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Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Original Article

Effects of PET microplastics on the freshwater crustacean Daphnia similis Claus, 1976

Efeitos dos microplásticos de PET no crustáceo de água doce Daphnia similis Claus, 1976

Daniela Grijó de Castro; Ana Luiza Fonseca Destro; Eder Carlos Lopes Coimbra; Aurea Luiza Lemes da Silva; Ann Honor Mounteer

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Abstract:: Aim: In this study, we investigated the effects of secondary PET microplastics (< 53 µm) on the Daphnia similis basic life-history parameters survival, age at first reproduction and total offspring number. We also analyzed D. similis enzymatic activity (superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione-S-transferase) at sub-effect concentrations.

Methods: We performed acute and chronic toxicity tests using six PET microplastics concentrations (0, 102, 103, 104, 105 and 106 part. mL-1). We also applied an exposure test to analyze superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione-S-transferase activities at sub-effect concentrations.

Results: D. similis mortality increased (LC50 = 1 x 105 part. mL-1), reproduction decreased (EC50 = 105 part. mL-1) and time to first offspring was delayed by 5 days at the highest microplastic concentration after 21 days exposure. Neither mortality nor alterations in superoxide dismutase, catalase or glutathione-S-transferase activities were detected after 48 h exposure. Microplastics adhered to D. similis body appendages, causing altered swimming behavior.

Conclusions: Lack of acute toxicity but occurrence of chronic effects serve as a warning for caution when concluding about microplastics non-toxicity in short-term tests. Microplastics had unexpected effects with important ecological implications. Our results contribute to fill the knowledge gaps on the effects of microplastic pollution on aquatic ecosystems, especially under long-term exposure.


plastic, toxicity, polyethylene terephthalate, zooplankton


Resumo:: Objetivo: Neste estudo, nós investigamos os efeitos de microplásticos secundários de PET (< 53 µm) nos parâmetros básicos da história de vida de Daphnia similis sobrevivência, idade na primeira reprodução e número total de descendentes. Nós também analisamos a atividade enzimática de D. similis (superóxido dismutase, catalase e glutationa-S-transferase) em concentrações de sub-efeito.

Métodos: Realizamos testes toxicológicos agudos e crônicos usando seis concentrações de microplásticos PET (0, 102, 103, 104, 105 e 106 part. mL-1). Também aplicamos um teste de exposição para analisar a atividade da superóxido dismutase, catalase e glutationa-S-transferase em concentrações de sub-efeito.

Resultados: A mortalidade de D. similis aumentou (CL50 = 1 x 105 part. mL-1), a reprodução reduziu (CE50 = 105 part. mL-1) e o tempo para a primeira prole foi atrasado em 5 dias na maior concentração de microplástico após 21 dias de exposição. Não foram identificadas mortalidade nem alterações na atividade da superóxido dismutase, catalase ou glutationa-S-transferase após 48 h de exposição. Os microplásticos se aderiram aos apêndices corporais de D. similis, causando alterado comportamento natatório.

Conclusões: A ausência de toxicidade aguda e a ocorrência de toxicidade crônica alertam para cautela ao concluir sobre a não toxicidade dos microplásticos em testes de curto prazo. Os microplásticos apresentaram efeitos inesperados com implicações ecológicas importantes. Nossos resultados contribuem para preencher as lacunas de conhecimento sobre os efeitos da poluição microplástica nos ecossistemas aquáticos, especialmente sob exposição a longo prazo.


plástico, toxicidade, polietileno tereftalato, zooplâncton


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