, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 419–429 | Cite as

Observed Differences in Life History Characteristics of Nematodes Aphelenchus and Acrobeloides upon Exposure to Copper and Benzo(a)pyrene

  • Fafeng Li
  • Deborah A. Neher
  • Brian J. Darby
  • Thomas R. Weicht


Maturity index values reflect life history characteristics often inferred by morphology. We tested the hypothesis that Acrobeloides and Aphelenchus are sensitive to chemical pollutants, opposite of what their colonizer-persister (CP) value of 2 suggests. Acrobeloides and Aphelenchus were reared at 19°C and provided diets of Escherichia coli and Rhizoctonia solani, respectively. LC50 values for Aphelenchus exposed to copper or benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) are greater than Acrobeloides. Copper impedes growth of Acrobeloides at 10 μg/g, and results in 100% mortality at 20 μg/g. In contrast, Aphelenchus is more resilient, with no visible impact at 20 μg/g. Acrobeloides and Aphelenchus were sensitive to much lower concentrations of BaP than copper, i.e., 0.5 μg/g inhibited development of Acrobeloides and 2 μg/g for Aphelenchus. Egg size and hatch were unaffected at 15 μg/g copper. In contrast, 0.5 μg/g BaP reduced both egg size and hatch for Aphelenchus but not Acrobeloides. Survival of Acrobeloides and reproduction of Aphelenchus responded differently to copper and BaP, implying the relationship between this classification and their sensitivity to short-term effects may be less straightforward than presumed. Refinement of index values based on empirical evidence can be used to improve sensitivity and interpretation of nematode community indices for environmental monitoring.


environmental monitoring fecundity LC50 maturity index nematodes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fafeng Li
    • 1
  • Deborah A. Neher
    • 2
  • Brian J. Darby
    • 2
  • Thomas R. Weicht
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Earth, Ecological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of ToledoToledoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Plant and Soil ScienceUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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