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How to assess the feeding activity in ecotoxicological laboratory tests using enchytraeids?

Bart, Sylvain, Roudine, Sacha, Amossé, Joël, Mougin, Christian, Péry, Alexandre R. R., Pelosi, Céline
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.34 pp. 33844-33848
Enchytraeus albidus, agroecosystems, copper, copper oxychloride, ecological function, ecotoxicology, fungicides, laboratory experimentation, median effective concentration, reproduction, soil, soil fauna, Europe
The risk assessment of pesticides on soil fauna is an issue to protect agroecosystem sustainability. Enchytraeids are recognized as relevant soil bioindicators of chemical stress in agroecosystems. In laboratory, the reproduction test was found to be sensitive to reveal chemical impacts on enchytraeids. However, it does not allow to assess the impacts on ecological functions in which enchytraeids are involved. The objectives of this study were (i) to explore the feasibility of the bait-lamina test with enchytraeids under laboratory conditions and (ii) to compare its sensitivity with the Enchytraeid Reproduction Test. We exposed individuals of Enchytraeus albidus to two commercial formulations of fungicides widely used in Europe. The EC50 reproduction for the Swing® Gold (50 g L⁻¹ epoxiconazole and 133 g L⁻¹ dimoxystrobin) and the Cuprafor micro® (50% copper oxychloride) were respectively estimated at 1.66 ± 0.93 times the recommended dose and > 496 mg kg⁻¹ of copper. However, no impact was found on the feeding activity of enchytraeids. The bait-lamina test thus appeared less sensitive than the Enchytraeid Reproduction Test to the tested fungicides. Despite that, this test which is achievable under laboratory conditions and allows assessing indirect effects of pesticides is quick, cheap, and easy to perform. It would deserve to be used to explore longer-exposure effects through the repeated addition of bait-lamina sticks.