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Earthworm Field Study

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Earthworm Field Study

Introduction

Earthworms are recognized as indicators of soil quality and soil management.

Therefore, the need to conduct environmental risk assessment on them is very vital and essential.

Epigeic: L. rubellus
Endogeic: A. caliginosa
Regenwurm A. longa
Anecic: A. longa
Illustration © Alexander Schaefer. Figure adapted from Fraser and Boag.

Earthworm niche groupings: The orange lines represent the types and depths of the various
burrows.


Study Design

  • The study design is according to ISO 11268-3:2014 and ISO 23611-1:2018(E).
  • The experimental design is a dose response with three treatment groups; a negative control (water treated control), a positive control (reference
    substance) and the test item.
  • The test is designed as a randomized complete block with at least four replicates for each treatment (10 m * 10 m per plot), with at least 3 m distance between each plot.

Earthworm experimental field design


Sampling

Earthworms are sampled from the soil by combining two different methods:

1. Hand-sorting

2. Allyl-isothiocyanate (AITC) extraction


Identification

Illustration © Alexander Schaefer

End Points

The following measurement endpoints are obtained:

The results are carefully evaluated for possible differences between the
control, test and reference item treatments.