Elucidating differences in metal absorption efficiencies between terrestrial soft-bodied and aquatic species

Mikolaj Owsianiak, Karin Veltman, Michael Zwicky Hauschild, A. Jan Hendriks, Zoran J.N. Steinmann, Mark A.J. Huijbregts

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    It is unknown whether metal absorption efficiencies in terrestrial soft-bodied species can be predicted with the same metal properties as for aquatic species. Here, we developed models for metal absorption efficiency from the dissolved phase for terrestrial worms and several aquatic species, based on 23 metal physicochemical properties. For the worms, the absorption efficiency was successfully related to 7 properties, and is best predicted with the ionic potential. Different properties (8 in total) were found to be statistically significant in regressions predicting metal absorption in aquatic species, with the covalent index being the best predictor. It is hypothesized that metal absorption by soft-bodied species in soil systems is influenced by the rate of metal supply to the membrane, while in aquatic systems accumulation is solely determined by metal affinity to membrane bound transport proteins. Our results imply that developing predictive terrestrial bioaccumulation and toxicity models for metals must consider metal interactions with soil solids. This may include desorption of a cation bound to soil solids through ion exchange, or metal release from soil surfaces involving breaking of metal–oxygen bonds. © 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)487–495
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Bioaccumulation modeling
    • Earthworms
    • Metal aging
    • Soils
    • Absorption efficiency


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