A microcosm test of adaptation and species specific responses to polluted sediments applicable to indigenous chironomids (Diptera)

Simon Bahrndorff*, Jacqueline Ward, Vincent Pettigrove, Ary A. Hoffmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chironomids may adapt to pollution stress but data are confined to species that can be reared in the laboratory. A microcosm approach was used to test for adaptation and species differences in heavy metal tolerance. In one experiment, microcosms containing different levels of contaminants were placed in polluted and reference locations. The response of Chironomus februarius to metal contaminants suggested local adaptation: relatively more flies emerged from clean sediment at the reference site and the reverse pattern occurred at the polluted site. However, maternal effects were not specifically ruled out. In another species, Kiefferulus intertinctus, there was no evidence for adaptation. In a second experiment, microcosms with different contaminant levels were placed at two polluted and two unpolluted sites. Species responded differently to contaminants, but there was no evidence for adaptation in the species where this could be tested. Adaptation to heavy metals may be uncommon and species specific, but more sensitive species need to be tested across a range of pollution levels. Factors influencing the likelihood of adaptation are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume139
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)550-560
Number of pages11
ISSN0269-7491
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Biomonitoring
  • Chironomids
  • Microcosm approach

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A microcosm test of adaptation and species specific responses to polluted sediments applicable to indigenous chironomids (Diptera)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this