Combined effect of polystyrene microplastics and dibutyl phthalate on the microalgae Chlorella pyrenoidosa.Environ Pollut. 2020 Feb; 257:113604.EP
The combined effect of polystyrene microplastics (mPS) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), a common plastic additive, on the microalgae Chlorella pyrenoidosa was investigated in the present study. The 96 h-IC50 value of DBP was 2.41 mg L-1. Polystyrene microplastics exhibited size-dependent inhibitory effect to C. pyrenoidosa, with the 96 h-IC50 at 6.90 and 7.19 mg L-1 for 0.1 and 0.55 μm mPS respectively, but little toxicity was observed for 5 μm mPS. The interaction parameter ρ based on the response additive response surface (RARS) model varied from -0.309 to 5.845, indicating the interaction pattern varying with exposure concentrations of chemical mixtures. A modified RARS model (taking ρ as a function of exposure concentration) was constructed and could well predict the combined toxicity of mPS and DBP. More than 20% reduction of DBP was observed at 20 mg L-1 mPS, while 1 mg L-1 mPS had no significant effect on the bioavailability of DBP at different sampling time points. Volume, morphological complexity and chlorophyll fluorescence intensity of microalgal cells were disturbed by both DBP and mPS. The antagonistic effect of high concentrations of mPS might be partially attributed to the combination of hetero- and homo-aggregation and the reduced bioavailability of DBP. The overall findings of the present study profiled the combined toxic effects of mPS and DBP on marine phytoplankton species which will be helpful for further evaluation of ecological risks of mPS and DBP in marine environment.