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Effects and Implications of Trophic Transfer and Accumulation of CeO2 Nanoparticles in a Marine Mussel

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Bivalves are hypothesized to be key organisms in the fate and transport of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in aquatic environments due to their ability to filter and concentrate particles from water, but how different exposure pathways influence their interactions with ENMs is not well understood. In a five-week experiment, we tested how interactions between CeO2 ENMs and a marine mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis, are affected through two exposure methods, direct and through sorption to phytoplankton. We found that phytoplankton sorbed ENMs in <1 h. The exposure methods used did not result in significantly different mussel tissue or pseudofeces Ce concentrations. Approximately 99% of CeO2 was captured and excreted in pseudofeces and average pseudofeces mass doubled in response to CeO2 exposure. Final mean dry tissue Ce concentration (±SE) for treatments exposed to 3 mg L(-1) CeO2 directly was 33 ± 9 μg g(-1) Ce, and 0 ± 0, 19 ± 4, 21 ± 3, and 28 ± 5 μg g(-1) for treatments exposed to 0, 1, 2, and 3 mg L(-1) CeO2 sorbed to phytoplankton. Clearance rates increased with CeO2 concentration but decreased over time in groups exposed to CeO2 directly, indicating stress. These results show the feedback between ENM toxicity and transport and the likelihood of biological mediation in the fate and transport of ENMs in aquatic environments.

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