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Aging of microplastics promotes their ingestion by marine zooplankton.
Environ Pollut. 2017 Dec; 231(Pt 1):987-996.EP

Abstract

Microplastics (<5 mm) are ubiquitous in the marine environment and are ingested by zooplankton with possible negative effects on survival, feeding, and fecundity. The majority of laboratory studies has used new and pristine microplastics to test their impacts, while aging processes such as weathering and biofouling alter the characteristics of plastic particles in the marine environment. We investigated zooplankton ingestion of polystyrene beads (15 and 30 μm) and fragments (≤30 μm), and tested the hypothesis that microplastics previously exposed to marine conditions (aged) are ingested at higher rates than pristine microplastics. Polystyrene beads were aged by soaking in natural local seawater for three weeks. Three zooplankton taxa ingested microplastics, excluding the copepod Pseudocalanus spp., but the proportions of individuals ingesting plastic and the number of particles ingested were taxon and life stage specific and dependent on plastic size. All stages of Calanus finmarchicus ingested polystyrene fragments. Aged microbeads were preferred over pristine ones by females of Acartia longiremis as well as juvenile copepodites CV and adults of Calanus finmarchicus. The preference for aged microplastics may be attributed to the formation of a biofilm. Such a coating, made up of natural microbes, may contain similar prey as the copepods feed on in the water column and secrete chemical exudates that aid chemodetection and thus increase the attractiveness of the particles as food items. Much of the ingested plastic was, however, egested within a short time period (2-4 h) and the survival of adult Calanus females was not affected in an 11-day exposure. Negative effects of microplastics ingestion were thus limited. Our findings emphasize, however, that aging plays an important role in the transformation of microplastics at sea and ingestion by grazers, and should thus be considered in future microplastics ingestion studies and estimates of microplastics transfer into the marine food web.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Akvaplan-niva, Fram Centre, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway; Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group, Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address: renskevroom@gmail.com.Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group, Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands; Wageningen Marine Research, P.O. Box 68, 1970 AB IJmuiden, The Netherlands.Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group, Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands; Wageningen Marine Research, P.O. Box 68, 1970 AB IJmuiden, The Netherlands.Akvaplan-niva, Fram Centre, N-9296 Tromsø, Norway.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28898955

Citation

Vroom, Renske J E., et al. "Aging of Microplastics Promotes Their Ingestion By Marine Zooplankton." Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), vol. 231, no. Pt 1, 2017, pp. 987-996.
Vroom RJE, Koelmans AA, Besseling E, et al. Aging of microplastics promotes their ingestion by marine zooplankton. Environ Pollut. 2017;231(Pt 1):987-996.
Vroom, R. J. E., Koelmans, A. A., Besseling, E., & Halsband, C. (2017). Aging of microplastics promotes their ingestion by marine zooplankton. Environmental Pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 231(Pt 1), 987-996. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2017.08.088
Vroom RJE, et al. Aging of Microplastics Promotes Their Ingestion By Marine Zooplankton. Environ Pollut. 2017;231(Pt 1):987-996. PubMed PMID: 28898955.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Aging of microplastics promotes their ingestion by marine zooplankton. AU - Vroom,Renske J E, AU - Koelmans,Albert A, AU - Besseling,Ellen, AU - Halsband,Claudia, Y1 - 2017/09/25/ PY - 2017/03/07/received PY - 2017/07/13/revised PY - 2017/08/26/accepted PY - 2017/9/14/pubmed PY - 2018/2/10/medline PY - 2017/9/14/entrez KW - Biofouling KW - Ingestion KW - Marine KW - Microplastics KW - Zooplankton SP - 987 EP - 996 JF - Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) JO - Environ. Pollut. VL - 231 IS - Pt 1 N2 - Microplastics (<5 mm) are ubiquitous in the marine environment and are ingested by zooplankton with possible negative effects on survival, feeding, and fecundity. The majority of laboratory studies has used new and pristine microplastics to test their impacts, while aging processes such as weathering and biofouling alter the characteristics of plastic particles in the marine environment. We investigated zooplankton ingestion of polystyrene beads (15 and 30 μm) and fragments (≤30 μm), and tested the hypothesis that microplastics previously exposed to marine conditions (aged) are ingested at higher rates than pristine microplastics. Polystyrene beads were aged by soaking in natural local seawater for three weeks. Three zooplankton taxa ingested microplastics, excluding the copepod Pseudocalanus spp., but the proportions of individuals ingesting plastic and the number of particles ingested were taxon and life stage specific and dependent on plastic size. All stages of Calanus finmarchicus ingested polystyrene fragments. Aged microbeads were preferred over pristine ones by females of Acartia longiremis as well as juvenile copepodites CV and adults of Calanus finmarchicus. The preference for aged microplastics may be attributed to the formation of a biofilm. Such a coating, made up of natural microbes, may contain similar prey as the copepods feed on in the water column and secrete chemical exudates that aid chemodetection and thus increase the attractiveness of the particles as food items. Much of the ingested plastic was, however, egested within a short time period (2-4 h) and the survival of adult Calanus females was not affected in an 11-day exposure. Negative effects of microplastics ingestion were thus limited. Our findings emphasize, however, that aging plays an important role in the transformation of microplastics at sea and ingestion by grazers, and should thus be considered in future microplastics ingestion studies and estimates of microplastics transfer into the marine food web. SN - 1873-6424 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28898955/Aging_of_microplastics_promotes_their_ingestion_by_marine_zooplankton_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0269-7491(16)32590-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -