Biological test method for measuring survival of springtails exposed to contaminants in soil: abstract


Revised methods now recommended by Environment Canada for conducting a biological test method for measuring soil toxicity using springtails (Collembola) (Orthonychiurus folsomi, Folsomia candida, Folsomia fimetaria or Proisotoma minuta) are described in this report. This revised version of Report EPS 1/RM/47 includes numerous updates such as guidance for the collection, handling and testing of soils, the inclusion of a fourth test species (Proisotoma minuta) specifically for testing soils from the boreal or taiga ecozones, and updated guidance for the statistical analyses of data. This revised method supersedes the first edition of this document, published as Report EPS 1/RM/47 in September 2007. The test duration is species-specific at 21 days for F. fimetaria and P. minuta, and 28 days for F. candida and O. folsomi, at the end of which effects on the survival and reproduction of springtails exposed to one or more samples or concentrations of contaminated or potentially contaminated soil is determined. Each test method is conducted as a static (i.e., no renewal) test, using one or more samples of contaminated or potentially contaminated soil or one or more concentrations of chemical(s) or chemical product(s) spiked in negative control (or other) soil. Collembola are fed (activated dry yeast) during the test.

The test is conducted at a mean temperature of 20 ± 2°C in 100- to 125-mL glass jars containing a measured wet weight of approximately 30 g of soil. This test is initiated by placing test organisms (for O. folsomi, 15 individuals [5 males and 10 females] 28 to 31 days old are used; for F. candida, 10 juveniles 10 to 12 days old are used; for F. fimetaria, 20 individuals [10 males and 10 females] 23 to 2 days old are used; and for P. minuta, 10 individuals [5 males and 5 females] 14 days old are used) into each replicate vessel containing test or clean (negative control or reference) soil. A minimum of three replicates for test soils and five replicates for clean (negative control or reference) soils are prepared for each treatment. At the end of the test, the survival rate for the replicate groups of adult springtails in each treatment is determined as well as the number of live juvenile springtails produced in each replicate and treatment. The treatment means are then compared.

General or universal conditions and procedures are outlined for test preparation and performance. Additional conditions and procedures are stipulated that are specific to the intended use of each test. The biological test method described herein is suitable for measuring and assessing the toxicity of samples of field-collected soil, biosolids, sludge or similar particulate material; or of natural or artificial soil spiked (mixed) in the laboratory with test chemical(s) or chemical product(s). Instructions and requirements are included on test facilities, sample collection, handling and storing samples, culturing test organisms, preparing soil or spiked-soil mixtures and initiating tests, specific test conditions, appropriate observations and measurements, endpoints and methods of calculation, and the use of a reference toxicant. Specific guidance for the collection, handling, and preparation of boreal forest and taiga soils and testing of these soils with P. minuta is also provided.

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