This document specifies one of the methods for evaluating the habitat function of soils and determining effects of soil contaminants and individual chemical substances on the reproduction of the oribatid mite Oppia nitens by dermal and alimentary uptake. This chronic (28-day) test is applicable to soils and soil materials of unknown quality (e.g., contaminated sites, amended soils, soils after remediation, agricultural or other sites under concern and waste materials). This method is not intended to replace the earthworm or Collembola tests since it represents another taxonomic group (= mites; i.e., arachnids), nor the predatory mite test since this species represents a different trophic level and ecological niche.
Effects of substances are assessed using standard soil, preferably a defined artificial soil substrate. For contaminated soils, the effects are determined in the test soil and in a control soil. According to the objective of the study, the control and dilution substrate (dilution series of contaminated soil) should be either an uncontaminated soil with similar properties to the soil sample to be tested (reference soil) or a standard soil (e.g., artificial soil).
Information is provided on how to use this method for testing substances under temperate conditions.
This document is not applicable to substances for which the air/soil partition coefficient is greater than 1, or to substances with vapour pressure exceeding 300 Pa at 25 °C.
NOTE The stability of the test substance cannot be assured over the test period. No provision is made in the test method for monitoring the persistence of the substance under test.