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Importance of Body-Size for Cadmium Accumulation By Forest Litter Arthropods

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

To determine the role of soil arthropods in the cycling of cadmium, the influence of body weight on cadmium accumulation was studied using nine species of arthropods sampled for four seasons from a metal contaminated forest soil. The relationship between weight and body burden was described by a power function, the parameters of which were estimated by functional regression methods according to Ricker. A clear relationship between weight and cadmium burden has been found in 26 out of 39 samples. The slopes of the regression lines varied between 0.57 and 5.97. Variation within a species occurred throughout the year, but the differences were significant in a few cases only. Age, growth and activity appear to be the main factors determining seasonal variation in slope coefficient. Slopes calculated for single life stages appeared to be steeper than slopes calculated for the whole population. This phenomenon may be attributed to the ability of species to loose cadmium between the life stages. The analysis shows that the relationship between body-size and cadmium level cannot be interpreted as a simple accumulation phenomenon, since there are opposite effects of age, weight and season. These factors must be taken into account when calculating the annual flow of cadmium through a soil arthropod community.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Free University, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 2: Department of Theoretical Biology, Free University, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands


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