Earthworm Reproduction (OECD 222)

Earthworm reproduction Test (Eisenia fetida)

In general terms, this study is designed to assess the effects of chemicals in soil on the reproductive output of the earthworm species Eisenia fetida (alternatively Eisenia andrei can be used).

Concentrations of test substance are added to a defined artificial medium either by surface spraying or by mixing the material into the soil.  Adult worms are added to the soil and removed after 28 days, leaving any juveniles and cocoons to develop in the treated soil.  After a further 28 days the numbers of juveniles produced in each vessel at each exposure concentration are counted and compared with the unexposed controls.  Significant effects on reproduction are evaluated using appropriate statistical methods (curve fitting and mutiple comparison procedures).  Reference studies using carbendazim are used to confirm the sensitivity of the test.

Summary

Study to assess the effects of chemicals in soil on the reproductive output of the earthworm

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