, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 59–66 | Cite as

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

  • Malgorzata Lagisz
  • Ryszard Laskowski


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 Pterostichus oblongopunctatus (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 pollution Terrestrial Invertebrate Reproduction Maternal effects 



We thank the many individuals, who assisted us with collection of data in the field and in the laboratory, including Paulina Kramarz, Maciej Maryański, Maria Niklińska, Tomasz Skalski and Piotr Zygmunt. Ian Rickard helped improve the manuscript. Financial support was provided by the National Committee for Scientific Research (Grant No 6 PO4F 043 18) and the Institute of Environmental Sciences of the Jagiellonian University.


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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

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