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Acute toxicity of chemical pesticides and plant-derived essential oil on the behavior and development of earthworms, Eudrilus eugeniae (Kinberg) and Eisenia fetida (Savigny)

Vasantha-Srinivasan, Prabhakaran, Senthil-Nathan, Sengottayan, Ponsankar, Athirstam, Thanigaivel, Annamalai, Chellappandian, Muthiah, Edwin, Edward-Sam, Selin-Rani, Selvaraj, Kalaivani, Kandaswamy, Hunter, WayneB., Duraipandiyan, Veeramuthu, Al-Dhabi, NaifAbdullah
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.11 pp. 10371-10382
Eisenia fetida, Eudrilus eugeniae, Piper betle, acute toxicity, aspartate transaminase, betel, catalase, earthworms, essential oils, lethal concentration 50, monocrotophos, mortality, oils, risk assessment, soil, superoxide dismutase, temephos
Comparative toxicity of two chemical pesticides (temephos and monocrotophos) versus a plant-derived betel leaf oil Piper betle (L.) to earthworm Eudrilus eugeniae (Kinberg) and redworm Eisenia fetida Savigny, historically: Eisenia foetida (Savigny 1826), was evaluated. Mortality rate was more prominent in temephos at 100 μg concentration to both the earthworms in filter paper test (FPT) as well as 10 mg concentration in artificial soil test (AST). In contrast, P. betle does not display much mortality rate to both the earthworms even at 1000 mg of treatment concentrations. The lethal concentration (LC₅₀) value was observed at 3.89 and 5.26 mg/kg for temephos and monocrotophos against E. eugeniae and 3.81 and 5.25 mg/kg to E. fetida, respectively. Whereas, LC₅₀ value of betel leaf oil was only observed at 3149 and 4081 mg/kg to E. eugeniae and E. fetida, respectively. Correspondingly, the avoidance or attraction assay also displayed that earthworms were more sensitive to the soil containing chemical pesticides. Whereas, the avoidance percentage was decreased in the P. betle oil. Similarly, sublethal concentration of chemical pesticides (5 and 6.5 mg) significantly reduced the earthworm weight and growth rate. However, P. betle oil did not change the developmental rate in the duration of the assay (2, 7 and 14 days) even at 4000 mg treatment concentration. The enzyme ratio of CAT and SOD was also affected significantly after exposure to the chemical pesticides (6.5 mg/kg). Hence, our study implied the risk assessment associated with the chemical pesticides and also recommends plant-derived harmless P. betle oil against beneficial species as an alternative pest control agent.