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Do nanoplastics impact the ability of the polychaeta Hediste diversicolor to regenerate?

Silva, M.S.S., Oliveira, Miguel, Lopéz, Daniel, Martins, Manuel, Figueira, Etelvina, Pires, Adília
Ecological indicators 2020 v.110 pp. 105921
Polychaeta, benthic organisms, environmental indicators, exposure duration, invertebrates, keystone species, littoral zone, nanoplastics, oceans, polystyrenes, vertebrates
For decades the oceans have been a sink for plastic debris. Over the years several studies have been focused on the effects of macro- and microplastics on vertebrates, but few have had benthic invertebrates as their research subject or studied small-sized plastic particles of sizes below 100 nm. The aim of this study was to understand the effect of waterborne 100 nm polystyrene nanoplastics (PS NPs, 0.0005–5 mg/L) on the regenerative capacity of the marine polychaeta Hediste diversicolor, a keystone species in intertidal and coastal environments with high ecological and economic importance. Results showed that PS NPs tend to aggregate/agglomerate along the exposure time and induce significant decreases on the regenerative capacity of these organisms at higher concentrations (0.005–5 mg/L). This study highlighted the potential consequences of the presence of NPs to organisms, supporting the need for further studies.