A soil multi-species, SMS, experimental test system consisting of the natural microbial community, five collembolan species and a predatory mite along with either Enchytraeus crypticus or the earthworm Eisenia fetida were exposed to α-cypermethrin. A comparison of the performance of these two types of SMSs is given to aid the development of a standard test system. E. fetida had a positive effect on the majority of the species, reducing the negative insecticide effect. E. fetida affected the species sensitivity and decreased the degradation of the insecticide due to the organic matter incorporation of earthworm food. After 8 weeks, the EC50 was 0.76 mg kg−1 for enchytraeids and ranged between 2.7 and 18.9 mg kg−1 for collembolans, more sensitive than previously observed with single species. Changes observed in the community structure and function illustrates the strength of a multi-species test system as an ecotoxicological tool compared to single species tests.
Environmental Pollution, 2014, Vol 184, p. 586-596