The present study aimed to assess the effects of climate change on the toxicity of metal-polluted soils. Bioassays with Enchytraeus crypticus were performed in soils polluted by mine wastes (mine tailing, forest, and watercourse) and under different combinations of temperature (20°C and 25°C) and soil moisture content (50% and 30% of the soil water-holding capacity). Survival and reproduction were set as endpoints. No effect was observed on survival (average survival ≥ 80%). Reproduction was the most sensitive endpoint, and it was reduced between 65% and 98% compared with control after exposure to watercourse soil (lower pH, higher salinity, and higher available metal(loid) concentrations). In this soil, effective concentrations at 50% and 10% (EC50 and EC10) significantly decreased with decreasing soil moisture content. In general, the worst-case scenario was found in the driest soil, but the toxicity under a climate change scenario differed among soil types in relation to soil properties (e.g., pH, salinity) and available metal(loid) concentrations.
Gonzalez Alcaraz, M. N., Tsitsiou, E., Wieldraaijer, R., Verweij, R. A., & van Gestel, C. A. M. (2015). Effects of climate change on the toxicity of soils polluted by metal mine wastes to Enchytraeus crypticus. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 34(2), 346-354. https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.2807