Heavy metal concentrations in a soil-plant-snail food chain along a terrestrial soil pollution gradient.Environ Pollut. 2005 Nov; 138(1):178-90.EP
We investigated concentrations of Zn, Cu, Cd and Pb in the compartments of a soil-plant (Urtica dioica)-snail (Cepaea nemoralis) food chain in four polluted locations in the Biesbosch floodplains, the Netherlands, and two reference locations. Total soil metal concentrations in the polluted locations were 4-20 times higher than those in the reference locations. Positive relationships between the generally low leaf concentrations and the soil concentrations were found for Zn only (r2 = 0.20). Bioaccumulation of Zn, Cu and Cd was observed in the snail tissues. We found positive relationships between the snail and leaf concentrations for all metals (range r2 = 0.19-0.46). The relationships between soil and snail concentrations were also positive, except for Cu (range r2 = 0.15-0.33). These results suggest transfer of metals to C. nemoralis snails from U. dioica leaves and from the soil. Metal transfer from polluted leaves to C. nemoralis is more important than transfer from the soil.