Influence of selected heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu) on nematode communities in experimental soil microcosm

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Summary

In this study, the effects of arsenic, cadmium, copper and chromium treatments were examined on a nematode community structure and proportion of functional groups in the microcosm for 30 days. The toxic effects on the nematode community did not correspond with metals mobility (EDTA extraction) in soil as it was expected. The most toxic element with a significant degradation of community structure was chromium (low mobile), which negatively affected almost all observed ecological parameters (abundance, diversity and ecological indices). On the other hand, cadmium and arsenic influence was negligible even in the plots treated with the highest concentrations and the communities resembled to the control samples. Copper showed a stimulative effect on the community under low concentration (40 mg.kg-1), while under higher concentrations the stimulation was replaced by stress responses. The widely used ecological indices, such as the Maturity Index 2-5, Structure Index, and Shannon-Weaver Index and c-p groups showed the best bioindication potential among nematode parameters.

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