Survival of organisms in polluted habitats is a key factor regarding their long-term population persistence. To avoid harmful physiological effects of pollutants’ accumulation in organisms, decontamination and excretion could be effective mechanisms. Among invertebrates, ground beetles are reliable indicators of environmental pollution. Published results, however, are inconsistent, as some studies showed effective decontamination and excretion of pollutants, while others demonstrated severe toxic symptoms due to extreme accumulation. Using ground beetles as model organisms, we tested our pollution intensity-dependent disposal hypothesis for five pollutants (Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, and Zn) among four soil pollution intensity levels (low, moderate, high, and extreme) by categorical meta-analysis on published data. According to our hypothesis, decontamination and excretion of pollutants in ground beetles are effective in lowly or moderately polluted habitats, while disposal is ineffective in highly or extremely polluted ones, contributing to intense accumulation of pollutants in ground beetles. In accordance with the hypothesis, we found that in an extremely polluted habitat, accumulation of Cd and Pb in ground beetles was significantly higher than in lowly polluted ones. These findings may suggest the entomoremediation potential of ground beetles in an extremely polluted environment.
- Detoxification mechanism
- Soil pollution
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis