The accumulation of metalloid elements during transfer from contaminated soil to higher trophic levels may potentially result in the exposure of parasitic arthropods to toxic concentrations of these elements. This study examined the transfer of arsenate (As(V)) to aphids (Myzus persicae) from pepper plants cultivated in As(V) contaminated soils of two concentrations (2 and 6 mg As(V)/kg dry soil), and the subsequent biological effects on the aphid parasitoid, Aphidius colemani. Results showed that considerable quantities of As(V) were transferred to the plant in a concentration-dependent manner and were partitioned in the plant parts in the order of roots > stems > leaves. The accumulation of As(V) in the aphids increased with the concentrations in the plants; however, the transfer coefficient of As(V) from leaf to aphid was relatively similar and constant (0.07–0.08) at both soil As(V) concentration levels. Increased levels of As(V) significantly affected fecundity and honeydew production in aphids, but survival and developmental time were unaffected. Fecundity (mummification rate) of the parasitoid was not impaired by host As(V) contamination; however, vitality (eclosion rate) was significantly affected. Results are discussed in relation to possible ecological risks posed by the transfer of soil As(V) via the plant-arthropod system to parasitoid arthropods in agroecosystems.
- Food chain
- Metal transfer
- Myzus persicae
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis