Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract The concentrations and distribution of metals (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Ni, Co, As, Hg, and Cd) in an earthworm,Pheretima hilgendorfi, and their variations with growth were investigated. Higher concentrations of the metals were found in the pre-clitellar regions of the earthworm compared with the post-clitellar ones; Cd, Cu, and Hg were relatively high in the gut wall. The body concentration of Pb and Hg decreased with increased body length (age) and weight, while the opposite was found for Cd and As. The accumulation of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, and Co in the earthworm depends primarily on the metabolic turnover, whereas the accumulation of Pb, Hg, Cd and As, is dependent upon the age or exposure time. Small earthworms showed faster uptake and excretion rates of Pb and Hg than the large ones, and the biological half-lives of Pb and Hg were relatively short compared with those of Cd and As. The large earthworms exhibited a decrease of Hg in the bodies, probably due to excretion of Hgvia spawning. Based upon these results, the sizes and parts of the earthworm suitable for purposes of research are discussed.
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