The enchytraeid reproduction test (ERT): a potentially quick and affordable tool for the assessment of metal contaminated soils in emerging economies

21 April 2015

The enchytraeid reproduction test (ERT) was used to assess the ecotoxicity of selected mine tailings and agricultural soils from South Africa. The mine tailings had higher cumulative metal concentrations than agricultural soils. The most contaminated mine tailings significantly reduced the survival of the oligochaete Enchytraeus doerjesi whose reproduction was suppressed in all mine waste substrates. Because it reliably singled out the most contaminated substrate and was found easy to perform, we suggest that the ERT could be a quick and affordable tool for assigning intervention values for soil remediation in emerging economies such as South Africa.