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F. Hendrickx, J. Maelfait, A. De Mayer, F. Tack, and M. Verloo (2003)

Storage mediums affect metal concentration in woodlice (Isopoda)

Environmental Pollution, 121(1):87-93.

Terrestrial invertebrates are becoming widely established as tools to assess heavy metal pollution at contaminated sites. A practical and time saving method to sample terrestrial invertebrates consist of pitfall traps, often filled with a 4\% formaldehyde solution and some detergent. The reliability of metal concentrations based on organisms captured and stored in this solution might however be questioned and we therefore tested the effect of formaldehyde on Zn, Cu, Cd and Pb concentration experimentally in three isopod species. Our results showed that in many cases, significant decreases in Cu concentrations compared to animals stored in a freezer were observed that could be as high as 40\%, while Zn, Cd and Ph concentrations increased. A regression analysis of individual dry weight on individual size revealed that formaldehyde decreases the dry weight substantially and in that way causes increased measurements of Zn, Cd and Pb concentrations. We conclude that pitfall traps with formaldehyde should better not be used to collect animals in which concentrations of heavy metals or other toxic substances will be determined. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Hendrickx, F Maelfait, JP De Mayer, A Tack, FMG Verloo, MG

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