Spatial distribution and internal metal concentrations of terrestrial arthropods in a moderately contaminated lowland floodplain along the Rhine River

A.M. Schipper, S. Wijnhoven, R.S.E.W. Leuven, A.M.J. Ragas, A.J. Hendriks

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    Abstract

    Soil metal concentrations, inundation characteristics and abundances of 14 arthropod taxa were investigated in a moderately contaminated lowland floodplain along the Rhine River and compared to the hinterland. Internal metal concentrations were determined for the orders of Coleoptera (beetles) and Araneida (spiders) and were related to soil concentrations. The floodplain was characterized by larger arthropod abundance than the hinterland, in spite of recurrent inundations and higher soil metal concentrations. Most arthropod taxa showed increasing abundance with decreasing distance to the river channel and increasing average inundation duration. For Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn, significant relations were found between arthropod concentrations and concentrations in soil. Significant relations were few but positive, indicating that increasing soil concentrations result in increasing body burdens in arthropods. For arthropod-eating vertebrates, these results might imply that larger prey availability in the floodplain coincides with higher metal concentrations in prey, possibly leading to increased exposure to metal contamination.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17-26
    JournalEnvironmental Pollution
    Volume151
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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