An Alternative Approach to Assess the Habitat Selection of Folsomia candida in Contaminated Soils

  • Jaume BoriEmail author
  • Maria Carme Riva


Avoidance tests with collembolans provide a quick assessment of soil quality. However, some parameters of the procedure can be modified in order to increase its performance. In this study we assessed the tendency of Folsomia candida to avoid soils contaminated with boric acid [350–700–1400–2800–5600 mg/kg soil dry weight (dw)], phenmedipham (35–70–140–280 mg/kg dw) or petroleum hydrocarbons (1312–1838–2625–3675–5250 mg/kg dw) by preferring an untreated soil. Two separate methodologies were applied, the one presented in the ISO standard 17512:2 and a modified version of the Petri dish method that allowed data acquisition after 2, 24 and 48 h of exposure. After combining data from three separate trials, effective median concentration values (EC50) from the presented method were lower and showed similar or less variability than those from the ISO procedure, suggesting the modified protocol as a suitable alternative screening tool.


Avoidance Screening Collembola Soil contamination 



The authors thank Dr. Juan Ribó for his support in the performance of the study. This research was funded by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) and R&D Gestió i Serveis Ambientals S.L. (Spain) through a doctoral grant to Jaume Bori (Beca UPC Recerca 2012) and by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the project SOILBIOMONITOR (CTM2010-18167).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Aldaya MM, Lors C, Salmon S, Ponge JF (2006) Avoidance bio-assays may help to test the ecological significance of soil pollution. Environ Pollut 140:173–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amorim MJB, Natal-da-Luz T, Sousa JP, Loureiro S, Becker L, Römbke J, Soares AMVM (2012) Boric acid as reference substance: pros, cons and standardization. Ecotoxicology 21:919–924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Becker L, Scheffczyk A, Förster B, Oehlmann J, Princz J, Römbke J, Moser T (2011) Effects of boric acid on various microbes, plants, and soil invertebrates. J Soils Sediments 11:238–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boiteau G, Lynch DH, MacKinley P (2011) Avoidance tests with Folsomia candida for the assessment of copper contamination in agricultural soils. Environ Pollut 159:903–906CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Culik MP, Zeppelini D (2003) Diversity and distribution of Collembola (Arthropoda: Hexapoda) of Brazil. Biodivers Conserv 12:1119–1143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Da-Luz TN, Amorim MJB, Römbke J, Sousa JP (2008) Avoidance tests with earthworms and springtails: defining the minimum exposure time to observe a significant response. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 71:545–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Diogo JB, da Luz TN, Sousa JP, Vogt C, Nowak C (2007) Tolerance of genetically characterized Folsomia candida strains to phenmedipham exposure. J Soils Sediments 7:388–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Domene X, Chelinho S, Campana P, Natal-da-Luz T, Alcañiz JM, Andrés P, Römbke J, Sousa P (2011) Influence of soil properties on the performance of Folsomia candida: implications for its use in soil ecotoxicology testing. Environ Toxicol Chem 30(7):1497–1505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Domene X, Chelinho S, Campana P, Alcañiz JM, Römbke J, Sousa JP (2012) Applying a GLM-based approach to model the influence of soil properties on the toxicity of phenmedipham to Folsomia candida. J Soils Sediments 12:888–899CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eisenträger A, Hund-Rinke K, Neumann-Hensel H, Weber G, Jaensch S, Römbke J (2005) Routine use of ecotoxicological tests for the assessment of contaminated soils. In: 9th international FZK/TNO conference on soil and water systems. Proc. Consoil. Bordeaux, FranceGoogle Scholar
  11. Filser J, Hölscher G (1997) Experimental studies on the reactions of Collembola to copper contamination. Pedobiologia 41:173–178Google Scholar
  12. Filser J, Wittmann R, Lang A (2000) Response types in Collembola towards copper in the microenvironment. Environ Pollut 107:71–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Filser J, Wiegmann S, Schröder B (2013) Collembola in ecotoxicology: any news or just boring routine? Appl Soil Ecol 83:193–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goldberg S (1997) Reaction of boron with soils. Plant Soil 193:35–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hentati O, Lachhab R, Ayadi M, Ksibi M (2013) Toxicity assessment for petroleum-contaminated soil using terrestrial invertebrates and plant bioassays. Environ Monit Assess 185:2989–2998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. International Organization for Standardization (1993) Soil quality – determination of dry matter and water content on a mass basis – gravimetric method. International Organization for Standardization, No. 11465, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  17. International Organization for Standardization (2005a): Soil quality – determination of pH. International Organization for Standardization, No. 10390, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  18. International Organization for Standardization (2005b) Soil quality – avoidance test for testing the quality of soils and the toxicity of chemicals – test with earthworms (Eisenia fetida). ISO 17512 (Draft), Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  19. Lors C, Aldaya MM, Salmon S, Ponge JF (2006) Use of avoidance test for the assessment of microbial degradation of PAHs. Soil Biol Biochem 38:2199–2204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Loureiro S, Soares AMVM, Nogueira AJA (2005) Terrestrial avoidance behaviour tests as screening tool to assess soil contamination. Environ Pollut 138:121–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Organization for Standardization (2011): Soil quality – avoidance test for determining the quality of soils and effects of chemicals on behavior – test with collembolans (Folsomia candida). International Organization for Standardization, No. 17512–2, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  22. Pereira Miranda AF, Rodrigues JML, Barata C, Riva C, Nugegoda D, Soares AMVM (2011) The use of Daphnia magna immobilization tests and soil microcosms to evaluate the toxicity of dredged sediments. J Soils Sediments 11:373–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Schollenberger CJ, Simon RH (1945) Determination of exchange capacity and exchangeable bases in soil-ammonium acetate method. Soil Sci 59:13–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Van Gestel CAM (2012) Soil ecotoxicology: state of the art and future directions. ZooKeys 176:275–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Walkley A, Black JA (1934) An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter and a proposed modification of the chromic acid titration method. Soil Sci 37:29–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wheeler MW, Park RM, Bailer AJ (2006) Comparing median lethal concentration values using confidence interval overlap or ratio tests. Environ Toxicol Chem 25(5):1441–1444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zar JH (1998) Biostatistical analysis, 5th edn. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, pp 561–569Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Research and Innovation in Toxicology (CRIT-Innotex Center)Technical University of Catalonia (UPC)TerrassaSpain

Personalised recommendations