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Title: Life-history and biochemical responses of Chironomus riparius exposed to different sized microplastics
Author: Silva, C.
Pestana, J.
Gravato, C.
Keywords: Benthic macroinvertebrates
Insect growth
Oxidative stress biomarkers
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Europe
Abstract: Freshwater basins are an integral part of microplastics life-cycle, being a repository of plastic micro-debris. In fact, the levels found so far are similar to those found in marine environment and shoreline regions. The deposition and persistence of plastic micro-debris in sediments (lakeshores and riverbanks) makes them long-time available for benthic species. The objective of this study was to investigate developmental, and physiological effects induced by the presence of polyethylene microparticles (PE) in Chironomus riparius, due to its key-role in the freshwater ecosystem. For that partial life cycle tests using different sized polyethylene particles (PE 40-48 μm; PE 125 μm and PE 350 μm) allowed evaluation of effects on C. riparius larval growth and emergence patterns while acute exposures were used to assess effects in parameters related to neurotransmission (AChE); antioxidant defences and biotransformation (CAT, GST total glutathione levels); oxidative damage (LPO); cellular energy allocation (CEA) and immune response (phenoloxidase). Exposure to PE 40-48 μm caused deleterious effects at lower concentrations in comparison with larger particles in several parameters: larval growth and development time of both male and female imagoes and on emergence rate. PE 40-48 μm were then selected to assess effects on physiological homeostasis. Acute exposures to PE 40-48 μm generated alterations in C. riparius larvae antioxidant and biotransformation enzymes activities (CAT, GST and total glutathione) and activation of immune response (induction of phenoloxidase). Larvae exposed to microplastics showed also a depletion in energy reserves. Our study highlights the potential deleterious effect of microplastics for aquatic invertebrate populations. Results will be discussed in terms of effects of different sized plastic particles on different levels of biological organization within freshwater invertebrates and on the needed and ongoing research aiming to address the long term and indirect effects of these particles for natural populations and ecosystem functioning.
Peer review: yes
ISSN: 2309-8031
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Appears in Collections:CESAM - Comunicações
DBio - Comunicações

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