The aim of this research was to assess the effect of soil contamination with titanium (Ti) and iron (Fe) at military sites in Ukraine using the avoidance and reproduction tests with Folsomia candida (springtail). The soil used for the tests was sampled in 2017 from Dolyna, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine from two plots, namely a contaminated and a control site. The sample site is a former military site previously used for tank training. At the control site mainly the concentrations of Ti and Fe were exceeded. The control soil was free from contamination. The avoidance test and reproduction test were conducted with the use of springtail species F. candida. The following nine levels of contamination with heavy metals were established: 1%, 1.5%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. The duration of the avoidance test was 7 days, and that of the reproduction test was 28 days. Overall, the results show that the avoidance and reproduction tests with collembolans have the potential to be used as screening tools in an ecological risk assessment of heavy metals. In the avoidance test, the concentrations from 1.5 to 100% significantly decreased the number of F. candida in the contamination site in comparison to the control site. At the same time, avoidance was not observed in the first concentration (1%). According to the reproduction test, the negative effect on the number of F. candida juveniles was observed beginning at the 10% dose. The half maximal effective concentration (EC50) for the avoidance test was 50.12%, while that for the reproduction test was 22.39%. The contamination with heavy metals at the military areas indicated the short- and long-term toxicity risk on the springtail F. candida.
Research funding: The research was partially supported by the NATO program “New Phytotechnology for Cleaning Contaminated Military Sites”.
Conflict of interest: None declared.
Informed consent: Not applicable.
Ethical approval: Not applicable.
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