Ingestion and effects of micro- and nanoplastics in blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) larvae

Sinja Rist*, Anders Baun, Rodrigo Almeda, Nanna B. Hartmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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It is well known that mussels are exposed to microplastics but ingestion and potential effects on mussel larvae are not well understood. We quantified ingestion and egestion of 100 nm and 2 μm polystyrene beads in blue mussel
larvae after 4 h exposure and 16 h depuration using different plastic-to-microalgae ratios. Effects on growth and development of mussel larvae were investigated at 0.42, 28.2 and 282 μgL−1 within 15 days of exposure. We
found that, on a mass basis, larvae ingested a higher amount of 2 μm than 100 nm beads, while egestion was independent of particle size and the plastics-to-algae ratio. Although particle egestion occurred readily, microplastics
remained inside the larvae. Larval growth was not affected but abnormally developed larvae increased after exposure to polystyrene beads. Malformations were more pronounced for 100 nm beads, at higher concentration and after longer exposure time
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Pages (from-to)423-430
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Microplastics
  • Quantifications
  • Egestion
  • Growth rate
  • Development
  • Malformation


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