Publishing House SB RAS:

Publishing House SB RAS:

Address of the Publishing House SB RAS:
Morskoy pr. 2, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia

Advanced Search

Contemporary Problems of Ecology

2014 year, number 5

Heavy Metals in the “Soil - Earthworms - European Mole” Food Chain under Conditions of the Copper Smelter Pollution

1Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology UrB RAS, 620144, Yekaterinburg, 8 Marta str., 202
2Omsk State Pedagogical University, 644099, Omsk, Naberezhnaya Tukhachevskogo, 14
Keywords: mole, Talpa europaea, earthworms, soil, litter, heavy metals, Cu, Pb, Cd, Zn, copper smelter, industrial pollution, Middle Urals


Distribution of heavy metals in the “soil – earthworms – European mole” food chain was examined within the area of the Middle Ural Copper Smelter (Revda, Sverdlovsk region). Excess of concentrations of physiologically essential elements (Cu, Zn) in contaminated habitats over background territories was less pronounced in earthworms’ tissues than in the soil. On the contrary, concentration of non-essential elements (Pb, Cd) increased more strongly in worms’ tissues than in the soil. Biomagnification in the food chain was revealed only for Cd: its concentration in worms increased 8–10 times as compared with soil (3.9–4.5 times as compared with litter); Cd concentration in mole’s liver increased 4–6 times as compared with worms. Zn, Cu and Pb did not accumulate in liver with increase of their concentrations in stomach content, while the increase of Cd concentration in food lead to its disproportionate accumulation in liver. Moles may be considered as a terminal depot of Cd in terrestrial ecosystems, regardless the fact that this species accumulate extremely high amounts of Cd.