Microplastic particles (MPs) contamination of aquatic environments has raised a growing concern in recent decades because of their numerous potential toxicological effects. Although fish are among the most studied aquatic organisms, reports on MPs ingestion in freshwater environments are still scarce. Thus, there is still much to study to understand the uptake mechanisms, their potential accumulation among the food webs and their ecotoxicological effects. Here, MPs presence in the digestive system of one of the most widespread and commercially exploited freshwater fish, the perch (Perca fluviatilis, Linnaeus 1758), was investigated in four different south-alpine lakes, to assess the extent of ingestion and evaluate its relation to the body health condition. A total of 80 perch specimen have been sampled from the Italian lakes Como, Garda, Maggiore and Orta. Microplastic particles occurred in 86% of the analysed specimens, with average values ranging from 1.24 ± 1.04 MPs fish−1 in L. Como to 5.59 ± 2.61 MPs fish−1 in L. Garda. The isolated particles were mainly fragments, except in L. Como where films were more abundant. The most common polymers were polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyamide, and polycarbonate, although a high degree of degradation was found in 43% of synthetic particles, not allowing their recognition up to a single polymer. Despite the high number of ingested MPs, fish health (evaluated by means of Fulton's body condition and hepatosomatic index) was not affected. Instead, fullness index showed an inverse linear relationship with the number of ingested particles, which suggests that also in perch MPs presence could interfere with feeding activity, as already described for other taxa.

Microplastic pollution in perch (Perca fluviatilis, Linnaeus 1758) from Italian south-alpine lakes

Sighicelli M.;Pietrelli L.;
2021

Abstract

Microplastic particles (MPs) contamination of aquatic environments has raised a growing concern in recent decades because of their numerous potential toxicological effects. Although fish are among the most studied aquatic organisms, reports on MPs ingestion in freshwater environments are still scarce. Thus, there is still much to study to understand the uptake mechanisms, their potential accumulation among the food webs and their ecotoxicological effects. Here, MPs presence in the digestive system of one of the most widespread and commercially exploited freshwater fish, the perch (Perca fluviatilis, Linnaeus 1758), was investigated in four different south-alpine lakes, to assess the extent of ingestion and evaluate its relation to the body health condition. A total of 80 perch specimen have been sampled from the Italian lakes Como, Garda, Maggiore and Orta. Microplastic particles occurred in 86% of the analysed specimens, with average values ranging from 1.24 ± 1.04 MPs fish−1 in L. Como to 5.59 ± 2.61 MPs fish−1 in L. Garda. The isolated particles were mainly fragments, except in L. Como where films were more abundant. The most common polymers were polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyamide, and polycarbonate, although a high degree of degradation was found in 43% of synthetic particles, not allowing their recognition up to a single polymer. Despite the high number of ingested MPs, fish health (evaluated by means of Fulton's body condition and hepatosomatic index) was not affected. Instead, fullness index showed an inverse linear relationship with the number of ingested particles, which suggests that also in perch MPs presence could interfere with feeding activity, as already described for other taxa.
Emerging contaminants
Exposure
Freshwater fish
Microplastic ingestion
Plastic litter
Plastic polymers
Uptake
Animals
Environmental Monitoring
Italy
Lakes
Microplastics
Plastics
Perches
Water Pollutants, Chemical
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/61225
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