We investigated the effects of three different pesticides (carbendazim, dimethoate, and glyphosate) and their mixture on the growth and reproduction of the earthworm species, Eisenia fetida. The study was conducted following the suggestion of the International Workshop on Earthworm Ecotoxicology. The results showed that the pesticide treatment had a marked negative impact on the growth and reproduction of earthworms. Carbendazim and dimethoate were found to cause greater harm to the selected earthworm species than glyphosate.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Arrate JA, Rodriguez P, Martinez-Madrid M (2002) Effects of three chemicals on the survival and reproduction of the Oligochaete worm Enchytraeus coronatus in chronic toxicity tests. Pedobiologia 46(2):136–149
Booth LH, Heppelthwaite VJ, O’Halloran K (2000) Growth, development and fecundity of the earthworm Apporrectodea caliginosa after exposure to two organophosphates. Conf Proc NZ Plant Prot Soc 53:221–225
Bouche A (1992) Earthworm species and ecotoxicological studies. In: Greig-Smith PW, Becker H, Edwards PJ, Heimbach F (eds) Ecotoxicology of earthworms. Intercept, Andover, pp 20–35
Brunninger B, Viswanathan R, Beese F (1994) Terbuthylazine and carbofuran effects on growth and reproduction within three generations of Eisenia andrei. Biol Fertil Soils 18(2):83–88
Bunemann EK, Schwenke GD, Van Zwieten L (2006) Impact of agricultural inputs on soil organisms—a review. Aust J Soil Res 44(4):379–406
Bustos-Obregon E, Goicochea RI (2002) Pesticide soil contamination mainly affects earthworm male reproductive parameters. Asian J Androl 4(3):195–199
Callahan CA (1988) Earthworms as ecotoxicological assessment tools. In: Edwards CA, Neuhauser EF (eds) Earthworms in waste and environmental assessment. SPB Academic, The Hague, pp 295–301
Condor JM, Lanno RP (2000) Evaluation of surrogate measures of cadmium, lead and zinc bioavailability to Eisenia fetida. Chemosphere 41:1659–1668
EEC (European Economic Community) (1984) Directive 79/831/EEC, Annex V, Part C. Method for the determination of ecotoxicity. Level 1. Earthworms: artificial soil test. Commission of the European Communities, DGXI/128/82. Rev. 5, Brussels
Espinoza-Navarro O, Bustos-Obregon E (2005) Effect of malathion on the male reproductive organs of earthworms, Eisenia fetida. Asian J Androl 7(1):97–101
Fitzgerald DG, Warner KA, Lanno RP, Dixon DG (1996) Assessing the effects of modifying factors on pentachlorophenol toxicity to earthworms: applications of body residues. Environ Toxicol Chem 15:2299–2304
Goats GC, Edwards CA (1988) The prediction of field toxicity of chemicals to earthworms by laboratory methods. In: Edwards CA, Neuhauser EF (eds) Earthworms in waste and environmental assessment. SPB Academic, The Hague, pp 283–294
Helling B, Reinecke SA, Reinecke AJ (2000) Effects of the fungicide copper oxychloride on the growth and reproduction of Eisenia fetida (Oligochaeta). Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 46(1):108–116
Holmstrup X, Martin X (2000) Field assessment of toxic effects on reproduction in the earthworms Aporrectodea longa and A. rosea. Environ Toxicol Chem 19(7):1781–1787
Khalil MA, AbdelLateif HM, Bayoumi BM, Van Straalen NM (1996a) Analysis of separate and combined effects of heavy metals on the growth of Aporrectodea caliginosa (Oligochaeta; Annelida), using the toxic unit approach. Appl Soil Ecol 4:213–219
Khalil MA, AbdelLateif HM, Bayoumi BM, Van Straalen NM, van Gestel CAM (1996b) Effects of metals and metal mixtures on survival and cocoon production of the earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa. Pedobiologia 40:548–556
Kula H (1995) Comparison of laboratory and field testing for the assessment of pesticide side effects on earthworms. Acta Zool Fenn 196:338–341
Kula H, Larink O (1997) Development and standardization of test methods for the prediction of sublethal effects of chemicals on earthworms. Soil Biol Biochem 29:635–639
Ma WC, Bodt J (1993) Differences in toxicity of the insecticide chlorpyrifos to six species of earthworms (Oligochaeta, Lunbricidae) in standardized soil tests. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 50:864–870
Marashi RA, Scullion J (2004) Earthworm casts form stable aggregates in physically degraded soils. Biol Fertil Soils 37(6):375–380
Marinussen MPJC, Van Der Zee SEATM, De Haan FAM (1997) CU accumulation in the earthworm Dendrobaena veneta in a heavy metal (Cu, Pb, Zn) contaminated site compared to Cu accumulation in laboratory experiments. Environ Pollut 96:227–233
Neuhauser E, Callahan CA (1990) Growth and reproduction of the earthworm Eisenia fetida exposed to sublethal concentrations of organic chemicals. Soil Biol Biochem 22(2):175–179
OECD (1984) Earthworm, acute toxicity tests. In: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (ed) OECD guidelines for testing of chemicals, Paris
OECD (2000) Guidelines for testing of chemicals: earthworm reproduction test (Eisenia fetida/andrei). OECD, Paris
Spurgeon DJ, Weeks JM, Van Gestel CAM (2003) A summary of eleven years progress in earthworm ecotoxicology. Pedobiologia 47:588–606
Weltje L (1998) Mixture toxicity and tissue interactions of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in earthworms (Oligochaeta) in laboratory and field soils: a critical evaluation of data. Chemosphere 36:2643–2660
We express our gratitude to the University Grants Commission for their financial support. We are also thankful to Reshma Sinha for her helpful support, and to Marcel and Dennis for their assistance with this experiment.
About this article
Cite this article
Yasmin, S., D’Souza, D. Effect of Pesticides on the Reproductive Output of Eisenia fetida . Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 79, 529–532 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-007-9269-5
- Eisenia fetida