Diversity of soil nematodes in areas polluted with heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Lanzhou, China

Chen, G.; Qin, J.; Shi, D.; Zhang, Y.; Ji, W.

Environmental Management 44(1): 163-172

2009


ISSN/ISBN: 1432-1009
PMID: 19205795
DOI: 10.1007/s00267-008-9268-2
Accession: 024509279

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Abstract
This study investigated the soil nematode community structure along the Yellow River in the Lanzhou area of China, and analyzed the impact of heavy metals (Cd, Pb, Cr, Cu, and Zn) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on the nematode community. Soil samples from five locations (named A-E), which were chosen for soil analysis, showed significant differences in their heavy metal content (p < 0.01), as well as in the variety of nematodes (up to 41 genera) and families (up to 20) that were present. The different samples also differed significantly in the total PAH content (p < 0.05), as well as the six types of PAH present. Sites A-C showed the most severe contamination with heavy metals and PAHs; these sites had the lowest abundance of fungivores and omnivore/predators, but the proportion of bacteriovores was the highest (p < 0.05). Site E, in contrast, showed only minor pollution with heavy metals and PAHs, and it contained the highest abundance of plant parasites (p < 0.05). Several nematode ecological indicators were found to correlate with concentration of soil pollutants at all the sites tested: the maturity index (MI, in addition to plant parasites), plant parasite index (PPI), SigmaMI (including all the soil nematodes), Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H''), and Wasilewska index (WI). Disturbance to the soil environment was more severe when MI, SigmaMI, and H' values were lower. The results of the study show that the abundance and structure of the soil nematode communities in the sampling locations were strongly influenced by levels of heavy metals and PAHs in the soil. They also show that the diversity index H' and the maturity index can be valuable tools for assessing the impact of pollutants on nematodes.

Diversity of soil nematodes in areas polluted with heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Lanzhou, China