Population-level consequences of spatially heterogeneous exposure to heavy metals in soil: An individual-based model of springtails

Mattia Meli, Apolline Auclerc, Annemette Palmqvist, Valery E Forbes, Volker Grimm

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

Contamination of soil with toxic heavy metals poses a major threat to the environment and human health. Anthropogenic sources include smelting of ores, municipal wastes, fertilizers, and pesticides. In assessing soil quality and the environmental and ecological risk of contamination with heavy metals, often homogeneous contamination of the soil is assumed. However, soils are very heterogeneous environments. Consequently, both contamination and the response of soil organisms can be assumed to be heterogeneous. This might have consequences for the exposure of soil organisms and for the extrapolation of risk from the individual to the population level. Therefore, to explore how soil contamination of different spatial heterogeneity affects population dynamics of soil invertebrates, we developed a spatially explicit individual-based model of the springtail, Folsomia candida, a standard test species for ecotoxicological risk assessment. In the model, individuals were assumed to sense and avoid contaminated habitat with a certain probability that depends on contamination level. Avoidance of contaminated areas thus influenced the individuals’ movement and feeding, their exposure, and in turn all other biological processes underlying population dynamics. Model rules and parameters were based on data from the literature, or were determined via pattern-oriented modelling. The model correctly predicted several patterns that were not used for model design and calibration. Simulation results showed that the ability of the individuals to detect and avoid the toxicant, combined with the presence of clean habitat patches which act as “refuges”, made equilibrium population size due to toxic effects less sensitive to increases in toxicant concentration. Additionally, the level of heterogeneity among patches of soil (i.e. the difference in concentration) was important: at the same average concentration, a homogeneously contaminated scenario was the least favourable habitat, while higher levels of heterogeneity corresponded to higher population growth rate and equilibrium size. Our model can thus be used as a tool for extrapolating from short-term effects at the individual level to long-term effects at the population level under more realistic conditions. It can thus be used to develop and extrapolate from standard ecotoxicological tests in the laboratory to ecological risk assessments.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEcological Modelling
Vol/bind250
Sider (fra-til)338-351
Antal sider14
ISSN0304-3800
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2013

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    abstract = "Contamination of soil with toxic heavy metals poses a major threat to the environment and human health.Anthropogenic sources include smelting of ores, municipal wastes, fertilizers, and pesticides. In assessingsoil quality and the environmental and ecological risk of contamination with heavy metals, often homogeneouscontamination of the soil is assumed. However, soils are very heterogeneous environments.Consequently, both contamination and the response of soil organisms can be assumed to be heterogeneous.This might have consequences for the exposure of soil organisms and for the extrapolation of riskfrom the individual to the population level. Therefore, to explore how soil contamination of differentspatial heterogeneity affects population dynamics of soil invertebrates, we developed a spatially explicitindividual-based model of the springtail, Folsomia candida, a standard test species for ecotoxicologicalrisk assessment. In the model, individuals were assumed to sense and avoid contaminated habitat witha certain probability that depends on contamination level. Avoidance of contaminated areas thus influencedthe individuals’ movement and feeding, their exposure, and in turn all other biological processesunderlying population dynamics. Model rules and parameters were based on data from the literature,or were determined via pattern-oriented modelling. The model correctly predicted several patterns thatwere not used for model design and calibration. Simulation results showed that the ability of the individualsto detect and avoid the toxicant, combined with the presence of clean habitat patches which actas “refuges”, made equilibrium population size due to toxic effects less sensitive to increases in toxicantconcentration. Additionally, the level of heterogeneity among patches of soil (i.e. the difference in concentration)was important: at the same average concentration, a homogeneously contaminated scenariowas the least favourable habitat, while higher levels of heterogeneity corresponded to higher populationgrowth rate and equilibrium size. Our model can thus be used as a tool for extrapolating from short-termeffects at the individual level to long-term effects at the population level under more realistic conditions.It can thus be used to develop and extrapolate from standard ecotoxicological tests in the laboratory toecological risk assessments.",
    keywords = "Avoidance, Folsomia candida, Copper, Heterogeneity, Pattern-oriented modelling, Soil ecology",
    author = "Mattia Meli and Apolline Auclerc and Annemette Palmqvist and Forbes, {Valery E} and Volker Grimm",
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    Population-level consequences of spatially heterogeneous exposure to heavy metals in soil: An individual-based model of springtails. / Meli, Mattia; Auclerc, Apolline; Palmqvist, Annemette; Forbes, Valery E; Grimm, Volker.

    I: Ecological Modelling, Bind 250, 2013, s. 338-351.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Population-level consequences of spatially heterogeneous exposure to heavy metals in soil: An individual-based model of springtails

    AU - Meli, Mattia

    AU - Auclerc, Apolline

    AU - Palmqvist, Annemette

    AU - Forbes, Valery E

    AU - Grimm, Volker

    PY - 2013

    Y1 - 2013

    N2 - Contamination of soil with toxic heavy metals poses a major threat to the environment and human health.Anthropogenic sources include smelting of ores, municipal wastes, fertilizers, and pesticides. In assessingsoil quality and the environmental and ecological risk of contamination with heavy metals, often homogeneouscontamination of the soil is assumed. However, soils are very heterogeneous environments.Consequently, both contamination and the response of soil organisms can be assumed to be heterogeneous.This might have consequences for the exposure of soil organisms and for the extrapolation of riskfrom the individual to the population level. Therefore, to explore how soil contamination of differentspatial heterogeneity affects population dynamics of soil invertebrates, we developed a spatially explicitindividual-based model of the springtail, Folsomia candida, a standard test species for ecotoxicologicalrisk assessment. In the model, individuals were assumed to sense and avoid contaminated habitat witha certain probability that depends on contamination level. Avoidance of contaminated areas thus influencedthe individuals’ movement and feeding, their exposure, and in turn all other biological processesunderlying population dynamics. Model rules and parameters were based on data from the literature,or were determined via pattern-oriented modelling. The model correctly predicted several patterns thatwere not used for model design and calibration. Simulation results showed that the ability of the individualsto detect and avoid the toxicant, combined with the presence of clean habitat patches which actas “refuges”, made equilibrium population size due to toxic effects less sensitive to increases in toxicantconcentration. Additionally, the level of heterogeneity among patches of soil (i.e. the difference in concentration)was important: at the same average concentration, a homogeneously contaminated scenariowas the least favourable habitat, while higher levels of heterogeneity corresponded to higher populationgrowth rate and equilibrium size. Our model can thus be used as a tool for extrapolating from short-termeffects at the individual level to long-term effects at the population level under more realistic conditions.It can thus be used to develop and extrapolate from standard ecotoxicological tests in the laboratory toecological risk assessments.

    AB - Contamination of soil with toxic heavy metals poses a major threat to the environment and human health.Anthropogenic sources include smelting of ores, municipal wastes, fertilizers, and pesticides. In assessingsoil quality and the environmental and ecological risk of contamination with heavy metals, often homogeneouscontamination of the soil is assumed. However, soils are very heterogeneous environments.Consequently, both contamination and the response of soil organisms can be assumed to be heterogeneous.This might have consequences for the exposure of soil organisms and for the extrapolation of riskfrom the individual to the population level. Therefore, to explore how soil contamination of differentspatial heterogeneity affects population dynamics of soil invertebrates, we developed a spatially explicitindividual-based model of the springtail, Folsomia candida, a standard test species for ecotoxicologicalrisk assessment. In the model, individuals were assumed to sense and avoid contaminated habitat witha certain probability that depends on contamination level. Avoidance of contaminated areas thus influencedthe individuals’ movement and feeding, their exposure, and in turn all other biological processesunderlying population dynamics. Model rules and parameters were based on data from the literature,or were determined via pattern-oriented modelling. The model correctly predicted several patterns thatwere not used for model design and calibration. Simulation results showed that the ability of the individualsto detect and avoid the toxicant, combined with the presence of clean habitat patches which actas “refuges”, made equilibrium population size due to toxic effects less sensitive to increases in toxicantconcentration. Additionally, the level of heterogeneity among patches of soil (i.e. the difference in concentration)was important: at the same average concentration, a homogeneously contaminated scenariowas the least favourable habitat, while higher levels of heterogeneity corresponded to higher populationgrowth rate and equilibrium size. Our model can thus be used as a tool for extrapolating from short-termeffects at the individual level to long-term effects at the population level under more realistic conditions.It can thus be used to develop and extrapolate from standard ecotoxicological tests in the laboratory toecological risk assessments.

    KW - Avoidance, Folsomia candida, Copper, Heterogeneity, Pattern-oriented modelling, Soil ecology

    U2 - 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.11.010

    DO - 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2012.11.010

    M3 - Journal article

    VL - 250

    SP - 338

    EP - 351

    JO - Ecological Modelling

    JF - Ecological Modelling

    SN - 0304-3800

    ER -