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


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.

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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).

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Correspondence to Jaume Bori.

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Bori, J., Riva, M.C. An Alternative Approach to Assess the Habitat Selection of Folsomia candida in Contaminated Soils. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 95, 670–674 (2015).

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  • Avoidance
  • Screening
  • Collembola
  • Soil contamination