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Effects of Glyphosate and 2,4-D on Earthworms (Eisenia foetida) in Laboratory Tests


Laboratory tests were conducted to compare the effects of various concentrations of glyphosate and 2,4-D on earthworms (Eisenia foetida) cultured in Argissol during 56 days of incubation. The effects on earthworm growth, survival, and reproduction rates were verified for different exposure times. Earthworms kept in glyphosate-treated soil were classified as alive in all evaluations, but showed gradual and significant reduction in mean weight (50%) at all test concentrations. For 2,4-D, 100% mortality was observed in soil treated with 500 and 1,000 mg/kg. At 14 days, 30%–40% mortality levels were observed in all other concentrations. No cocoons or juveniles were found in soil treated with either herbicide. Glyphosate and 2,4-D demonstrated severe effects on the development and reproduction of Eisenia foetida in laboratory tests in the range of test concentrations.

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The study was funded by the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq, Grant 555193) and the Rio de Janeiro State Research Foundation (FAPERJ, Call for Projects 10/2009).

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Correspondence to F. V. Correia.

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Correia, F.V., Moreira, J.C. Effects of Glyphosate and 2,4-D on Earthworms (Eisenia foetida) in Laboratory Tests. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 85, 264–268 (2010).

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  • Terrestrial ecotoxicology
  • Earthworm
  • Eisenia foetida
  • Contaminated soils
  • Herbicides