, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 59–66

Evidence for between-generation effects in carabids exposed to heavy metals pollution


DOI: 10.1007/s10646-007-0176-7

Cite this article as:
Lagisz, M. & Laskowski, R. Ecotoxicology (2008) 17: 59. doi:10.1007/s10646-007-0176-7


This work represents one of very few studies showing intergenerational effects of terrestrial pollution with heavy metals in a terrestrial predatory invertebrate. We demonstrate that carabid beetles Pterostichusoblongopunctatus (Coleoptera, Carabidae) inhabiting metal polluted environment have altered life-history parameters in comparison to those from reference area populations. We observed decreased hatchability of eggs in field collected animals fed with uncontaminated food, which suggests that carabids from heavily polluted sites are not able to fully avoid the risk of secondary poisoning via contaminated prey. The adult fresh body mass of young imagines from the first laboratory generation reared in uncontaminated conditions was affected by pollution level at the sites of beetles’ origin. However, we did not observe any effects of site contamination in the second laboratory generation. Therefore, we conclude that although genetic adaptation has not occurred in the populations chronically exposed to toxic metal concentrations, there is evidence of intergenerational maternal effects of metal pollution.


Heavy metal pollutionTerrestrialInvertebrateReproductionMaternal effects

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BiologyNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Department of Ecotoxicology, Institute of Environmental SciencesJagiellonian UniversityKrakowPoland