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HP2 Global Perspectives on Soil Ecotoxicology
() Under the influence of Endocrine Disruptor Compounds (EDCs). Are growth and reproductive parameters of a terrestrial isopod impaired?
Marco, M.F.L.1, Soares, A.M.V.M.1, 1 Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, Portugal
ABSTRACT- In the past decade there has been a growing concern about the possible consequences of an exposure to xenobiotic compounds which are able to modulate or cause a disruption in the endocrine system, the so called Endocrine Disruptor Compounds (EDCs). This concern is not focused only towards human health but also to the impacts at the wildlife and environment, being already a priority in research and legislation within the European Union (EC, 1999). Changes of the endocrine function caused by an EDC can be felt when interfering with the syntheses, secretion, transport, action or elimination of natural hormones (steroids) in the organism, which are responsible for homeostasis mechanisms, behaviour, reproduction and / or growth. At the environmental level, the information is scarce and focused on effects to aquatic organisms, thus creating an information gap for the soil system. To evaluate the possible effects of two EDCs on the isopod Porcellio dilatatus, two reproduction and growth tests were performed using Vinclozolin and Bisphenol A as test substances. Animals were exposed in increasing doses for 10 weeks; moulting frequency and the length of the inter-moulting periods were monitored throughout this period and at end changes in animal weight and feeding parameters were evaluated. As reproductive parameters, time to reach pregnancy, number of juveniles per female, female and juvenile weight, reproductive allocation, sex ratio and survival of F1 were monitored. In both test, in the end animals were sacrificed and energy reserves were assessed. Although evaluating at individual level, the effects observed here might be translated to population level, since a delay in growth and a change in energy allocation may have effects on the reproductive performance of the animals. Results have shown that most of the parameters scanned tend to be impaired by both EDCs, showing the deleterious effects that these compounds may have at population level of saprotrophic organisms even when these are exposed to environmental realistic doses.
Key words: Endocrine disruptor compounds, porcellio dilatatus, Vinclozolin, Bisphenol a
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