Various soil treatments (clay, composted peat, superphosphate, sulfur, calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, zinc chloride, selenous acid) were added to experimental field plots to test the effect of different soil variables on the concentrations of 5 elements in earthworms (Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd, Se). Concentrations of the 5 elements were related to 9 soil variables (soil Pb, soil Cu, soil Zn, pH, organic matter, P, K, Mg, and Ca) with linear multiple regression. Lead concentrations in earthworms were positively correlated with soil Pb and soil organic matter, and negatively correlated with soil pH and soil Mg, with an R2 of 64%. Se concentrations were higher in earthworms from plots amended with Se, and Zn concentrations were higher in earthworms from plots amended with Zn. However, none of the other soil variables had important effects on the concentrations of Cu, Zn, Cd and Se in earthworms. Although some significant statistical relations were demonstrated, the values of r2 of all relations (> 20%) were so low that they had little predictive value.
Additional publication details
Relation of pH and other soil variables to concentrations of Pb, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Se in earthworms