John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Responses of Hyalella azteca to acute and chronic microplastic

Limited information is available on the presence of microplastics (MPs) in freshwater systems, and even less about the toxicological implications of the exposure of aquatic organisms to plastic particles. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of MP ingestion on the freshwater amphipod, Hyalella azteca. H. azteca was exposed to fluorescent polyethylene MP particles and polypropylene MP fibers in individual 250 mL chambers to determine 10‐d mortality. In acute bioassays, polypropylene MP fibers were significantly more toxic than polyethylene MP particles; 10‐d LC50 values for polyethylene MP particles and polypropylene MP fibers were 4.64 x 104 MPs/mL and 71.43 MPs/mL, respectively. A 42‐d chronic bioassay using polyethylene MP particles was conducted to quantify effects on reproduction, growth, and egestion. Chronic exposure to polyethylene MP particles significantly decreased growth and reproduction at the low and intermediate exposure concentrations. During acute exposures to polyethylene MP particles, the egestion times did not significantly differ from the egestion of normal food materials in the control; egestion times for polypropylene MP fibers was significantly slower than the egestion of food materials in the control. Amphipods exposed to polypropylene MP fibers also had significantly less growth. The greater toxicity of MP fibers than MP particles corresponded with longer residence times for the fibers in the gut. The difference in residence time might have affected the ability to process food, resulting in an energetic effect reflected in sublethal endpoints. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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