Comparison of the effect of heavy metals on the pedofauna of forest and meadow stands

In order to examine the soil contamination by heavy metals and to estimate its influence on the pedofauna, two forest stands and two meadow stands (located in the vicinity of woody areas) have been chosen. The content of Cd, Ni, Pb, Cu, and Zn in the soil of the stands was investigated using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Some environmental parameters were also analyzed, such as temperature, humidity and soil pH. The soil samples were neutral or slightly alkaline. The content of all heavy metals was smaller in the soil of the forest park. Cd and Pb content in the meadow and forest soil of the protected landscape park was high. It was found that in the forest park the density of pedofauna was higher than in the meadow and forest of the protected landscape park.

The content of heavy metals in the natural environment (soil, water and air) is increasing and is dangerous for the proper development of all living organisms. The soil is contaminated with heavy metals, from processes such as dust sedimentation, the flow of sewage, and the application of mineral fertilizers and pesticides. Increased amount of some metals in the soil may adversely affect the functioning of the soil subsystem through a toxic effect on the microflora, plants and pedofauna. Since heavy metals migrate very slowly in the soil, they are counted among its most persistent pollutants. It is particularly damaging, since the soil is an important part of the circulation of the elements and makes the basic link of the trophic chain reaching also the human beings. That is why soil pollutants are regarded as a measure of environmental quality. In order to examine the soil contamination by heavy metals and to estimate its influence on the pedofauna, two forest stands (in the landscape and forest park) and two meadow stands (located in the vicinity of woody areas) have been chosen. The stands were located far away from industrial emitters, and roughly 200 – 300 m away from the main communication roads. The aim of these studies was to determine cadmium, nickel, lead, copper and zinc contents and the density and diversity of soil mesofauna and macrofauna at designated sites.

Copyright: © Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Source: 2nd International Conference 2009 (Juni 2009)
Pages: 4
Price: € 5,00
Autor: Anna Chrzan
Maria Marko-Worlowska

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