Conférence « Microplastiques : impacts, enjeux et comportements » jeudi 22 mars, Océanopolis (Brest)

Accès libre (20h30, Auditorium Marion Dufresne, Océanopolis, Brest)

Les microplastiques, une menace pour les organismes marins ?

Résumé : Les plastiques sont des matériaux persistants qui s’accumulent dans l’environnement marin et peuvent affecter les organismes marins. Les microplastiques sont généralement définis comme l’ensemble des particules de plastique inférieures à 1 mm. Ils sont composés de matériaux persistants, d’origine anthropique, qui s’accumule dans l’environnement marin. Ils proviennent notamment (origine primaire) d’abrasifs industriels, de la pré-production de pastilles plastiques, du rejet de fibres synthétiques issus de nos lessives ou sont les produits de dégradation (origine secondaire) des macro-déchets plastiques.

Ils contiennent des additifs potentiellement toxiques, mais sont aussi concentrateurs de contaminants organiques persistants ainsi que véhicules de microorganismes. Ils peuvent être ingérés par les organismes marins et ainsi entrer dans la chaine alimentaire.

Notre travail consiste à caractériser les niveaux de contamination dans le milieu marin, et notamment en rade de Brest, pour ensuite permettre des expositions en conditions de laboratoire à des doses et sous conditions environnementales afin d’estimer les impacts de particules de plastiques sur les organismes marins, information importante pour permettre de l’aide à la décision.


Exposure to polystyrene nanoplastic leads to inhibition of anaerobic digestion system

In this study, impacts of nanoplastic on the pure and mixed anaerobic digestion systems were investigated. Results showed the growth and metabolism of Acetobacteroides hydrogenigenes were partly inhibited by nanoplastic existed in the pure anaerobic digestion system. The anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge was also obviously inhibited by nanoplastic existed in the mixed anaerobic digestion system. Both the methane yield and methane production rate of the mixed anaerobic digestion system showed negative correlation with the nanoplastic concentration. Compared with anaerobic digestion system without nanoplastic, methane yield and maximum daily methane yield at the nanoplastic concentration of 0.2 g/L decreased for 14.4% and 40.7%, respectively. In addition, the start-up of mixed anaerobic digestion system was prolonged by addition of nanoplastic. Microbial community structure analysis indicated the microbial community structures were also affected by nanoplastic existed in the system. At the nanoplastic concentration of 0.2 g/L, the relative abundances of family Cloacamonaceae, Porphyromonadaceae, Anaerolinaceae and Gracilibacteraceae decreased partly. Conversely, the relative abundances of family Anaerolinaceae, Clostridiaceae, Geobacteraceae, Dethiosulfovibrionaceae and Desulfobulbaceae improved partly.

Shan-Fei Fu, Jian-Nan Ding, Yun Zhang and al., Science of The Total Environment, Volume 625, 1 June 2018, Pages 64-70

The article

The effects of microplastic on freshwater Hydra attenuata feeding, morphology & reproduction

Microplastic pollution has been a growing concern in the aquatic environment for several years. The abundance of microplastics in the environment has invariably led them to interact with a variety of different aquatic species. The small size of microplastics may make them bioavailable to a great range of species however, the impact this may have is not fully understood. Much of the research on microplastic pollution has focused on the marine environment and species with little research undertaken in freshwater. Here we examine the effect of microplastics on the freshwater cnidarian, Hydra attenuata. This study also describes the development and use of a bioassay to investigate the impact of microplastic on freshwater organisms. Hydra attenuata play a vital role in the planktonic make up of slow moving freshwater bodies which they inhabit and are sensitive environmental indicators. Hydra attenuata were exposed to polyethylene flakes (<400 ìm) extracted from facewash at different concentrations (Control, 0.01, 0.02, 0.04, 0.08 g mL−1). The ecologically relevant endpoint of feeding was measured by determining the amount of prey consumed (Artemia salina) after 30 and 60 min. The amount of microplastics ingested was also recorded at 30 min and 60 min. After which Hydra attenuata were transferred to clean media and observed after 3, 24, 48 & 96 h with changes in their morphology and reproduction (Hydranth numbers) recorded. The results of this study show that Hydra attenuata are capable of ingesting microplastics, with several individuals completely filling their gastric cavities. Significant reductions in feeding rates were observed after 30 min in 0.02 & 0.08 g mL−1 and after 60 min in 0.04 & 0.08 g mL−1 exposures. Exposure to the microplastics caused significant changes to the morphology of Hydra attenuata, however these changes were non-lethal. This study demonstrates that freshwater Hydra attenuata is capable of ingesting microplastics and that microplastic can significantly impact the feeding of freshwater organisms.

Fionn Murphy, Brian Quinn, Environmental Pollution, Volume 234, March 2018, Pages 487-494

The article

Microplastic contamination of river beds significantly reduced by catchment-wide flooding

Microplastic contamination of the oceans is one of the world’s most pressing environmental concerns. The terrestrial component of the global microplastic budget is not well understood because sources, stores and fluxes are poorly quantified. We report catchment-wide patterns of microplastic contamination, classified by type, size and density, in channel bed sediments at 40 sites across urban, suburban and rural river catchments in northwest England. Microplastic contamination was pervasive on all river channel beds. We found multiple urban contamination hotspots with a maximum microplastic concentration of approximately 517,000 particles m−2. After a period of severe flooding in winter 2015/16, all sites were resampled. Microplastic concentrations had fallen at 28 sites and 18 saw a decrease of one order of magnitude. The flooding exported approximately 70% of the microplastic load stored on these river beds (equivalent to 0.85 ± 0.27 tonnes or 43 ± 14 billion particles) and eradicated microbead contamination at 7 sites. We conclude that microplastic contamination is efficiently flushed from river catchments during flooding.

Rachel Hurley, Jamie Woodward, James J. Rothwell, Nature Geoscience,

The article

The influence of exposure and physiology on microplastic ingestion by the freshwater fish Rutilus rutilus (roach) in the River Thames, UK

Microplastics are widespread throughout aquatic environments. However, there is currently insufficient understanding of the factors influencing ingestion of microplastics by organisms, especially higher predators such as fish. In this study we link ingestion of microplastics by the roach Rutilus rutilus, within the non-tidal part of the River Thames, to exposure and physiological factors. Microplastics were found within the gut contents of roach from six out of seven sampling sites. Of sampled fish, 33% contained at least one microplastic particle. The majority of particles were fibres (75%), with fragments and films also seen (22.7% and 2.3% respectively). Polymers identified were polyethylene, polypropylene and polyester, in addition to a synthetic dye. The maximum number of ingested microplastic particles for individual fish was strongly correlated to exposure (based on distance from the source of the river). Additionally, at a given exposure, the size of fish correlated with the actual quantity of microplastics in the gut. Larger (mainly female) fish were more likely to ingest the maximum possible number of particles than smaller (mainly male) fish. This study is the first to show microplastic ingestion within freshwater fish in the UK and provides valuable new evidence of the factors influencing ingestion that can be used to inform future studies on exposure and hazard of microplastics to fish.

Alice A. Horton, Monika D. Jürgens, Elma Lahive, Peter M. van Bodegom, Martina G. Vijver, Environmental Pollution, Volume 236, May 2018, Pages 188–194

The article

Environmentally relevant microplastic exposure affects sediment-dwelling bivalves

Most microplastics are expected to sink and end up in marine sediments. However, very little is known concerning their potential impact on sediment-dwelling organisms. We studied the long-term impact of microplastic exposure on two sediment-dwelling bivalve species. Ennucula tenuis and Abra nitida were exposed to polyethylene microparticles at three concentrations (1; 10 and 25 mg/kg of sediment) for four weeks. Three size classes (4–6; 20–25 and 125–500 μm) were used to study the influence of size on microplastic ecotoxicity. Microplastic exposure did not affect survival, condition index or burrowing behaviour in either bivalve species. However, significant changes in energy reserves were observed. No changes were observed in protein, carbohydrate or lipid contents in E. tenuis, with the exception of a decrease in lipid content for one condition. However, total energy decreased in a dose-dependent manner for bivalves exposed to the largest particles. To the contrary, no significant changes in total energy were observed for A. nitida, although a significant decrease of protein content was observed for individuals exposed to the largest particles, at all concentrations. Concentration and particle size significantly influenced microplastic impacts on bivalves, the largest particles and higher concentrations leading to more severe effects. Several hypotheses are presented to explain the observed modulation of energy reserves, including the influence of microplastic size and concentration. Our results suggest that long-term exposure to microplastics at environmentally relevant concentrations can impact marine benthic biota.

Agathe Bour, Ane Haarr, Steffen Keiter, Ketil Hylland and al., Environmental Pollution, Volume 236, May 2018, Pages 652–660

The article