Ecological effects of gold nano-particles (AuNP) are examined due to growing use in consumer and industrial materials. This study investigated uptake and movement of AuNPs through an aquatic food chain. Simple (single-species) and diverse (multi-species) periphyton communities were exposed to AuNP (0, 100, 500 µg L−1 treatments). AuNP quickly aggregated and precipitated from the water column, suggesting it is an insignificant route of AuNP exposure even at elevated concentrations. Gold was measured in 100 and 500 µg L−1 periphyton treatments. Gold accumulation was similar between periphyton treatments, suggesting physical processes were important for AuNP basal accumulation. Hyalella azteca and Lymnea stagnalis whole body tissue analysis indicated gold accumulation may be attributed to different feeding mechanisms, general versus selective grazing, respectively. Results suggest trophic transfer of AuNP is organism specific and aggregation properties of AuNP are important when considering fate of nano-particles in the environment and movement through aquatic food webs.
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This study was supported with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STAR grant G2007-STAR-R2. We appreciate the support of Steve Klaine and his laboratory personnel at Clemson University. This paper is dedicated to the memory of Steve.
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Hudson, M.L., Costello, D.M., Daley, J.M. et al. Species-Specific (Hyalella azteca and Lymnea stagnalis) Dietary Accumulation of Gold Nano-particles Associated with Periphyton. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 103, 255–260 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-019-02620-2
- Gold nano-particles
- Hyalella azteca
- Lymnea stagnalis