Short-term toxicological effects of cadmium on the woodlouse, Porcellio laevis (Crustacea, Isopoda)

Odendaal J.P. ; Reinecke A.J. (1999)


Terrestrial isopods have been used in a number of studies as test organisms concerning the effects of chemicals in a (eco-)toxicological context. They are saprophages, which are in direct contact with polluted plant material. Cadmium is a metal with no known biological function and is toxic to life. There are a variety of anthropogenic sources of cadmium in the environment. The aims of this study were to determine the LC50 for cadmium sulfate for Porcellio laevis and the acute effect of this metal salt on the mass of this species and also to determine if P. laevis could distinguish and avoid cadmium sulfate-contaminated leaves. Acute toxicity tests and behavioral tests were conducted using concentrations ranging from 10,000 to 40,000 mg/kg cadmium sulfate. The LC50 obtained of 26,700 mg/kg cadmium sulfate is an indication of P. laevis' tolerance to cadmium contamination. P. laevis also exhibited the ability to distinguish and avoid leaves contaminated with high cadmium sulfate levels.

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