19. Balkanized research in ecological engineering revealed by a bibliometric analysis of earthworms and ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Blouin, Manuel; Sery, Nicolas; Cluzeau, Daniel; Brun, Jean-Jacques; Bédécarrats, Alain

    2013-08-01

    Energy crisis, climate changes, and biodiversity losses have reinforced the drive for more ecologically-based approaches for environmental management. Such approaches are characterized by the use of organisms rather than energy-consuming technologies. Although earthworms are believed to be potentially useful organisms for managing ecosystem services, there is actually no quantification of such a trend in literature. This bibliometric analysis aimed to measure the evolution of the association of "earthworms" and other terms such as ecosystem services (primary production, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, soil structure, and pollution remediation), "ecological engineering" or "biodiversity," to assess their convergence or divergence through time. In this aim, we calculated the similarity index, an indicator of the paradigmatic proximity defined in applied epistemology, for each year between 1900 and 2009. We documented the scientific fields and the geographical origins of the studies, as well as the land uses, and compare these characteristics with a 25 years old review on earthworm management. The association of earthworm related keywords with ecosystem services related keywords was increasing with time, reflecting the growing interest in earthworm use in biodiversity and ecosystem services management. Conversely, no significant increase in the association between earthworms and disciplines such as ecological engineering or restoration ecology was observed. This demonstrated that general ecologically-based approaches have yet to emerge and that there is little exchange of knowledge, methods or concepts among balkanized application realms. Nevertheless, there is a strong need for crossing the frontiers between fields of application and for developing an umbrella discipline to provide a framework for the use of organisms to manage ecosystem services. PMID:23716007

  20. Balkanized Research in Ecological Engineering Revealed by a Bibliometric Analysis of Earthworms and Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blouin, Manuel; Sery, Nicolas; Cluzeau, Daniel; Brun, Jean-Jacques; Bédécarrats, Alain

    2013-08-01

    Energy crisis, climate changes, and biodiversity losses have reinforced the drive for more ecologically-based approaches for environmental management. Such approaches are characterized by the use of organisms rather than energy-consuming technologies. Although earthworms are believed to be potentially useful organisms for managing ecosystem services, there is actually no quantification of such a trend in literature. This bibliometric analysis aimed to measure the evolution of the association of "earthworms" and other terms such as ecosystem services (primary production, nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, soil structure, and pollution remediation), "ecological engineering" or "biodiversity," to assess their convergence or divergence through time. In this aim, we calculated the similarity index, an indicator of the paradigmatic proximity defined in applied epistemology, for each year between 1900 and 2009. We documented the scientific fields and the geographical origins of the studies, as well as the land uses, and compare these characteristics with a 25 years old review on earthworm management. The association of earthworm related keywords with ecosystem services related keywords was increasing with time, reflecting the growing interest in earthworm use in biodiversity and ecosystem services management. Conversely, no significant increase in the association between earthworms and disciplines such as ecological engineering or restoration ecology was observed. This demonstrated that general ecologically-based approaches have yet to emerge and that there is little exchange of knowledge, methods or concepts among balkanized application realms. Nevertheless, there is a strong need for crossing the frontiers between fields of application and for developing an umbrella discipline to provide a framework for the use of organisms to manage ecosystem services.

  1. Snakes mimic earthworms: propulsion using rectilinear travelling waves.

    PubMed

    Marvi, Hamidreza; Bridges, Jacob; Hu, David L

    2013-07-01

    In rectilinear locomotion, snakes propel themselves using unidirectional travelling waves of muscular contraction, in a style similar to earthworms. In this combined experimental and theoretical study, we film rectilinear locomotion of three species of snakes, including red-tailed boa constrictors, Dumeril's boas and Gaboon vipers. The kinematics of a snake's extension-contraction travelling wave are characterized by wave frequency, amplitude and speed. We find wave frequency increases with increasing body size, an opposite trend than that for legged animals. We predict body speed with 73-97% accuracy using a mathematical model of a one-dimensional n-linked crawler that uses friction as the dominant propulsive force. We apply our model to show snakes have optimal wave frequencies: higher values increase Froude number causing the snake to slip; smaller values decrease thrust and so body speed. Other choices of kinematic variables, such as wave amplitude, are suboptimal and appear to be limited by anatomical constraints. Our model also shows that local body lifting increases a snake's speed by 31 per cent, demonstrating that rectilinear locomotion benefits from vertical motion similar to walking. PMID:23635494

  2. Empirical maximum lifespan of earthworms is twice that of mice

    PubMed Central

    Baerselman, Rob; Posthuma, Leo

    2007-01-01

    We considered a Gompertzian model for the population dynamics of Eisenia andrei case-cohorts in artificial OECD soil under strictly controlled conditions. The earthworm culture was kept between 18 and 22°C at a constant pH of 5.0. In all, 77 lumbricids were carefully followed for almost 9 years, until the oldest died. The Eisenia median longevity is 4.25 years and the oldest specimen was 8.73 years. Eisenia cocoons were hand-sorted every 3 weeks, washed in distilled water, placed in Petri dishes, and counted. Regular removal did not reduce breeding. Each fertile cocoon contained on average two or three embryos. The failure rates (mortality and infertility percentages) are smooth power functions where the rate at time (n?+?1) captured most of the phenomenology of the previous rate at time n, as expected by the considered law, but not at both the beginning and the end of this long-term laboratory study. PMID:19424841

  3. Metallothionein gene activation in the earthworm (Lumbricus rubellus)

    PubMed Central

    Höckner, M.; Dallinger, R.; Stürzenbaum, S.R.

    2015-01-01

    In order to cope with changing environmental conditions, organisms require highly responsive stress mechanisms. Heavy metal stress is handled by metallothioneins (MTs), the regulation of which is evolutionary conserved in insects and vertebrates and involves the binding of metal transcription factor 1 (MTF-1) to metal responsive elements (MREs) positioned in the promoter of MT genes. However, in most invertebrate phyla, the transcriptional activation of MTs is different and the exact mechanism is still unknown. Interestingly, although MREs are typically present also in invertebrate MT gene promoters, MTF-1 is notably absent. Here we use Lumbricus rubellus, the red earthworm, to study the elusive mechanism of wMT-2 activation in control and Cd-exposed conditions. EMSA and DNase I footprinting approaches were used to pinpoint functional binding sites within the wMT-2 promoter region, which revealed that the cAMP responsive element (CRE) is a promising candidate which may act as a transcriptional activator of invertebrate MTs. PMID:25797623

  4. Snakes mimic earthworms: propulsion using rectilinear travelling waves

    PubMed Central

    Marvi, Hamidreza; Bridges, Jacob; Hu, David L.

    2013-01-01

    In rectilinear locomotion, snakes propel themselves using unidirectional travelling waves of muscular contraction, in a style similar to earthworms. In this combined experimental and theoretical study, we film rectilinear locomotion of three species of snakes, including red-tailed boa constrictors, Dumeril's boas and Gaboon vipers. The kinematics of a snake's extension–contraction travelling wave are characterized by wave frequency, amplitude and speed. We find wave frequency increases with increasing body size, an opposite trend than that for legged animals. We predict body speed with 73–97% accuracy using a mathematical model of a one-dimensional n-linked crawler that uses friction as the dominant propulsive force. We apply our model to show snakes have optimal wave frequencies: higher values increase Froude number causing the snake to slip; smaller values decrease thrust and so body speed. Other choices of kinematic variables, such as wave amplitude, are suboptimal and appear to be limited by anatomical constraints. Our model also shows that local body lifting increases a snake's speed by 31 per cent, demonstrating that rectilinear locomotion benefits from vertical motion similar to walking. PMID:23635494

  5. Potentiation effect of metolachlor on toxicity of organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides in earthworm Eisenia andrei.

    PubMed

    Stepi?, Sandra; Hackenberger, Branimir K; Velki, Mirna; Hackenberger, Davorka K; Lon?ari?, Zeljka

    2013-07-01

    Acetylcholinesterase, glutathione-S-transferase and catalase activities were determined in earthworms Eisenia andrei exposed to insecticides (endosulfan, temephos, malathion, pirimiphos-methyl) alone and in a binary combination with the herbicide metolachlor. Metolachlor individually was not acutely toxic, even at high concentrations applied; however, in the treated earthworms metolachlor enhanced the toxicity of endosulfan and temephos by significantly reducing the acetylcholinesterase activity. In binary combination with malathion and pirimiphos-methyl, metolachlor did not increase toxicity. The potentiation character of metolachlor is specific rather than general, and probably depends on the chemical structure of pesticides in the mixture. PMID:23666323

  6. Visualization of enzyme activities inside earthworm biopores by in situ soil zymography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thu Duyen Hoang, Thi; Razavi, Bahar. S.; Blagodatskaya, Evgenia; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2015-04-01

    Earthworms can strongly activate microorganisms, increase microbial and enzyme activities and consequently the turnover of native soil organic matter. In extremely dynamic microhabitats and hotspots as biopores made by earthworms, the in situ enzyme activities are a footprint of complex biotic interactions. The effect of earthworms on the alteration of enzyme activities inside biopores and the difference between bio-pores and earthworm-free soil was visualized by in situ soil zymography (Spohn and Kuzyakov, 2014). For the first time, we prepared quantitative imaging of enzyme activities in biopores. Furthermore, we developed the zymography technique by direct application of a substrate saturated membrane to the soil to obtain better spatial resolution. Lumbricus terrestris L. was placed into transparent box (15×20×15cm). Simultaneously, maize seed was sown in the soil. Control soil box with maize and without earthworm was prepared in the same way. After two weeks when bio-pore systems were formed by earthworm, we visualized in situ enzyme activities of five hydrolytic enzymes (?-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, chitinase, xylanase, leucine aminopeptidase) and phosphatase. Followed by non-destructive zymography, biopore samples and control soil were destructively collected to assay enzyme kinetics by fluorogenically labeled substrates method. Zymography showed higher activity of ?-glucosidase, chitinase, xylanase and phosphatase in biopores comparing to bulk soil. These differences were further confirmed by fluorimetric microplate enzyme assay detected significant difference of Vmax in four above mentioned enzymes. Vmax of ?-glucosidase, chitinase, xylanase and phosphatase in biopores is 68%, 108%, 50% and 49% higher than that of control soil. However, no difference in cellobiohydrolase and leucine aminopeptidase kinetics between biopores and control soil were detected. This indicated little effect of earthworms on protein and cellulose transformation in soil. In conclusion, earthworms contribute to the decomposition of carbohydrates through promoting enzyme activities involved in the C-cycle except for leucine aminopeptidase and cellobiohydrolase. References Spohn M, Kuzyakov Y. (2014) Spatial and temporal dynamics of hotspots of enzyme activity in soil as affected by living and dead roots - a soil zymography analysis, Plant Soil 379: 67-77

  7. Cigarette tax avoidance and evasion.

    PubMed

    Stehr, Mark

    2005-03-01

    Variation in state cigarette taxes provides incentives for tax avoidance through smuggling, legal border crossing to low tax jurisdictions, or Internet purchasing. When taxes rise, tax paid sales of cigarettes will decline both because consumption will decrease and because tax avoidance will increase. The key innovation of this paper is to compare cigarette sales data to cigarette consumption data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). I show that after subtracting percent changes in consumption, residual percent changes in sales are associated with state cigarette tax changes implying the existence of tax avoidance. I estimate that the tax avoidance response to tax changes is at least twice the consumption response and that tax avoidance accounted for up to 9.6% of sales between 1985 and 2001. Because of the increase in tax avoidance, tax paid sales data understate the level of smoking and overstate the drop in smoking. I also find that the level of legal border crossing was very low relative to other forms of tax avoidance. If states have strong preferences for smoking control, they must pair high cigarette taxes with effective policies to curb smuggling and other forms of tax avoidance or employ alternative policies such as counter-advertising and smoking restrictions. PMID:15721046

  8. MLA Citation Style AVOIDING PLAGIARISM

    E-print Network

    Kunkle, Tom

    MLA Citation Style AVOIDING PLAGIARISM The Definition of Plagiarism: According to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, plagiarism is the act of "using another person's ideas or expressions in your writing without acknowledging the source" (26). Thus, the most logical way to avoid plagiarism is to give

  9. On the Causes of Avoidance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Han, Ho

    1998-01-01

    Investigates the cause of avoidance in learning negation in a Korean as a second-language (KSL) situation. Because Korean has two types of negatives--preverbal and postverbal--examination focused on whether students of KSL avoid a certain negative form, and if so, why. (Author/VWL)

  10. Rapid bioassessment methods for assessing the toxicity of terrestrial waste sites at the Savannah River Site using the earthworm, Eisenia foetida

    SciTech Connect

    Specht, W.L.; Sydow, S.N.

    1995-08-01

    Studies were conducted to assess the feasibility of using the earthworm, Eisenia foetida, to evaluate the toxicity of contaminated soils at the Savannah River Site. Survival was assessed in several uncontaminated soils, including sandy loams and clayey loams, as well as in soils contaminated with coal fines, ash, diesel fuel, and heavy metals. In addition, behavior responses, changes in biomass, and bioaccumulation of heavy metals were assessed as sublethal indicators of toxicity. The results indicate excellent survival of Eisenia foetida in uncontaminated sandy and clayey soils. No amendment of these uncontaminated soils or addition of food was necessary to sustain the worms for the 14-day test period. In contaminated soils, no significant mortality was observed, except in soils which have very low pH (< 3). However, sublethal responses were observed in earthworms exposed to several of the contaminated soils. These responses included worms clumping on the surface of the soil, worms clumping between the sides of the test container and the soil, increased burrowing times, reductions in biomass, and elevated concentrations of heavy metals in worm tissue.

  11. Tolerance Test of Eisenia Fetida for Sodium Chloride

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, M.; Stewart, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    Saltwater spills that make soil excessively saline often occur at petroleum exploration and production (E&P) sites and are ecologically damaging. Brine scars appear when produced water from an E&P site is spilled onto surrounding soil, causing loss of vegetation and subsequent soil erosion. Revegetating lands damaged by brine water can be difficult. The research reported here considers earthworms as a bioremedial treatment for increasing the salt mobility in this soil and encouraging plant growth and a healthy balance of soil nutrients. To determine the practical application of earthworms to remediate brine-contaminated soil, a 17-d test was conducted to establish salt tolerance levels for the common compost earthworm (Eisenia fetida) and relate those levels to soil salinity at brine-spill sites. Soil samples were amended with sodium chloride in concentrations ranging from 1 to 15 g/kg, which represent contamination levels at some spill sites. The survival rate of the earthworms was near 90% in all tested concentrations. Also, reproduction was noted in a number of the lower-concentration test replicates but absent above the 3-g/kg concentrations. Information gathered in this investigation can be used as reference in further studies of the tolerance of earthworms to salty soils, as results suggest that E. fetida is a good candidate to enhance remediation at brine-damaged sites.

  12. How Do Earthworms, Soil Texture and Plant Composition Affect Infiltration along an Experimental Plant Diversity Gradient in Grassland?

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Christine; Roscher, Christiane; Jensen, Britta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Baade, Jussi; Attinger, Sabine; Scheu, Stefan; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Schumacher, Jens; Hildebrandt, Anke

    2014-01-01

    Background Infiltration is a key process in determining the water balance, but so far effects of earthworms, soil texture, plant species diversity and their interaction on infiltration capacity have not been studied. Methodology/Principal Findings We measured infiltration capacity in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density nested in plots of different plant species (1, 4, and 16 species) and plant functional group richness and composition (1 to 4 groups; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs). In summer, earthworm presence significantly increased infiltration, whereas in fall effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration were due to plant-mediated changes in earthworm biomass. Effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration even reversed effects of texture. We propose two pathways: (i) direct, probably by modifying the pore spectrum and (ii) indirect, by enhancing or suppressing earthworm biomass, which in turn influenced infiltration capacity due to change in burrowing activity of earthworms. Conclusions/Significance Overall, the results suggest that spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties can be explained by biotic processes, especially the presence of certain plant functional groups affecting earthworm biomass, while soil texture had no significant effect. Therefore biotic parameters should be taken into account in hydrological applications. PMID:24918943

  13. Uptake and retention of radio-caesium in earthworms cultured in soil contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.

    PubMed

    Fujiwara, K; Takahashi, T; Nguyen, P; Kubota, Y; Gamou, S; Sakurai, S; Takahashi, S

    2015-01-01

    To understand the effects of radionuclides on non-human biota and the environment, it is essential to study the intake and metabolism of radio-isotopes in earthworms which are among the most important soil organisms, and Eisenia fetida, which were used in this study, are known to be sufficiently sensitive to chemicals and representative of common earthworms. In this study, we assessed the concentration ratios, uptake and retention, absorbed dose rate, and distribution of radio-caesium in earthworms. The concentration ratios of (137)Cs (i.e., the concentrations of radio-caesium in earthworms relative to those in dry soil) were higher early in the culturing period and decreased gradually over the experimental period. (137)Cs taken up by E. fetida was cleared rapidly after the worms were cultured in radio-caesium-free soil, suggesting that the metabolism of radio-caesium in earthworms is very rapid. Autoradiography demonstrated that the concentration of radio-caesium within the digestive tract was as high as that in the soil, while radio-caesium in the body tissue was lower than radio-caesium in the soil and was almost uniformly distributed among earthworm tissues. The highest absorbed dose rate of total exposure to radio-caesium ((137)Cs + (134)Cs) was calculated to be 1.9 × 10(3) (?Gy/day) in the earthworms. PMID:25464049

  14. Avoidance behavior of young black ducks treated with chromium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.H.; Haseltine, S.D.

    1981-01-01

    Pairs of adult black ducks (Anas rubripes) were fed a diet containing 0, 20, or 200 ppm chromium in the form of chromium potassium sulfate. Ducklings from these pairs were fed the same diets as adults and were tested for their avoidance responses to a fright stimulus. Neither level of chromium had a significant effect on avoidance behavior.

  15. Passive Avoidance Is Linked to Impaired Fear Extinction in Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cornwell, Brian R.; Overstreet, Cassie; Krimsky, Marissa; Grillon, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Conventional wisdom dictates we must face our fears to conquer them. This idea is embodied in exposure-based treatments for anxiety disorders, where the intent of exposure is to reverse a history of avoidant behavior that is thought to fuel a patient's irrational fears. We tested in humans the relationship between fear and avoidance by combining…

  16. Comparison of the chemical alteration trajectory of Liriodendron tulipifera L. leaf litter among forests with different earthworm abundance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filley, Timothy R.; McCormick, Melissa K.; Crow, Susan E.; Szlavecz, Katalin; Whigham, Dennis F.; Johnston, Cliff T.; van den Heuvel, Ronald N.

    2008-03-01

    To investigate the control of earthworm populations on leaf litter biopolymer decay dynamics, we analyzed the residues of Liriodendron tulipifera L. (tulip poplar) leaves after six months of decay, comparing open surface litter and litter bag experiments among forests with different native and invasive earthworm abundances. Six plots were established in successional tulip poplar forests where sites varied in earthworm density and biomass, roughly 4-10 fold, of nonnative lumbricid species. Analysis of residues by diffuse reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and alkaline CuO extraction indicated that open decay in sites with abundant earthworms resulted in residues depleted in cuticular aliphatic and polysaccharide components and enriched in ether-linked lignin relative to open decay in low earthworm abundance plots. Decay within earthworm-excluding litter bags resulted in an increase in aliphatic components relative to initial amendment and similar chemical trajectory to low earthworm open decay experiments. All litter exhibited a decline in cinnamyl-based lignin and an increase in nitrogen content. The influence of earthworm density on the chemical trajectory of litter decay was primarily a manifestation of the physical separation and concentration of lignin-rich and cutin-poor petioles with additional changes promoted by either microorganisms and/or mesofauna resulting in nitrogen addition and polysaccharide loss. These results illustrate how projected increases in invasive earthworm activity in northern North American forests could alter the chemical composition of organic matter in litter residues and potentially organic matter reaching the soil which may result in shifts in the aromatic and aliphatic composition of soils in different systems.

  17. Development of a method for the analysis of hormones and pharmaceuticals in earthworms by quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe (QuEChERS) extraction followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).

    PubMed

    Bergé, Alexandre; Vulliet, Emmanuelle

    2015-10-01

    The earthworm represents a kind of creature in contact with the soil surface and usually exposed to a variety of organic pollutants from human activities. Therefore, it can be considered as an organism of choice for identifying pollution or better understanding the input of contaminants in food chains in particular through the contributions of sludge. Moreover, the use of organisms such as soil invertebrates is to be developed for ecotoxicological risk assessment of pollutants. In this context, a simple, rapid and effective multi-residue method was developed for the determination of 31 compounds including 11 steroids, 14 veterinary antibiotics and 6 human contaminants (paracetamol, sulfamethoxazole, fluvoxamine, carbamazepine, ibuprofen, bisphenol A) in earthworm. The sample preparation procedure was based on a salting-out extraction with acetonitrile (QuEChERS approach) that was optimised with regard to the acetonitrile/water ratio used in the extraction step, the choice of the clean-up and the quantity of the matrix. The optimised extraction method exhibited recoveries that comprised between 44 and 98 % for all the tested compounds. The limits of detection of all compounds were below 14 ng g(-1) and the limits of quantification (LOQ) comprised between 1.6 and 40 ng g(-1) (wet weight). The method was therefore applied to determine the levels of pharmaceuticals and hormones in six earthworm samples collected in various soils. Concentrations up to 195 ng g(-1) for bisphenol A were determined, between a few nanograms per gram and 43.1 ng g(-1) (estriol) for hormones and between a few nanograms per gram and 73.5 ng g(-1) (florfenicol) for pharmaceuticals. Experiments were also conducted in laboratory conditions to evaluate the accumulation of the target substances by earthworm. PMID:26302963

  18. Short-term soil bioassays may not reveal the full toxicity potential for nanomaterials; bioavailability and toxicity of silver ions (AgNO?) and silver nanoparticles to earthworm Eisenia fetida in long-term aged soils.

    PubMed

    Diez-Ortiz, Maria; Lahive, Elma; George, Suzanne; Ter Schure, Anneke; Van Gestel, Cornelis A M; Jurkschat, Kerstin; Svendsen, Claus; Spurgeon, David J

    2015-08-01

    This study investigated if standard risk assessment hazard tests are long enough to adequately provide the worst case exposure for nanomaterials. This study therefore determined the comparative effects of the aging on the bioavailability and toxicity to earthworms of soils dosed with silver ions and silver nanoparticles (Ag NP) for 1, 9, 30 & 52 weeks, and related this to the total Ag in the soil, Ag in soil pore water and earthworm tissue Ag concentrations. For ionic Ag, a classical pattern of reduced bioavailability and toxicity with time aged in the soil was observed. For the Ag NP, toxicity increased with time apparently driven by Ag ion dissolution from the added Ag NPs. Internal Ag in the earthworms did not always explain toxicity and suggested the presence of an internalised, low-toxicity Ag fraction (as intact or transformed NPs) after shorter aging times. Our results indicate that short-term exposures, without long-term soil aging, are not able to properly assess the environmental risk of Ag NPs and that ultimately, with aging time, Ag ion and Ag NP effect will merge to a common value. PMID:25910462

  19. Generalisation of fear and avoidance along a semantic continuum.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Sean; Roche, Bryan; Dymond, Simon; Hermans, Dirk

    2016-02-01

    Directly conditioned fear and avoidance readily generalises to dissimilar but conceptually related stimuli. Here, for the first time, we examined the conceptual/semantic generalisation of both fear and avoidance using real words (synonyms). Participants were first exposed to a differential fear conditioning procedure in which one word (e.g., "broth"; CS+) was followed with brief electric shock [unconditioned stimulus (US)] and another was not (e.g., "assist"; CS-). Next, an instrumental conditioning phase taught avoidance in the presence the CS+ but not the CS-. During generalisation testing, synonyms of the CS+ (e.g., "soup"; GCS+) and CS- (e.g., "help"; GCS-) were presented in the absence of shock. Conditioned fear and avoidance, measured via skin conductance responses, behavioural avoidance and US expectancy ratings, generalised to the semantically related, but not to the semantically unrelated, synonyms. Findings have implications for how natural language categories and concepts mediate the expansion of fear and avoidance repertoires in clinical contexts. PMID:25648156

  20. Perspectives in avoidance-preference bioassays

    SciTech Connect

    Steele, C.W.; Taylor, D.H.; Strickler-Shaw, S.

    1996-12-31

    Although behavioral endpoints are used in hazard assessment, establishment of water quality criteria and assessment of a contaminant`s hazard to aquatic life rely primarily on standard acute and chronic toxicity tests. Sublethal effects of pollutants should, however, be of major concern because more organisms experience sublethal rather than acutely or chronically lethal exposures of contaminants. The avoidance-preference approach to behavioral bioassays is very useful in screening pollutants for which the mechanisms of perception or response are largely unknown. The underlying philosophy of these studies is that an animal which perceives a chemical can be attracted or repulsed by it. No response is frequently assumed to indicate lack of perception. All three responses have broad ecological implications. The authors discuss the conditions required for performing avoidance-preference bioassays, as well as their sensitivities, advantages, and limitations. In this regard, a comparative approach is used in examining the results of avoidance-preference bioassays with zebrafish in two different apparatuses. Finally, they compare the results of avoidance-preference studies with other measures of the behavioral toxicity of lead to tadpoles.

  1. Endogeic earthworms shape bacterial functional communities and affect organic matter mineralization in a tropical soil

    PubMed Central

    Bernard, Laetitia; Chapuis-Lardy, Lydie; Razafimbelo, Tantely; Razafindrakoto, Malalatiana; Pablo, Anne-Laure; Legname, Elvire; Poulain, Julie; Brüls, Thomas; O'Donohue, Michael; Brauman, Alain; Chotte, Jean-Luc; Blanchart, Eric

    2012-01-01

    Priming effect (PE) is defined as a stimulation of the mineralization of soil organic matter (SOM) following a supply of fresh organic matter. This process can have important consequences on the fate of SOM and on the management of residues in agricultural soils, especially in tropical regions where soil fertility is essentially based on the management of organic matter. Earthworms are ecosystem engineers known to affect the dynamics of SOM. Endogeic earthworms ingest large amounts of soil and assimilate a part of organic matter it contains. During gut transit, microorganisms are transported to new substrates and their activity is stimulated by (i) the production of readily assimilable organic matter (mucus) and (ii) the possible presence of fresh organic residues in the ingested soil. The objective of our study was to see (i) whether earthworms impact the PE intensity when a fresh residue is added to a tropical soil and (ii) whether this impact is linked to a stimulation/inhibition of bacterial taxa, and which taxa are affected. A tropical soil from Madagascar was incubated in the laboratory, with a 13C wheat straw residue, in the presence or absence of a peregrine endogeic tropical earthworm, Pontoscolex corethrurus. Emissions of 12CO2 and 13CO2 were followed during 16 days. The coupling between DNA-SIP (stable isotope probing) and pyrosequencing showed that stimulation of both the mineralization of wheat residues and the PE can be linked to the stimulation of several groups especially belonging to the Bacteroidetes phylum. PMID:21753801

  2. Bioremediation of polluted soil through the combined application of plants, earthworms and organic matter.

    PubMed

    Macci, Cristina; Doni, Serena; Peruzzi, Eleonora; Ceccanti, Brunello; Masciandaro, Grazia

    2012-10-26

    Two plant species (Paulownia tomentosa and Cytisus scoparius), earthworms (Eisenia fetida), and organic matter (horse manure) were used as an ecological approach to bioremediate a soil historically contaminated by heavy metals and hydrocarbons. The experiment was carried out for six months at a mesoscale level using pots containing 90 kg of polluted soil. Three different treatments were performed for each plant: (i) untreated planted soil as a control (C); (ii) planted soil + horse manure (20:1 w/w) (M); (iii) planted soil + horse manure + 15 earthworms (ME). Both the plant species were able to grow in the polluted soil and to improve the soil's bio-chemical conditions, especially when organic matter and earthworms were applied. By comparing the two plant species, few significant differences were observed in the soil characteristics; Cytisus scoparius improved soil nutrient content more than Paulownia tomentosa, which instead stimulated more soil microbial metabolism. Regarding the pollutants, Paulownia tomentosa was more efficient in reducing the heavy metal (Pb, Cr, Cd, Zn, Cu, Ni) content, while earthworms were particularly able to stimulate the processes involved in the decontamination of organic pollutants (hydrocarbons). This ecological approach, validated at a mesoscale level, has recently been transferred to a real scale situation to carry out the bioremediation of polluted soil in San Giuliano Terme Municipality (Pisa, Italy). PMID:22911348

  3. Integrated assessment of oxidative stress and DNA damage in earthworms (Eisenia fetida) exposed to azoxystrobin.

    PubMed

    Han, Yingnan; Zhu, Lusheng; Wang, Jinhua; Wang, Jun; Xie, Hui; Zhang, Shumin

    2014-09-01

    Azoxystrobin has been widely used in recent years. The present study investigated the oxidative stress and DNA damage effects of azoxystrobin on earthworms (Eisenia fetida). Earthworms were exposed to different azoxystrobin concentrations in an artificial soil (0, 0.1, 1, and 10mg/kg) and sampled on days 7, 14, 21, and 28. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), guaiacol peroxidase (POD), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and malondialdehyde (MDA) content were measured by an ultraviolet spectrophotometer to determine the antioxidant responses and lipid peroxidation. Single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) was used to detect DNA damage in the coelomocytes. Compared with these in the controls, earthworms exposed to azoxystrobin had excess ROS accumulation and greater SOD, POD, and GST activity while the opposite trend occurred for CAT activity. MDA content increased after 14-day exposure, and DNA damage was enhanced with an increase in the concentration of azoxystrobin. In conclusion, azoxystrobin caused oxidative stress leading to lipid peroxidation and DNA damage in earthworms. PMID:25011117

  4. The cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of metalaxy-M on earthworms (Eisenia fetida).

    PubMed

    Liu, Tong; Zhu, Lusheng; Han, Yingnan; Wang, Jinhua; Wang, Jun; Zhao, Yan

    2014-10-01

    As the main optical isomer of metalaxyl, metalaxyl-M has been widely used worldwide in recent years because of its notable effect on the prevention and control of crop diseases. Together with the toxicity and degradation of metalaxyl-M, the chemical has attracted the attention of researchers. The present study examined the toxic effects of metalaxyl-M on earthworms at 0?mg?kg(-1) , 0.1?mg?kg(-1) , 1?mg?kg(-1) , and 3?mg?kg(-1) on days 7, 14, 21 and 28 after exposure. The results showed that metalaxyl-M could cause an obvious increase in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) when the concentration was higher than 0.1?mg?kg(-1) , which led to lipid peroxidation in earthworms. Metalaxyl-M can induce DNA damage in earthworms, and the level of DNA damage markedly increased with increasing the concentration of metalaxyl-M. Metalaxyl-M also has a serious influence on the activities of antioxidant enzymes, which results in irreversible oxidative damage in cells. The changes of these indicators all indicated that metalaxyl-M may cause cytotoxic and genotoxic effects on earthworms. PMID:25043480

  5. Ecotoxicological effects of earthworm following long-term Dechlorane Plus exposure.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Ji, Funian; Cui, Yibin; Li, Mei

    2016-02-01

    Dechlorane Plus (DP), similar to persistent organic pollutants, has been widely detected in environmental matrices, especially in sediment and soil. In this study, earthworms Eisenia fetida were exposed to 0.1, 0.5, 6.25 and 12.5 mg kg(-1) DP for 28 d. Lethality, oxidative stress, neurotoxicity and cellulase of E. fetida were assessed to investigate ecotoxicological effects of DP after long-term exposure. Results showed that the direct toxicity of DP was very low. However, death rate, as well as SOD activity, together with changes in activities of CAT, GSH-Px, and GSH levels, indicating that oxidative stress may play a significant role in DP exposure. In addition, DP also changes the AChE and cellulase activity of earthworms even under low DP concentration after long-term exposure. Moreover, comet assay results showed that DP exposure increased the levels of tDNA significantly (p < 0.05) even in the lowest treatment (0.1 mg kg(-1) DP). Combined with the results of enzyme activity, oxidative damage and comet assay, it can be suggested that earthworms experience more stress of DP during long-time exposure. This study provides insight into the toxicological effects of DP on earthworm model, and may be useful for risk assessment of DP on soil ecosystems. PMID:26619313

  6. SUBLETHAL NEUROTOXIC EFFECTS OF THE FUNGICIDE BENOMYL ON EARTHWORMS ('EISENIA FETIDA')

    EPA Science Inventory

    Earthworms (Eisenia fetida) were treated by surface contact exposure for four days with the fungicide benomyl. Non-invasive electrophysiological recordings after treatment with sublethal concentrations of 0.2-25 mg benomyl/litre of water indicated concentration-dependent decrease...

  7. Bioremediation of heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons in diesel contaminated soil with the earthworm: Eudrilus eugeniae.

    PubMed

    Ekperusi, Ogheneruemu Abraham; Aigbodion, Iruobe Felix

    2015-01-01

    A laboratory study on the bioremediation of diesel contaminated soil with the earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae (Kingberg) was conducted. 5 ml of diesel was contaminated into soils in replicates and inoculated with E. eugeniae for 90 days. Physicochemical parameters, heavy metals and total petroleum hydrocarbons were analyzed using AAS. BTEX in contaminated soil and tissues of earthworms were determined with GC-FID. The activities of earthworms resulted in a decrease in pH (3.0 %), electrical conductivity (60.66 %), total nitrogen (47.37 %), chloride (60.66 %), total organic carbon (49.22 %), sulphate (60.59 %), nitrate (60.65 %), phosphate (60.80 %), sodium (60.65 %), potassium (60.67 %), calcium (60.67 %), magnesium (60.68 %), zinc (60.59 %), manganese (60.72 %), copper (60.68 %), nickel (60.58 %), cadmium (60.44 %), vanadium (61.19 %), chromium (53.60 %), lead (60.38 %), mercury (61.11 %), arsenic (80.85 %), TPH (84.99 %). Among the BTEX constituents, only benzene (8.35 %) was detected in soil at the end of the study. Earthworm tissue analysis showed varying levels of TPH (57.35 %), benzene (38.91 %), toluene (27.76 %), ethylbenzene (42.16 %) and xylene (09.62 %) in E. eugeniae at the end of the study. The study has shown that E. eugeniae could be applied as a possible bioremediator in diesel polluted soil. PMID:26413446

  8. [Study of the effect of earthworm Lumbricus terrestris on the speciation of heavy metals in soils].

    PubMed

    El Gharmali, A; Rada, A; El Meray, M; Nejmeddine, A

    2002-07-01

    Evaluation of the effect of earthworm Lumbricus terrestris on the speciation of copper and cadmium was carried out on two types of soils with a high metallic contamination due to municipal wastes spreading. The concentrations of total dissolved metals were higher in the soil containing earthworms. This increase was larger for the soil submitted to disturbance by earthworms for a long time (3 months). The main chemical species in the lixiviates of all type of soils including controls, were labile forms of cadmium with 52 to 87% and stable forms of copper which represents 67 to 95% of total concentration of dissolved metal. In the solid phase, there was a slight transfer of cadmium and copper from the oxidizable fraction into the exchangeable and acid soluble fractions. This suggests that soil disturbance by earthworms increases the mobility of these metals particularly cadmium. On the contrary copper appears in lixiviates as non labile organic complexes. Analysis of the whole results showed differences between soils as regards the mobility of the metals studied, which reflected the role of the mains physico-chemical characteristics (pH, C.E.C. and total calcareous content). PMID:12166420

  9. Earthworms facilitate carbon sequestration through unequal amplification of carbon stabilization compared with mineralization

    EPA Science Inventory

    A recent review concluded that earthworm presence increases CO2 emissions by 33% but does not affect soil organic carbon stocks. However, the findings are controversial and raise new questions. Here we hypothesize that neither an increase in CO2 emission nor in stabilized carbon...

  10. Earthworms (Oligochaeta: Acanthodrilidae and Lumbricidae) associated with Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant, Travis County, Texas, USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Earthworm populations were surveyed in soils from a variety of habitats associated with the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant, Austin, Texas, from November 2009 through March 2010. Seven species of terrestrial Oligochaeta, including one species new to science, are reported from two families, ...

  11. APPLICATION OF PLANT AND EARTHWORM BIOASSAYS TO EVALUATE REMEDIATION OF A LEAD-CONTAMINATED SOIL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Earthworm acute toxicity, plant seed germination/root elongation (SG/RE) and plant genotoxicity bioassays were employed to evaluate the remediation of a lead-contaminated soil. The remediation involved removal of heavy metals by a soil washing/soil leaching treatment process. A p...

  12. USE OF EARTHWORMS TO ACCELERATE THE RESTORATION OF OIL AND BRINE IMPACTED SITES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The restoration of soil ecosystems following remediation of oil and brine spills can be a lengthy process. This project has investigated the efficacy of the re-introduction of earthworms to sites which have undergone remediation for crude oil or brine spills in order to accele...

  13. Some Guides to Discovery About Elm Trees, Owls, Cockroaches, Earthworms, Cement and Concrete.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Busch, Phyllis S.

    The introduction emphasizes the need for environmental and conservation education, and advocates an inquiry approach. Outdoor resources available to every school are listed. Detailed suggestions are made for investigating cement and concrete, cockroaches, earthworms, elm trees, and owls. In each case general background information and a list of…

  14. Vermiremediation of dyeing sludge from textile mill with the help of exotic earthworm Eisenia fetida Savigny.

    PubMed

    Bhat, Sartaj Ahmad; Singh, Jaswinder; Vig, Adarsh Pal

    2013-09-01

    The aim of present study was for the vermiremediation of dyeing sludge from textile mill into nutrient-rich vermicompost using earthworm Eisenia fetida. The dyeing sludge was mixed with cattle dung in different ratios, i.e., 0:100 (D0), 25:75 (D25), 50:50 (D50), 75:25 (D75), and 100:0 (D100) with earthworms, and 0:100 (S0), 25:75 (S25), 50:50 (S50), 75:25 (S75), and 100:0 (S100) without earthworms. Minimum mortality and maximum population build-up were observed in a 25:75 mixture. Nitrogen, phosphorus, sodium, and pH increased from the initial to the final products with earthworms, while electrical conductivity, C/N ratio, organic carbon, and potassium declined in all the feed mixtures. Vermicomposting with E. fetida was better for composting to change this sludge into nutrient-rich manure. PMID:23508537

  15. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 39 (2007) 10141022 Influence of earthworm activity on aggregate-associated carbon and

    E-print Network

    van Kessel, Chris

    2007-01-01

    Soil Biology & Biochemistry 39 (2007) 1014­1022 Influence of earthworm activity on aggregate of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA b Institute of Ecology and Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, University regulators of soil structure and soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics, however, quantifying their influence

  16. Earthworm populations in septic system filter fields and potential effects on wastewater renovation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wastewater renovation in septic-system filter fields can be affected by preferential flow through soil macropores. Earthworm burrows may contribute to this concern by penetrating the infiltrative surface of soil-treatment trenches. Additionally, the moist, nutrient-rich environment surrounding tre...

  17. The Living Soil: Exploring Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture with Your Guide, The Earthworm. Unit I.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Eldon C.; And Others

    This instructional packet introduces students to soil biology, ecology, and specific farming practices that promote sustainable agriculture. It helps students to discover the role of earthworms in improving the environment of all other soil-inhabiting organisms and in making the soil more fertile. The activities (classroom as well as outdoor)…

  18. NOVEL MODEL DESCRIBING TRACE METAL CONCENTRATIONS IN THE EARTHWORM, EISENIA ANDREI: JOURNAL ARTICLE

    EPA Science Inventory

    NRMRL-CIN-1707 Sake, J.K., Impellitteri**, C.A., Peijnenburg, W., and Allen, H.E. Novel Model Describing Trace Metal Concentrations in the Earthworm, Eisenia andrei. Environmental Science & Technology (American Chemical Society) 35 (22):4522-4529 (2001). EPA/600/J-01/364. 12/12/2...

  19. INTERACTION OF EARTHWORM BURROWS AND CRACKS IN A CLAYEY, SUBSURFACE-DRAINED, SOIL

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Installation of subsurface tiles in poorly drained soils enhances crop productivity, but can contribute to offsite losses of agricultural chemicals and sediment in tile flow. Movement of these materials through soil macropores (earthworm burrows and cracks) has been shown to contribute to this pheno...

  20. GROWTH AND REPRODUCTION OF THE EARTHWORM 'EISENIA FETIDA' AFTER EXPOSURE TO SUBLETHAL CONCENTRATIONS OF METALS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The use of land for the treatment and disposal of various wastes has resulted in a desire for more information concerning the effects of these materials on the soil ecosystem. Earthworms are often studied as a representative organism of the soil biota that may be affected by chan...

  1. Toxicological effects of soil contaminated with spirotetramat to the earthworm Eisenia fetida.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qingming; Zhang, Guoli; Yin, Peijun; Lv, Yanzhen; Yuan, Shun; Chen, Jiqiang; Wei, Binbin; Wang, Caixia

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential toxicity of spirotetramat to the earthworm Eisenia fetida in a natural soil environment. Many biochemical markers, viz., superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), glutathione S-transferase (GST), cellulase, and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents were measured after exposure to 0.25, 1.25, and 2.5mgkg(-1) for 2, 7, 14, 21, and 28days. In addition, the comet assay was performed on earthworm coelomocytes to assess the level of genetic damage. The results demonstrate that the SOD activity and MDA content were significantly stimulated by the highest dose (2.5mgkg(-1)) of spirotetramat for the entire period of exposure. The activities of CAT and POD increased significantly by 2d and 21d, respectively, but the activities of both were significantly inhibited after prolonged exposure (28d). After an initial increase on the 2nd day, the cellulase activity in the high-dose treatment group was significantly inhibited for the entire remaining exposure period. The comet assay results demonstrate that spirotetramat (?2.5mgkg(-1)) can induce low and intermediate degrees of DNA damage in earthworm coelomocytes. The results indicate that spirotetramat may pose potential biochemical and genetic toxicity to earthworms (E. fetida), and this information is helpful for understanding the ecological toxicity of spirotetramat on soil invertebrate organisms. PMID:26081578

  2. Toxicity and bioaccumulation of chlorophenols in earthworms, in relation to bioavailability in soil

    SciTech Connect

    van Gestel, C.A.; Ma, W.C.

    1988-06-01

    The acute toxicity of five chlorophenols for two earthworm species was determined in two sandy soils differing in organic matter content and the results were compared with adsorption data. Adsorption increased with increasing organic matter content of the soils, but for tetra- and pentachlorophenol was also influenced by soil pH. Earthworm toxicity was significantly higher in the soil with a low level of organic matter. This difference disappeared when LC50 values were recalculated to concentrations in soil solution using adsorption data. Eisenia fetida andrei showed LC50 values lower than those of Lumbricus rubellus although bioaccumulation was generally higher in the latter species. Toxicity and bioaccumulation based on soil solution concentrations increased with increasing lipophilicity of the chlorophenols. The present results indicate that the toxicity and bioaccumulation and therefore the bioavailability of chlorophenols in soil to earthworms are dependent on the concentration in soil solution and can be predicted on the basis of adsorption data. Both the toxicity of and bioaccumulation data on chlorophenols in earthworms demonstrated surprisingly good agreement with those on chlorophenols in fish.

  3. Influence of soil properties on the bioaccumulation and effects of arsenic in the earthworm Eisenia andrei.

    PubMed

    Romero-Freire, A; Peinado, F J Martín; Ortiz, M Díez; van Gestel, C A M

    2015-10-01

    This study aimed at assessing the influence of soil properties on the uptake and toxicity effects of arsenic in the earthworm Eisenia andrei exposed for 4 weeks to seven natural soils spiked with different arsenic concentrations. Water-soluble soil concentrations (AsW) and internal As concentrations in the earthworms (AsE) were greatly different between soils. These two variables were highly correlated and were key factors in earthworm toxicity response. AsW was explained by some soil properties, such as the pH, calcium carbonate content, ionic strength, texture or oxide forms. Toxicity showed a clear variation between soils, in some cases without achieving 50 % adverse effect at the highest As concentration added (600 mg kg(-1)). Nevertheless, soil properties did not show, in general, a high relation with studied toxicity endpoints, although the high correlation with AsW could greatly reduce indirectly As bioavailability and toxicity risk for earthworms. Obtained results suggest that soil properties should be part of the criteria to establishing thresholds for contaminated soils because they will be key in controlling As availability and thus result in different degrees of toxicity. PMID:26002360

  4. Effect on enzymes and histopathology in earthworm (Eisenia foetida) induced by triazole fungicides.

    PubMed

    Gao, Minling; Song, Wenhua; Zhang, Jinyang; Guo, Jing

    2013-05-01

    Earthworms are an ideal biological model in toxicity assays and environment monitoring studies, especially for the toxicity of pesticides on soil ecosystem. However, There are very little data on the toxicity of triazoles on earthworms despite the fact that such data are critical in assessing their fate and potential toxic effects in soil organisms. To address this issue, earthworms were exposed to triazoles (triadimefon, triadimenol, difenoconazole and propiconazole) to study biochemical and histopathological examination. The results showed protein content significantly increased in treatment of difenoconazole compared to control. There were no significant differences between controls and triadimefon treated groups, while the glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity is significantly lower than control. Other triazoles also had an inhibitory effect on GSH-Px activity at higher concentration. The histopathological examination showed the epidermis and the epidermis cell of earthworm was ruined at lower triazoles concentration. The arrangement of smooth muscle layer disordered, and some cell disintegrated with concentration increasing of pesticides. Cell pyknosis, cytoplasm deep stained, nucleus concentrations were observed in the treated group with propiconazole. PMID:23474400

  5. Detrimental Influence of Invasive Earthworms on North American Cold-Temperate Forest Soils

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Enerson, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    The topic of invasive earthworms is a timely concern that goes against many preconceived notions regarding the positive benefits of all worms. In the cold-temperate forests of North America invasive worms are threatening forest ecosystems, due to the changes they create in the soil, including decreases in C:N ratios and leaf litter, disruption of…

  6. TERATOGENIC EFFECTS OF THE FUNGICIDE BENOMYL ON POSTERIOR SEGMENTAL REGENERATION IN THE EARTHWORM, 'EISENIA FETIDA'

    EPA Science Inventory

    Earthworms, Eisenia fetida, were treated by surface exposure to the fungicide benomyl at various stages of posterior segmental regeneration. Teratogenic effects of benomyl were observed when worms were treated 7-11 days after amputation (i.e. during the normal period of segmental...

  7. Comparisons of metal accumulation and excretion kinetics in earthworms (Eisenia fetida) exposed to contaminated

    E-print Network

    Hopkin, Steve

    Comparisons of metal accumulation and excretion kinetics in earthworms (Eisenia fetida) exposed, copper, lead and zinc were studied for Eisenia fetida exposed to mixtures of these metals in ®eld for both metals. A previous study of the effects of metals on worms exposed in OECD and ®eld soils had

  8. Avoiding character collisions in games 

    E-print Network

    Calderon, Manuel

    1999-01-01

    This thesis addresses an important current problem in the game industry, the problem of moving multiple characters along predefined paths in a two-dimensional plane while avoiding collisions between them. It demonstrates and describes a method...

  9. Repetition avoidance in human language

    E-print Network

    Walter, Mary Ann, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    2007-01-01

    Repetition is avoided in countless human languages and at a variety of grammatical levels. In this dissertation I ask what it is that makes repetition so bad. I propose that at least three distinct biases against repetition ...

  10. Role of Native and Exotic Earthworms in Plant Biopolymer Dynamics in Forest Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filley, Timothy

    2010-05-01

    Many forests within northern North America are experiencing the introduction of earthworms for the first time, presumably since before the last major glaciation. Forest dynamics are undergoing substantial changes because of the activity of the mainly European lumbricid species. Documented losses in litter layers, expansion of A-horizons, loss of the organic horizon, changes in fine root density, and shifts in microbial populations have all been documented in invaded zones. Two free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) forest experiments (aspen FACE at Rhinelander, Wisconsin and sweet gum FACE at Oak Ridge National Lab, Tennessee) lie within the zones of invasion and exhibit differences in amounts of exotic and native species as well as endogeic (predominantly mineral soil dwelling) and epigeic (litter and organic matter horizon dwelling) types. Considerations of carbon accrual dynamics and relative input of above vs. below ground plant input in these young successional systems do not consider the potential impact of these ecosystem engineers. We investigated the impact of earthworm activity by tracking the relative abundance and stable carbon isotope compositions of lignin and substituted fatty acids extracted from isolated earthworms and their fecal pellets and from host soils. Indications of root vs leaf input to earthworm casts and fecal matter were derived from differences in the chemical composition of cutin, suberin, and lignin. The isotopically depleted CO2 used in FACE and the resulting isotopically depleted plant organic matter afford an excellent opportunity to assess biopolymer-specific turnover dynamics. We find that endogeic species are proportionately more responsible for fine root cycling while some epigeic species are responsible for microaggregation of foliar cutin. CSIA of fecal pellet lignin and SFA indicates how these biopolymer pools can be derived from variable sources, roots, background soil, foliar tissue within one earthworm. Additionally, CSIA indicates the distinct roles that different earthworm types have in "aging" surface soil biopolymer pools through encapsulation and upward transport of deeper soil carbon, and "freshening" deeper soil biopolymer pools through downward transport of surface carbon to deeper layers,. As earthworm species abundance and activity are not is steady state in many forests, the role of these important invertebrates should be more considered when assessing the changing soil state.

  11. Utilizing thin-film solid-phase extraction to assess the effect of organic carbon amendments on the bioavailability of DDT and dieldrin to earthworms.

    PubMed

    Andrade, Natasha A; Centofanti, Tiziana; McConnell, Laura L; Hapeman, Cathleen J; Torrents, Alba; Nguyen, Anh; Beyer, W Nelson; Chaney, Rufus L; Novak, Jeffrey M; Anderson, Marya O; Cantrell, Keri B

    2014-02-01

    Improved approaches are needed to assess bioavailability of hydrophobic organic compounds in contaminated soils. Performance of thin-film solid-phase extraction (TF-SPE) using vials coated with ethylene vinyl acetate was compared to earthworm bioassay (Lumbricus terrestris). A DDT and dieldrin contaminated soil was amended with four organic carbon materials to assess the change in bioavailability. Addition of organic carbon significantly lowered bioavailability for all compounds except for 4,4'-DDT. Equilibrium concentrations of compounds in the polymer were correlated with uptake by earthworms after 48d exposure (R(2) = 0.97; p < 0.001), indicating TF-SPE provided an accurate uptake simulation. Bioavailability of residues in soil was compared with a spiked soil aged for 90d in laboratory. Dieldrin and DDX were respectively 18% and 11% less bioavailable in contaminated soil relative to spiked soil despite >40yr of aging. Results show that TF-SPE can be useful in examining potential risks associated with contaminated soils and to test effectiveness of remediation efforts. PMID:24316068

  12. Effect of volatile hydrocarbon fractions on mobility and earthworm uptake of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from soils and soil/lampblack mixtures.

    PubMed

    Bogan, Bill W; Beardsley, Kate E; Sullivan, Wendy R; Hayes, Thomas D; Soni, Bhupendra K

    2005-01-01

    Studies were conducted to examine the mobility and bioavailability to earthworms (Eisenia fetida) of priority pollutant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in a suite of 11 soils and soil/lampblack mixtures obtained from former manufactured-gas plant sites. Contaminant mobility was assessed using XAD4 resins encapsulated in dialysis tubing, which were exposed to slurried soils for 15 d. These experiments showed that mobility of PAH in the different soils strongly correlated to the levels of volatile hydrocarbons (namely, gasoline- and diesel-range organics [GRO and DRO]) that existed in the soils as co-contaminants. Actual PAH bioavailability (as measured by earthworm PAH concentrations) also appeared to depend on GRO + DRO levels, although this was most evident at high levels of these contaminants. These findings are discussed in view of the effects of dieselrange organics on oil viscosity, assuming that the hydrocarbon contaminants in these soils exist in the form of distinct adsorbed oil phases. This study, therefore, extends correlations between carrier-oil viscosity and dissolved solute bioavailability, previously observed in a number of other in vitro and whole-organism tests (and in bacterial mutagenicity studies in soil), to multicellular organisms inhabiting contaminated-soil systems. PMID:15683182

  13. Vision-based obstacle avoidance

    DOEpatents

    Galbraith, John (Los Alamos, NM)

    2006-07-18

    A method for allowing a robot to avoid objects along a programmed path: first, a field of view for an electronic imager of the robot is established along a path where the electronic imager obtains the object location information within the field of view; second, a population coded control signal is then derived from the object location information and is transmitted to the robot; finally, the robot then responds to the control signal and avoids the detected object.

  14. Predator Avoidance in Extremophile Fish

    PubMed Central

    Bierbach, David; Schulte, Matthias; Herrmann, Nina; Zimmer, Claudia; Arias-Rodriguez, Lenin; Indy, Jeane Rimber; Riesch, Rüdiger; Plath, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Extreme habitats are often characterized by reduced predation pressures, thus representing refuges for the inhabiting species. The present study was designed to investigate predator avoidance of extremophile populations of Poecilia mexicana and P. sulphuraria that either live in hydrogen sulfide-rich (sulfidic) springs or cave habitats, both of which are known to have impoverished piscine predator regimes. Focal fishes that inhabited sulfidic springs showed slightly weaker avoidance reactions when presented with several naturally occurring predatory cichlids, but strongest differences to populations from non-sulfidic habitats were found in a decreased shoaling tendency with non-predatory swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii) females. When comparing avoidance reactions between P. mexicana from a sulfidic cave (Cueva del Azufre) and the adjacent sulfidic surface creek (El Azufre), we found only slight differences in predator avoidance, but surface fish reacted much more strongly to the non-predatory cichlid Vieja bifasciata. Our third experiment was designed to disentangle learned from innate effects of predator recognition. We compared laboratory-reared (i.e., predator-naïve) and wild-caught (i.e., predator-experienced) individuals of P. mexicana from a non-sulfidic river and found no differences in their reaction towards the presented predators. Overall, our results indicate (1) that predator avoidance is still functional in extremophile Poecilia spp. and (2) that predator recognition and avoidance reactions have a strong genetic basis. PMID:25371337

  15. Enantioseletive bioaccumulation and metabolization of diniconazole in earthworms (Eiseniafetida) in an artificial soil.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huili; Chen, Jinhui; Guo, Bao-Yuan; Li, Jianzhong

    2014-01-01

    Degradation and enantioselective bioaccumulation of diniconazole in earthworms (Eiseniafetida) in artificial soil was investigated using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method under laboratory condition. Three exposure concentrations (1 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg and 25 mg/kg) of diniconazole in soil (dry weight) to earthworms were used. The uptake kinetics fitted the first-order kinetics well. The bioaccumulation factors (BAF) of R, S isomers were 6.6046 and 8.5115 in 25 mg/kg dose exposure, 2.6409 and 2.9835 in 10mg/kg dose exposure, 1.7784 and 2.0437 in 1 mg/kg dose exposure, respectively. Bioaccumulation of diniconazole in earthworm tissues was enantioselective with a preferential accumulation of S-diniconazole and the enantiomer fractions were about 0.45-0.50 in all three level dose exposures. In addition, it was obvious that both R-diniconazole and S-diniconazole had bioaccumulation effect in earthworm. Diniconazole was metabolized to 1,2,4-triazole, (E)-3-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl) acrylaldehyde, (E, S)-4-(2, 4-dichlorophenyl)-2, 2-dimethyl-5-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)pent-4-ene-1,3-diol, and (E)-4-(2, 4-dichlorophenyl)-3-hydroxy-2,2-dimethyl-5-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl) pent-4-enoic acid in earthworms; the metabolites of 1,2,4-triazole and (E)-3-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)acrylaldehyde could be detected in soil as well. PMID:24211030

  16. Bioaccumulation of perfluoroalkyl acids by earthworms (Eisenia fetida) exposed to contaminated soils.

    PubMed

    Rich, Courtney D; Blaine, Andrea C; Hundal, Lakhwinder; Higgins, Christopher P

    2015-01-20

    The presence of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in biosolids-amended and aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF)-impacted soils results in two potential pathways for movement of these environmental contaminants into terrestrial foodwebs. Uptake of PFAAs by earthworms (Eisenia fetida) exposed to unspiked soils with varying levels of PFAAs (a control soil, an industrially impacted biosolids-amended soil, a municipal biosolids-amended soil, and two AFFF-impacted soils) was measured. Standard 28 day exposure experiments were conducted in each soil, and measurements taken at additional time points in the municipal soil were used to model the kinetics of uptake. Uptake and elimination rates and modeling suggested that steady state bioaccumulation was reached within 28 days of exposure for all PFAAs. The highest concentrations in the earthworms were for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in the AFFF-impacted Soil A (2160 ng/g) and perfluorododecanoate (PFDoA) in the industrially impacted soil (737 ng/g). Wet-weight (ww) and organic carbon (OC)-based biota soil accumulation factors (BSAFs) for the earthworms were calculated after 28 days of exposure for all five soils. The highest BSAF in the industrially impacted soil was for PFDoA (0.42 goc/gww,worm). Bioaccumulation factors (BAFs, dry-weight-basis, dw) were also calculated at 28 days for each of the soils. With the exception of the control soil and perfluorodecanoate (PFDA) in the industrially impacted soil, all BAF values were above unity, with the highest being for perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS) in the AFFF-impacted Soil A (139 gdw,soil/gdw,worm). BSAFs and BAFs increased with increasing chain length for the perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs) and decreased with increasing chain length for the perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs). The results indicate that PFAA bioaccumulation into earthworms depends on soil concentrations, soil characteristics, analyte, and duration of exposure, and that accumulation into earthworms may be a potential route of entry of PFAAs into terrestrial foodwebs. PMID:25517891

  17. Glyphosate-based herbicides reduce the activity and reproduction of earthworms and lead to increased soil nutrient concentrations.

    PubMed

    Gaupp-Berghausen, Mailin; Hofer, Martin; Rewald, Boris; Zaller, Johann G

    2015-01-01

    Herbicide use is increasing worldwide both in agriculture and private gardens. However, our knowledge of potential side-effects on non-target soil organisms, even on such eminent ones as earthworms, is still very scarce. In a greenhouse experiment, we assessed the impact of the most widely used glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup on two earthworm species with different feeding strategies. We demonstrate, that the surface casting activity of vertically burrowing earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) almost ceased three weeks after herbicide application, while the activity of soil dwelling earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa) was not affected. Reproduction of the soil dwellers was reduced by 56% within three months after herbicide application. Herbicide application led to increased soil concentrations of nitrate by 1592% and phosphate by 127%, pointing to potential risks for nutrient leaching into streams, lakes, or groundwater aquifers. These sizeable herbicide-induced impacts on agroecosystems are particularly worrisome because these herbicides have been globally used for decades. PMID:26243044

  18. IN VIVO NEUROTOXIC EFFECTS OF DIELDRIN ON GIANT NERVE FIBERS AND ESCAPE REFLEX FUNCTION IN THE EARTHWORM, 'EISENIA FOETIDA'

    EPA Science Inventory

    Neurotoxicological effects of dieldrin were assessed in adult earthworms, Eisenia foetida, using noninvasive electrophysiological recordings of escape reflex activity. After 48 hr body surface exposure to aqueous suspensions of dieldrin, dose-dependent reductions in medial and la...

  19. Glyphosate-based herbicides reduce the activity and reproduction of earthworms and lead to increased soil nutrient concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Gaupp-Berghausen, Mailin; Hofer, Martin; Rewald, Boris; Zaller, Johann G.

    2015-01-01

    Herbicide use is increasing worldwide both in agriculture and private gardens. However, our knowledge of potential side-effects on non-target soil organisms, even on such eminent ones as earthworms, is still very scarce. In a greenhouse experiment, we assessed the impact of the most widely used glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup on two earthworm species with different feeding strategies. We demonstrate, that the surface casting activity of vertically burrowing earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris) almost ceased three weeks after herbicide application, while the activity of soil dwelling earthworms (Aporrectodea caliginosa) was not affected. Reproduction of the soil dwellers was reduced by 56% within three months after herbicide application. Herbicide application led to increased soil concentrations of nitrate by 1592% and phosphate by 127%, pointing to potential risks for nutrient leaching into streams, lakes, or groundwater aquifers. These sizeable herbicide-induced impacts on agroecosystems are particularly worrisome because these herbicides have been globally used for decades. PMID:26243044

  20. Examination of digestive enzyme distribution in gut tract and functions of intestinal caecum, in megascolecid earthworms (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae) in Japan.

    PubMed

    Nozaki, Mana; Ito, Katsutoshi; Miura, Chiemi; Miura, Takeshi

    2013-09-01

    Earthworms ingest various materials in addition to food items, such as soil particles. Most earthworms of the family Megascolecidae, a dominant family in Japan, have intestinal caeca connected directly to the intestinal tract. The function of the caeca has not been demonstrated, although it is thought to be associated with digestion. We investigated the activity of the digestive enzymes amylase, phosphatase, cellulase, and protease in different regions of the gut, including the intestinal caeca, in three species of megascolecid earthworms, Pheretima heteropoda, Pheretima hilgendorfi, and Pheretima sieboldi. Activities of several enzymes were high in the intestinal caeca; in particular, protease activity was higher in the caeca than that in the anterior gut, foregut, midgut, and hindgut in all three species. Moreover, the ratio of enzyme activities in the intestinal caeca to whole-gut tended to be higher in manicate intestinal caeca than in simple intestinal caeca. These results suggest that the digestive system of earthworms relies on the intestinal caeca. PMID:24004076

  1. Determination of multi-walled carbon nanotube bioaccumulation in earthworms measured by a microwave-based detection technique

    EPA Science Inventory

    Reliable quantification techniques for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are limited. In this study, a new procedure was developed for quantifying multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in earthworms (Eisenia fetida) based on freeze drying and microwave-induced heating. Specifically, earthw...

  2. Bioaccumulation of pharmaceuticals and other anthropogenic waste indicators in earthworms from agricultural soil amended with biosolid or swine manure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kinney, C.A.; Furlong, E.T.; Kolpin, D.W.; Burkhardt, M.R.; Zaugg, S.D.; Werner, S.L.; Bossio, J.P.; Benotti, M.J.

    2008-01-01

    Analysis of earthworms offers potential for assessing the transfer of organic anthropogenic waste indicators (AWIs) derived from land-applied biosolid or manure to biota. Earthworms and soil samples were collected from three Midwest agricultural fields to measure the presence and potential for transfer of 77 AWIs from land-applied biosolids and livestock manure to earthworms. The sites consisted of a soybean field with no amendments of human or livestock waste (Site 1), a soybean field amended with biosolids from a municipal wastewater treatment plant (Site 2), and a cornfield amended with swine manure (Site 3). The biosolid applied to Site 2 contained a diverse composition of 28 AWIs, reflecting the presence of human-use compounds. The swine manure contained 12 AWIs, and was dominated by biogenic sterols. Soil and earthworm samples were collected in the spring (about 30 days after soil amendment) and fall (140-155 days after soil amendment) at all field sites. Soils from Site 1 contained 21 AWIs and soil from Sites 2 and 3 contained 19 AWIs. The AWI profiles at Sites 2 and 3 generally reflected the relative composition of AWIs present in waste material applied. There were 20 AWIs detected in earthworms from Site 1 (three compounds exceeding concentrations of 1000 ??g/kg), 25 AWIs in earthworms from Site 2 (seven compounds exceeding concentrations of 1000 ??g/kg), and 21 AWIs in earthworms from Site 3 (five compounds exceeding concentrations of 1000 ??g/kg). A number of compounds thatwere present in the earthworm tissue were at concentrations less than reporting levels in the corresponding soil samples. The AWIs detected in earthworm tissue from the three field sites included pharmaceuticals, synthetic fragrances, detergent metabolites, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), biogenic sterols, disinfectants, and pesticides, reflecting a wide range of physicochemical properties. For those contaminants detected in earthworm tissue and soil, bioaccumulation factors (BAF) ranged from 0.05 (galaxolide) to 27 (triclosan). This study documents that when AWIs are present in source materials that are land applied, such as biosolids and swine manure, AWIs can be transferred to earthworms. ?? 2008 American Chemical Society.

  3. Effect of earthworms on plant Lantana camara Pb-uptake and on bacterial communities in root-adhering soil.

    PubMed

    Jusselme, My Dung; Poly, Franck; Miambi, Edouard; Mora, Philippe; Blouin, Manuel; Pando, Anne; Rouland-Lefèvre, Corinne

    2012-02-01

    The present study aimed to assess the potential abilities of Lantana camara, an invasive plant species for phytoremediation in the presence of earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus. Effects of earthworm on growth and lead (Pb) uptake by L. camara plant were studied in soil artificially contaminated at 500 or 1000mg of Pb kg(-1) soil. This species has a promising value for phytoremediation because it can uptake as much as 10% of 1000mgkg(-1) of Pb per year. Moreover, the presence of earthworms enhanced plant biomass by about 1.5-2 times and increased the uptake of lead by about 2-3 times. In the presence of earthworm, L. camara was thus able to uptake up 20% of Pb presence in the soil, corresponding to remediation time of 5 years if all organs are removed. As soil microorganisms are known to mediate many interactions between earthworms and plants, we documented the effect of earthworms on the bacterial community of root-adhering soil of L. camara. Cultivable bacterial biomass of root-adhering soil increased in the presence of earthworms. Similar trend was observed on bacterial metabolic activities. The increase of lead concentrations from 500 to 1000mgkg(-1) did not have any significant effect either on plant growth or on bacterial biomass and global activities but affected the structure and functional diversity of the bacterial community. These results showed that we should broaden the ecological context of phytoremediation by considering plant/microbial community/earthworm interactions that influence the absorption of heavy metals. PMID:22221873

  4. [Effect of earthworm inoculation on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics and on crop yield with application of corn residues].

    PubMed

    Li, Huixin; Hu, Feng; Shen, Qirong; Chen, Xiaoyun; Cang, Long; Wang, Xia

    2002-12-01

    This study was carried out in the Experimental Station of Nanjing Agricultural University, which is in a subtropical monsoon region characterized by a warm-wet spring and a hot-dry summer. The annual average temperature, precipitation and evaporation are 15.6 degrees C, 1010 mm and 1560 mm, respectively. In 1999, the experimental plots (2.8 m x 1.0 m x 0.6 m) were established by concrete frame. Soil in the plots was orthic aquisols collected from Rugao County, Jiangsu Province. Crop rotation was upland rice and winter wheat. At the beginning of the first crop (rice) season, earthworms (Pheretima sp.) were inoculated at a density of 10.m-2 and 20.m-2, respectively, in the plots with an application of corn residues at the rate of 1500 g.m-2(750 g.m-2 in the following seasons). The responses of soil carbon and nitrogen and crop yield to earthworm activity were investigated from 1999 to 2001. The results showed that earthworms had no significant influences on total soil carbon and nitrogen content, which implied that there was no depletion of soil carbon and nitrogen pools in the presence of earthworms. The maintenance of soil carbon might be explained by low assimilation efficiency of organic matter by earthworms, and by the compensation of carbon returning from plant production enhancement. Soil mineral nitrogen, soil microbial biomass carbon and microbial biomass nitrogen were increased, and nitrogen mineralization was strengthened by earthworm activities, which was more obvious at jointing/booting and heading stages. In comparison with no-worm treatments, the yield of rice wheat increased by 9.3% and 5.1%, respectively, in the treatments inoculated with earthworms. It was concluded that earthworm was very important in promoting nitrogen recycling of crop residues and plant productivity, and in keeping the balance of soil carbon pool as well. PMID:12682972

  5. Self-avoiding quantum walks

    E-print Network

    Elizabeth Camilleri; Peter P. Rohde; Jason Twamley

    2014-01-09

    Quantum walks exhibit many unique characteristics compared to classical random walks. In the classical setting, self-avoiding random walks have been studied as a variation on the usual classical random walk. Classical self-avoiding random walks have found numerous applications, most notably in the modeling of protein folding. We consider the analogous problem in the quantum setting. We complement a quantum walk with a memory register that records where the walker has previously resided. The walker is then able to avoid returning back to previously visited sites. We parameterise the strength of the memory recording and the strength of the memory back-action on the walker's motion, and investigate their effect on the dynamics of the walk. We find that by manipulating these parameters the walk can be made to reproduce ideal quantum or classical random walk statistics, or a plethora of more elaborate diffusive phenomena. In some parameter regimes we observe a close correspondence between classical self-avoiding random walks and the quantum self-avoiding walk.

  6. A Feeding Induced Switch from a Variable to a Homogenous State of the Earthworm Gut Microbiota within a Host Population

    PubMed Central

    Rudi, Knut; Ødegård, Kristin; Løkken, Tine Therese; Wilson, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Background The distribution pattern of the earthworm gut microbiota at the host population level is of fundamental importance to understand host-microbiota interactions. Our current understanding of these interactions is very limited. Since feeding represents a main perturbation of the gut microbiota, we determined the effect of a single dose of feed on the microbiota associated with an earthworm population in a simulated microenvironment. Methodology Earthworms were sampled 0, 1 and 7 days after feeding. We determined the overall composition of the earthworm-associated microbiota by 16S rRNA gene cloning and sequencing. Based on the 16S rRNA gene data we constructed quantitative PCR's (Q-PCR) for the seven most dominating bacterial groups. Principal Findings Q-PCR revealed low density and highly variable microbiota among the earthworms before feeding, while a high-density homologous microbiota resulted from feeding. We found that the microbiota 1 day after feeding was more equal to the microbiota after 7 days than before feeding. Furthermore, we found that the gut microbiota was very distinct from that of the bedding and the feed. Significance The homogenous population response represents fundamental new knowledge about earthworm gut associated bacteria. PMID:19841743

  7. Radiocesium concentrations in epigeic earthworms at various distances from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant 6 months after the 2011 accident.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Motohiro; Ito, Masamichi T; Kaneko, Shinji; Kiyono, Yoshiyuki; Ikeda, Shigeto; Makino, Shun'ichi

    2013-12-01

    We investigated the concentrations of radiocesium in epigeic earthworms, litter, and soil samples collected from forests in Fukushima Prefecture 6 months after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in 2011. Radiocesium concentrations in litter accumulated on the forest floor were higher than those in the soil (0-5 cm depth). The highest average (134+137)Cs concentrations in earthworms (approximately 19 Bq g(-1) of wet weight with gut contents and 108 Bq g(-1) of dry weight without gut contents) were recorded from a plot that experienced an air dose rate of 3.1 ?Sv h(-1), and earthworm concentrations were found to increase with litter and/or soil concentrations. Average (134)Cs and (137)Cs concentrations (with or without gut contents) were intermediate between accumulated litter and soil. Different species in the same ecological groups on the same plots had similar concentrations because of their use of the same habitats or their similar physiological characteristics. The contribution of global fallout (137)Cs to earthworms with gut contents was calculated to be very low, and most (137)Cs in earthworms was derived from the Fukushima accident. Transfer factors from accumulated litter to earthworms, based on their dry weights, ranged from 0.21 to 0.35, in agreement with previous field studies. PMID:23933081

  8. Sampling of resident earthworms using mustard expellant to evaluate ecological risk at a mixed hazardous and radioactive waste site

    SciTech Connect

    Stair, D.M. Jr.; Keller, L.J.; Hensel, T.W.

    1994-12-31

    As residents of contaminated soils and as prey for many species of wildlife, earthworms can serve as integrative biomonitors of soil contamination, which is biologically available to the terrestrial food chain. The assessment of contaminants within earthworm tissue provides a more realistic measurement of the potential biological hazards and ecological risks than physical and chemical measurements of soil. A unique sampling procedure using a mixture of ground mustard powder and water was implemented for cost-effectively collecting earthworms without digging; the procedure minimized occupational exposure to soil contaminants and reduced the quantity of investigation-derived wastes. The study site is located at a closed burial ground for low-level radioactive waste and transuranic waste that lies within the Valley and Ridge Physiographic Province of East Tennessee. Earthworms were maintained in the laboratory for four days to allow passage of the contents of the digestive tract. Earthworm body burdens, castings, and soil were analyzed for gamma-emitting radioisotopes (potassium 40, cobalt 60, cesium 137), strontium 90, trace metals (arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead, and selenium), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Ecological effects of soil contamination on the earthworms were also assessed through analysis of weight, abundance, and reproductive success.

  9. Effects of heptachlor-contaminated earthworms on woodcocks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stickel, W.H.; Hayne, D.W.; Stickel, L.F.

    1965-01-01

    The effects on woodcocks (Philohela minor) of eating heptachlor-contaminated earthworms were studied experimentally in a series of feeding trials in Louisiana in the winter of 1960--61. Six of 12 woodcocks fed worms which had been contaminated at an average of 2.86 ppm of heptachlor epoxide died within 35 days; 4 more had died by the fifty-third day, when the other 2 were killed for analysis. Worms from areas in Louisiana treated with 2 pounds of heptachlor per acre often contain more than 3 ppm of heptachlor epoxide. Eleven of 12 woodcocks fed worms contaminated at an average of 0.65 ppm survived the full 60 days of the experiment; one died on the forty-fifth day, apparently from other causes. All 11 untreated birds survived. Survivors were kept on one-quarter rations of untreated worms for 11 days. Two woodcocks, untreated previously, died during this starvation period. Five previously treated died; two were observed in spasms at death, and these contained 5.9 and 7.2 ppm heptachlor epoxide in their tissues, suggesting that the previous contaminated diet may have influenced mortality, even though the difference between two of nine dying and five of nine dying is not statistically significant. Surviving starved birds given an unrestricted supply of treated or untreated worms for 5 days survived and gained weight. Residues accumulated in their tissues in this time approached levels in birds that died of heptachlor poisoning. Residues in tissues of birds with different histories suggested residue loss at a rate of approximately 2.8 percent per day. Toxicant absorption was estimated to be in the approximate range of 16-20 percent. Residues in birds fed worms containing 0.65 ppm heptachlor epoxide were in the same general magnitude as those in field-caught birds, suggesting a similar average contamination of food supply. Weights and weight changes did not differ significantly between untreated birds and those receiving the lower level of toxicant. Among birds on one-quarter rations, the percentage of weight that could be lost without danger seemed to be near 20 percent. Woodcocks ate 18-208 grams of worms per day (average, 121 grams), representing 11-143 percent (average, 77 percent) of their body weights; birds ate contaminated and uncontaminated food in essentially equivalent amounts. Symptoms of heptachlor poisoning differed considerably between birds.

  10. Integrated biomarker analysis of chlorpyrifos metabolism and toxicity in the earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Hernandez, Juan C; Narvaez, C; Sabat, P; Martínez Mocillo, S

    2014-08-15

    To increase our understanding about the mode of toxic action of organophosphorus pesticides in earthworms, a microcosm experiment was performed with Aporrectodea caliginosa exposed to chlorpyrifos-spiked soils (0.51 and 10 mg kg(-1) dry soil) for 3 and 21 d. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterase (CbE), cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenase (CYP450), and glutathione S-transferase (GST) activities were measured in the body wall of earthworms. With short-term exposure, chlorpyrifos inhibited CbE activity (51-89%) compared with controls in both treated groups, whereas AChE activity was depressed in the 10-mg kg(-1) group (87% inhibition). With long-term exposure, chlorpyrifos strongly inhibited all esterase activities (84-97%). Native electrophoresis revealed three AChE isozymes, two of which showed a decreased staining corresponding to the level of pesticide exposure. The impact of chlorpyrifos on CbE activity was also corroborated by zymography. CYP450 activity was low in unexposed earthworms, but it increased (1.5- to 2.4-fold compared to controls) in the earthworms exposed to both chlorpyrifos concentrations for 3d. Bioactivation of chlorpyrifos was determined by incubating the muscle homogenate in the presence of chlorpyrifos and NAD(H)2. The mean (±SD, n=40) bioactivation rate in the unexposed earthworms was 0.74±0.27 nmol NAD(H)2 oxidized min(-1) mg(-1) protein, and a significant induction was detected in the low/short-term exposure group. GST activity significantly increased (33-35% of controls) in earthworms short-term exposed to both chlorpyrifos concentrations. Current data showed that CYP450 and GST activities had a prominent role in the initial exposure to the organophosphorus. With short-term exposure, CbE activity was also a key enzyme in the non-catalytic detoxification of chlorpyrifos-oxon, thereby reducing its impact on AChE activity, before it became saturated at t=21 d. Results indicate that A. caliginosa detoxify efficiently chlorpyrifos, which would explain its tolerance to relatively high exposure levels to chlorpyrifos. PMID:24867707

  11. Avoiding unfavourable outcomes in liposuction

    PubMed Central

    Khanna, Atul; Filobbos, George

    2013-01-01

    The origin of liposuction can be traced to an adverse event by Dujarrier in 1921 when he used a uterine curette to remove fat from the knees of a ballerina ending in an amputation secondary to damage of the femoral artery. The history of liposuction since then has been one of avoiding complications and optimising outcome. After this adverse event, liposuction was abandoned until the 1960's when Schrudde revived the practice using small stab incisions and sharp curettage with the secondary suction to aspirate the freed tissue. This technique was associated with a high incidence of complications especially seroma and skin necrosis. Illouz then replaced the curette with a blunt cannula connected to vacuum pump thus avoiding the complications of a sharp curette. Despite the presence of various techniques for liposuction, suction assisted liposuction (SAL) is still the standard technique of liposuction. This article aims to discuss literature regarding the various aspects of liposuction (SAL) and to highlight the salient points in the literature and in the senior author's experience in order to avoid unfavourable outcomes in liposuction. A literature review on avoiding complication is in liposuction including some of the seminal papers on liposuction. Liposuction is generally a safe procedure with reproducible outcome. Just like any surgical procedure it should be treated with the utmost care. Illouz published 10 commandments for liposuction in 1989 and we review these commandments to demonstrate how liposuction has evolved. PMID:24501475

  12. Incorporating Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism

    E-print Network

    Markopoulou, Athina

    Incorporating Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism Graduate Resource Center Graduate Resource Center grc@uci.edu Produced by Christine King #12;Plagiarism Quiz "Handing in significant parts or the whole of a paper than myself is not plagiarism." False. Work turned in as your own must be original True or False? http://slis.wayne.edu/plagiarism

  13. Avoiding the urban legends described

    E-print Network

    Avoiding the urban legends described here should simplify the internal validation process on his work with validation, see: www.cstl.nist.gov/biotech/strbase/validation.htm INTRODUCTION Urban legends are funny (or sometimes horrifying) stories that spread quickly, often via e-mail (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban

  14. Aging in Utah: Avoid Crisis

    E-print Network

    Tipple, Brett

    Aging in Utah: Avoid Crisis Maximize Opportunity UTAH COMMISSION ON AGING Annual Report 2010-2011 #12;Page 1Utah Commission on Aging 2010-2011 Interim Report The Commission's statutory purpose is to decision- making and streamlining access to services. F O C U S : 2 0 1 0 - 2 0 1 1 Utah's Aging

  15. Avoided cost pricing: who wins

    SciTech Connect

    Einhorn, M.A.

    1985-05-30

    This article calls for a reevaluation of current Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulations on the calculation of avoided cost rates for sales of power to utilities by small producers in the light of market conditions not contemplated at the time of the regulations' adoption. 8 references.

  16. Collision Avoidance for Airport Traffic Simulation Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Denise R.; Prinzel, Lawrence J., III; Shelton, Kevin J.; Bailey, Randall E.; Otero, Sharon D.; Barker, Glover D.

    2010-01-01

    A Collision Avoidance for Airport Traffic (CAAT) concept for the airport Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) was evaluated in a simulation study at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center. CAAT is being designed to enhance surface situation awareness and provide cockpit alerts of potential conflicts during runway, taxi, and low altitude air-to-air operations. The purpose of the study was to evaluate pilot reaction to conflict events in the TMA near the airport, different alert timings for various scenarios, alerting display concepts, and directive alerting concepts. This paper gives an overview of the conflict detection and resolution (CD&R) concept, simulation study, and test results

  17. Collision Avoidance for Airport Traffic Concept Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Denise R.; Prinzel, Lawrence J., III; Otero, Sharon D.; Barker, Glover D.

    2009-01-01

    An initial Collision Avoidance for Airport Traffic (CAAT) concept for the Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) was evaluated in a simulation study at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center. CAAT is being designed to enhance surface situation awareness and provide cockpit alerts of potential conflicts during runway, taxi, and low altitude air-to-air operations. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the initial concept for an aircraft-based method of conflict detection and resolution (CD&R) in the TMA focusing on conflict detection algorithms and alerting display concepts. This paper gives an overview of the CD&R concept, simulation study, and test results.

  18. Iatrogenic Medial Patellar Instability: An Avoidable Injury.

    PubMed

    Sanchis-Alfonso, Vicente; Merchant, Alan C

    2015-08-01

    Iatrogenic medial patellar instability is a specific condition that frequently causes incapacitating anterior knee pain, severe disability, and serious psychological problems. The diagnosis should be suspected in a patient who has undergone previous patellar realignment surgery that has made the pain worse. The diagnosis can be established by physical examination and simple therapeutic tests (e.g., "reverse" McConnell taping) and confirmed by imaging techniques. This iatrogenic condition should no longer exist and could almost be eliminated by avoiding over-release of the lateral retinaculum. PMID:25823671

  19. Degradation of Potassium Rock by Earthworms and Responses of Bacterial Communities in Its Gut and Surrounding Substrates after Being Fed with Mineral

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Dianfeng; Lian, Bin; Wang, Bin; Jiang, Guofang

    2011-01-01

    Background Earthworms are an ecosystem's engineers, contributing to a wide range of nutrient cycling and geochemical processes in the ecosystem. Their activities can increase rates of silicate mineral weathering. Their intestinal microbes usually are thought to be one of the key drivers of mineral degradation mediated by earthworms,but the diversities of the intestinal microorganisms which were relevant with mineral weathering are unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings In this report, we show earthworms' effect on silicate mineral weathering and the responses of bacterial communities in their gut and surrounding substrates after being fed with potassium-bearing rock powder (PBRP). Determination of water-soluble and HNO3-extractable elements indicated some elements such as Al, Fe and Ca were significantly released from mineral upon the digestion of earthworms. The microbial communities in earthworms' gut and the surrounding substrates were investigated by amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) and the results showed a higher bacterial diversity in the guts of the earthworms fed with PBRP and the PBRP after being fed to earthworms. UPGMA dendrogram with unweighted UniFrac analysis, considering only taxa that are present, revealed that earthworms' gut and their surrounding substrate shared similar microbiota. UPGMA dendrogram with weighted UniFrac, considering the relative abundance of microbial lineages, showed the two samples from surrounding substrate and the two samples from earthworms' gut had similarity in microbial community, respectively. Conclusions/Significance Our results indicated earthworms can accelerate degradation of silicate mineral. Earthworms play an important role in ecosystem processe since they not only have some positive effects on soil structure, but also promote nutrient cycling of ecosystem by enhancing the weathering of minerals. PMID:22174903

  20. The Role of Allergen Exposure and Avoidance in Asthma

    PubMed Central

    Baxi, Sachin N.; Phipatanakul, Wanda

    2010-01-01

    Allergy testing and avoidance of allergens plays an important role in asthma control. Increased allergen exposure, in genetically susceptible individuals, can lead to allergic sensitization. Continued allergen exposure can increase the risk of asthma and other allergic diseases. In a patient with persistent asthma, identification of indoor and outdoor allergens and subsequent avoidance can improve symptoms. Often times, a patient will have multiple allergies and the avoidance plan should target all positive allergens. Several studies have shown that successful allergen remediation includes a comprehensive approach including education, cleaning, physical barriers and maintaining these practices. PMID:20568555