Fishing in troubled waters: Limited stress response to natural and synthetic microparticles in brown shrimp (Crangon crangon)

spela.korez [ at ]


Marine invertebrates inhabiting estuaries and coastal areas are exposed to natural suspended particulate matter (SPM) like clay or diatom shells but also to anthropogenic particles like microplastics. SPM concentrations may reach 1 g per liter and more, comprising hundreds of millions of items in the size range of less than 100 μm. Suspension feeders and deposit feeders involuntarily ingest these particles along with their food. We investigated whether natural and anthropogenic microparticles at concentrations of 20 mg L−1, which correspond to natural environmental SPM concentrations in coastal marine waters, are ingested by the brown shrimp Crangon crangon and whether these particles induce an oxidative stress response in digestive gland tissue. Shrimp were exposed to clay, silica, TiO2, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or polylactide microplastics (PLA) for 6, 12, 24, and 48 h, respectively. The activities of the anti-oxidative enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione reductase (GR) were measured. All five particle types were ingested by the shrimp along with food. The presence of the particles in the shrimp stomach was verified by scanning electron microscopy. The activities of the anti-oxidative enzymes did not vary between animals exposed to different types of microparticles and control animals that did not receive particles. The temporal activity differed between the three enzymes. The lack of a specific biochemical response may reflect an adaptation of C. crangon to life in an environment where frequent ingestion of non-digestible microparticles is unavoidable and continuous maintenance of inducible biochemical defense would be energetically costly. Habitat characteristics as well as natural feeding habits may be important factors to consider in the interpretation of hazard and species-specific risk assessment.

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DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119023

Cite as
Korez, Š. , Gutow, L. and Saborowski, R. (2022): Fishing in troubled waters: Limited stress response to natural and synthetic microparticles in brown shrimp (Crangon crangon) , Environmental Pollution, 302 . doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119023

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DBU; AZ 20018/538

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