Scavenging arthropods are critical to the functioning of ecosystems. Because they are at the base of the food web, changes in population densities of scavenging insects can have profound effects on nutrient recycling and population dynamics of higher level organisms that depend on them for food. For this study, we investigated the effects of common metal and metalloid pollutants on Megaselia scalaris Say, a phorid that consumes both plant and animal detritus. Specifically, we measured the effects of hexavalent chromium and selenium on the development and survival of the insect. Survival was significantly reduced at ecologically-relevant concentrations. Significant reductions in developmental rate occurred at concentrations well below levels affecting survival. The implications of biotransfer or bioaccumulation of these pollutants for ecosystem dynamics are discussed.
Species 1: Diptera Phoridae Megaselia scalaris
Keywords: chromium, selenium
Back to Student Competition Display Presentations, Section B. Physiology, Biochemistry, Toxicology, and Molecular Biology
Back to Student Competition Poster
Back to The 2002 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition