Hazardous or not – Are adult and juvenile individuals of Potamopyrgus antipodarum affected by non-buoyant microplastic particles?

Microplastic has been ubiquitously detected in freshwater ecosystems. A variety of freshwater organisms were shown to ingest microplastic particles, while a high potential for adverse effects are expected. However, studies addressing the effect of microplastic in freshwater species are still scarce compared to studies on marine organisms. In order to gain further insights into possible adverse effects of microplastic particles on freshwater invertebrates and to set the base for further experiments we exposed the mud snail (Potampoyrgus antipodarum) to a large range of common and environmentally relevant non-buoyant polymers (polyamide, polyethylene terephthalate, polycarbonate, polystyrene, polyvinylchloride). The impact of these polymers was tested by performing two exposure experiments with irregular shaped microplastic particles with a broad size distribution in a low (30%) and a high microplastic dose (70%) in the food.

Hannes K. Imhof, Christian Laforsch, Environmental Pollution, Volume 218, November 2016, Pages 383–391

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