Research on biological indicators of soil pollution is hampered by soil variability and temporal and spatial fluctuations of numbers of soil animals. These characters on the other hand promote a high biological diversity in the soil. A high diversity combined with persistent soil pollutants increases the chance to select good indicators. However research on these topics is still limited. Examples of specific indicators are the changed arthropod species patterns due to pesticide influence and the changed soil enzyme activity under the influence of specific heavy metals. Another approach is to look for organisms that give a general indication of soil pollution. In this respect the earthworm species Allolobophora caliginosa proved to be sensitive for different types of manure especially pig manure with copper, for sewage sludge, for municipal waste compost and for fly ash. A third way of indication is by organisms accumulating pollutants. For some heavy metals (Cd, Zn), earthworms are very efficient accumulators. More research is needed especially on the specific relation between biological responses and abiotic soil characteristics.
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- Soil Fauna and Soil Microflora as Possible Indicators of Soil Pollution
- Springer Netherlands
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