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Acute and subchronic effects of three herbicides on biomarkers and reproduction in earthworm Dendrobaena veneta

Hackenberger, Davorka K., Stjepanović, Nikolina, Lončarić, Željka, Hackenberger, Branimir K.
Chemosphere 2018 v.208 pp. 722-730
Dendrobaena veneta, acetylcholinesterase, adverse effects, biomarkers, catalase, digestive system, earthworms, exposure duration, glyphosate, hydrogen, juveniles, malondialdehyde, nicosulfuron, oxidative stress, pesticide application, reproduction, tembotrione, toxicity
Earthworms are exposed to herbicides both through their skin and digestive system. Herbicides can influence earthworms' survival, physiology and reproduction. However, there is a lack of data on herbicide effects on earthworms as they are often regarded as low or non-toxic. The aim of our study was to investigate whether widely used commercial formulations of glyphosate (GLF), tembotrione (TBT) and nicosulfuron (NCS) each applied at three environmentally relevant concentrations have adverse effects on various biomarkers and reproduction in epigeic earthworm Dendrobaena veneta. The activities of measured biomarkers varied depending on the herbicide used and the exposure duration and suggest that oxidative stress plays an important role in the toxicity of tested herbicides. Namely, GLF caused an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity induction after seven days, and NCS after 28 days, while TBT caused an inhibition up to 47% (6.6 μg kgdw soil−1) after seven days. Only TBT caused a significant change (H2 = 13.96, p = 0.002) to catalase (CAT) after seven days of exposure. Malondialdehyde concentrations (MDA) were increased all the time after NCS exposure, but only after seven days in GLF and 28 days in TBT treatments, respectively. The tested herbicides did not have a significant effect on reproduction success, expect of NCS which increased the number of juveniles (p < 0.05).