Research Letter

The sublethal effects of the organochlorines dieldrin and lindane on growth and reproduction of Eudrilus eugeniae and Eisenia fetida (Oligochaeta)

Editorial Office
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 13, No 1 | a577 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v13i1.577 | © 1994 Editorial Office | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 July 1994 | Published: 09 July 1994

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Editorial Office,, South Africa

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Abstract

Experimental exposure of the earthworm species Eudrilus eugeniae to organochlorines showed that dieldrin causes damage to sperm ultrastructure when viewed electronmicroscopically. Worms containing concentrations of 7,27 mg/kg dieldrin and higher showed more than 10% sperm damage. Exposure of Eisenia fetida to sublethal concentrations of lindane did not result in sperm damage but demonstrated an increase in growth and reproductive activity. It is argued that quantification of sperm damage and correlation with pesticide concentration could provide a useful tool for evaluating environmental quality. Furthermore, the effects of sublethal concentrations of pesticides that manifest themselves in increased growth and reproductive activity could affect ecological balances.

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