Toxicokinetics and time-variable toxicity of cadmium in Oppia nitens Koch (Acari: Oribatida)

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The soil-living mite Oppia nitens Koch has recently been proposed as a promising test species for the ecotoxicological risk assessment of contaminated boreal soils. Adding oribatid mites to the assemblage of test species for soil is highly desirable given the enormous diversity and ecological significance of these microarthropods. The authors aimed at revealing how toxicity, lethal body concentration, and bioaccumulation of cadmium (Cd) changed over a period of 7 wk when mites were exposed to Cd-spiked natural soils. The estimated median lethal concentration (LC50) values showed a gradual decrease with time, but a steady state was not reached within 7 wk. Estimates for lethal body concentration varied from 44μg Cd/g to 91μg Cd/g dry body weight, with a tendency to increase with time. The estimated 50% effective concentration (EC50) for effects on reproduction after 7-wk exposure was 345μg Cd/g dry soil. Accumulation of Cd in mites was extremely variable but overall showed a nonsaturating increase. A simple 1-compartment toxicokinetic model did not describe the data well. The analysis suggests that O. nitens has a storage-detoxification strategy that is not at equilibrium under chronic exposure. Considering the tiny body size of the animal, it is remarkable that long exposure times are necessary to reveal chronic toxicity. The use of oribatids provides a clear added value to soil risk assessment but trades off with exposure length.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-413
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number2
Early online date13 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


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