Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.8b02470
Document accepted manuscript
Title (Primary) Plastic alters biofilm quality as food resource of the freshwater gastropod Radix balthica
Author Vosshage, A.T.L.; Neu, T.R.; Gabel, F.
Journal Environmental Science & Technology
Year 2018
Department FLOEK
Volume 52
Issue 19
Page From 11387
Page To 11393
Language englisch
Abstract High amounts of plastic debris enter and accumulate in freshwater systems across the globe. The plastic contamination of benthic habitats in lakes and running waters poses a potential threat to freshwater ecosystems. This study investigates the effects of plastic on two trophic levels of the aquatic food web: primary production, that is, epiplastic biofilm, and primary consumption, that is, a benthic invertebrate grazer. Two plastic types, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and polycarbonate (PC), and glass (control) were used as substrata for natural biofilm establishment. PMMA and PC are, for example, intensively used in the automobile, construction, and electronical industries and in cosmetics (PMMA), CDs, and DVDs (PC). These biofilms were fed to the freshwater gastropod Radix balthica (Linnaeus 1758) in a laboratory-grazing experiment. Biofilm structure and composition were observed using confocal laser scanning microscopy before the grazing experiment. Sublethal effects on R. balthica were observed measuring consumption of biofilm and growth rates. The biofilm composition on PMMA significantly differed compared to PC and glass. The grazing experiments showed limited biofilm consumption and lower growth rates of R. balthica in both plastic treatments. Concluding, plastic in freshwaters has a direct effect on the primary production and an indirect effect on higher trophic levels.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Vosshage, A.T.L., Neu, T.R., Gabel, F. (2018):
Plastic alters biofilm quality as food resource of the freshwater gastropod Radix balthica
Environ. Sci. Technol. 52 (19), 11387 - 11393