Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

SECOFASE: development, improvement and standardisation of test systems for assessing sublethal effects of chemicals on fauna in the soil ecosystem

The main purpose of the SECOFASE project was to develop test systems for the early detection and evaluation of sublethal effects of chemicals on organisms in soil ecosystems. The research has resulted in a suite of 17 test protocols with soil fauna species representative of European soil ecosystems. The project was subdivided into 10 sub-projects of even size, each dealing with one specific taxa. Through co-ordination and co-operative work within the project group, test methods have been developed, each based on common principles for test conditions and endpoints for sublethal effects. Furthermore, the scientific collaboration has promoted the use of up-to-date methodology eg digital image processing. The following 10 taxa were included in the projects: Nematoda, Enchytraeidae, Lumbricidae, Collembola, Oribatida, Gamasida, Staphylinidae, Isopoda, Diplopoda, and Chilopoda. Several aspects concerning the representativeness of new and old test species have been evaluated, ie sensitivity, exposure routes, life stage, life strategy, life form, species interactions, and habitat.

The terrestrial tests and general aspects of choice of test species, reproducibility and species sensitivity, appropriate statistical methods for the evaluation of results, and criteria for test selection are dealt with in Løkke H & Gestel C A M (1998), Handbook of Soil Invertebrate Toxicity Tests, John Wiley & Sons, 281 pp.


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