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Earthworm Field Study

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Earthworm Field Study


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

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


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

1. Hand-sorting

2. Allyl-isothiocyanate (AITC) extraction


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.