Avoidance tests with the oribatid mite Oppia nitens (Acari: Oribatida) in cadmium-spiked natural soils

Masoud M. Ardestani*, Maryam Keshavarz-Jamshidian, Cornelis A.M. van Gestel, Nico M. van Straalen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Avoidance behavior can be a useful parameter for assessing the ability of organisms to escape from pollutants in their environment. For soil evaluation, a variety of invertebrates is used including the oribatid mite Oppia nitens. Here, we tested the avoidance behavior of O. nitens using a two-chamber test and an escape test with exposures to different cadmium concentrations of up to 800 mg kg−1 dry LUFA 2.2 soil for 2, 4, and 6 days, and up to 7 weeks. With the two-chamber method, the oribatid mites had the choice between clean and polluted soils, whereas they were allowed to escape from a box with polluted soil to clean containers without soil with the escape method. Avoidance of cadmium was observed after 2 days in both tests and the net response of the mites in the two-chamber test increased with increasing cadmium exposure concentrations. Mite responses varied through time, especially with the escape method; with the avoidance behavior becoming more variable and overall non-significant with longer test durations. This is the first study investigating the escape test simultaneously with long-term avoidance of cadmium by O. nitens. This mite species is a promising species for avoidance testing in soil ecotoxicology, but more experiments are needed to evaluate the factors that influence its responses in laboratory tests and the consequences for its distribution in contaminated ecosystems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-93
    Number of pages13
    JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
    Issue number1
    Early online date18 Aug 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


    • Avoidance
    • Escape test
    • Exposure time
    • Metal
    • Oribatida
    • Two-chamber test


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