Title: Nutrient and pollutant metals within earthworm residues are immobilized in soil during decomposition.
Authors: Richardson, J B; Renock, D J; Görres, J H; Jackson, B P; Webb, S M; Friedland, A J
Published In Soil Biol Biochem, (2016 Oct)
Abstract: Earthworms are known to bioaccumulate metals, making them a potential vector for metal transport in soils. However, the fate of metals within soil upon death of earthworms has not been characterized. We compared the fate of nutrient (Ca, Mg, Mn) and potentially toxic (Cu, Zn, Pb) metals during decomposition of Amynthas agrestis and Lumbricus rubellus in soil columns. Cumulative leachate pools, exchangeable pools (0.1 M KCl + 0.01 M acetic acid extracted), and stable pools (16 M HNO3 + 12 M HCl extracted) were quantified in the soil columns after 7, 21, and 60 days of decomposition. Soil columns containing A. agrestis and L. rubellus had significantly higher cumulative leachate pools of Ca, Mn, Cu, and Pb than Control soil columns. Exchangeable and stable pools of Cu, Pb, and Zn were greater for A. agrestis and L. rubellus soil columns than Control soil columns. However, we estimated that > 98 % of metals from earthworm residues were immobilized in the soil in an exchangeable or stable form over the 60 days using a mass balance approach. Micro-XRF images of longitudinal thin sections of soil columns after 60 days containing A. agrestis confirm metals immobilization in earthworm residues. Our research demonstrates that nutrient and toxic metals are stabilized in soil within earthworm residues.
PubMed ID: 28163331
MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication