Uptake and Transfer of Polyamide Microplastics in a Freshwater Mesocosm Study

Steadily increasing inputs of microplastics pose a growing threat to aquatic fauna, but laboratory studies potentially lack realism to properly investigate its effects on populations and ecosystems. Our study investigates the trophic and ontogenetic transfer of microplastics in a near-natural exposu...

Authors: Michler-Kozma, Diana Noemi
Kruckenfellner, Lukas
Heitkamp, Anna
Ebke, Klaus-Peter
Gabel, Friederike
Division/Institute:FB 14: Geowissenschaften
Document types:Article
Media types:Text
Publication date:2022
Date of publication on miami:30.05.2022
Modification date:30.05.2022
Edition statement:[Electronic ed.]
Source:Water 14 (2022) 6, 887, 1-10
Subjects:Chaoborus; zooplankton; ontogenetic transfer; trophic transfer; macroinvertebrates
DDC Subject:550: Geowissenschaften, Geologie
License:CC BY 4.0
Language:English
Funding:Finanziert durch den Open-Access-Publikationsfonds der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU Münster).
Förderer: Federal Ministry of Education and Research / Projektnummer: 02WPL1448
Format:PDF document
URN:urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-63089409321
Other Identifiers:DOI: 10.17879/63089410935
Permalink:https://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:hbz:6-63089409321
Related records:
Digital documents:10.3390_w14060887.pdf

Steadily increasing inputs of microplastics pose a growing threat to aquatic fauna, but laboratory studies potentially lack realism to properly investigate its effects on populations and ecosystems. Our study investigates the trophic and ontogenetic transfer of microplastics in a near-natural exposure scenario. The controlled outdoor freshwater mesocosms were exposed to polyamide (PA) 5–50 µm in size in concentrations of 15 and 150 mg L−1 and a control without microplastic addition. To verify the uptake of particles via the food chain, larvae and imagines of the midges Chaoborus crystallinus and C. obscuripes were examined, which feed on zooplankton during their larval stage. Larvae were captured after 117 days and imagines were caught in emergence traps that were emptied weekly. To detect the microparticles within the organisms, 200 larvae and 100 imagines per application were macerated and treated with fluorescent dye before investigation under a fluorescent microscope. We could detect up to 12 PA particles per individual larvae, while nearly no plastic was found in the imagines. This shows that, while Chaoborus sp. takes up microplastics via predation, most of the pollutant is egested through regurgitation and remains in the water, where it can further accumulate and potentially harm other organisms.