The influence of microplastics on trophic interaction strengths and oviposition preferences of dipterans

Ross N. Cuthbert, Rana Al-Jaibachi, Tatenda Dalu, Jaimie T. A. Dick, Amanda Callaghan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microplastic (MP) pollution continues to proliferate in freshwater, marine and terrestrial environments, but with their biotic implications remaining poorly understood. Biotic interactions such as predation can profoundly influence ecosystem structuring, stability and functioning. However, we currently lack quantitative understandings of how trophic interaction strengths and associated behaviours are influenced by MP pollution, and how transference of MPs between trophic levels relates to consumptive traits. We also lack understanding of key life-history effects of MPs, for example, reproductive strategies such as oviposition. The present study examines the predatory ability of non-biting midge larvae, Chaoborus flavicans, towards larvae of Culex pipiens mosquitoes when the latter are exposed to MPs, using a functional response (FR) approach. Transfer of MPs occurred from larval mosquitoes to larval midges via predation. Microplastics transfer was significantly positively related to predation rates. Predation by C. flavicans followed a Type II FR, with average maximum feeding rates of 6.2 mosquito larvae per hour. These and other FR parameters (attack rates and handling times) were not significantly influenced by the presence of MPs. Further, C. pipiens adults did not avoid ovipositing in habitats with high concentrations of MPs. We thus demonstrate that MPs can move readily through freshwater food webs via biotic processes such as predation, and that uptake correlates strongly with consumption rates. Further, as MPs do not deter adult mosquitoes from ovipositing, our experiments reveal high potential for MP exposure and transference through ecosystems.
LanguageEnglish
Pages2420-2423
Number of pages4
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume651
Issue number2
Early online date12 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

trophic interaction
oviposition
Ecosystems
Pollution
mosquito
predation
functional response
larva
pollution
handling time
freshwater environment
ecosystem
terrestrial environment
reproductive strategy
Experiments
trophic level
food web
marine environment
life history
dipteran

Cite this

Cuthbert, Ross N. ; Al-Jaibachi, Rana ; Dalu, Tatenda ; Dick, Jaimie T. A. ; Callaghan, Amanda. / The influence of microplastics on trophic interaction strengths and oviposition preferences of dipterans. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2019 ; Vol. 651, No. 2. pp. 2420-2423.
@article{ddc310b8a28e4502a80f92a86789b6e8,
title = "The influence of microplastics on trophic interaction strengths and oviposition preferences of dipterans",
abstract = "Microplastic (MP) pollution continues to proliferate in freshwater, marine and terrestrial environments, but with their biotic implications remaining poorly understood. Biotic interactions such as predation can profoundly influence ecosystem structuring, stability and functioning. However, we currently lack quantitative understandings of how trophic interaction strengths and associated behaviours are influenced by MP pollution, and how transference of MPs between trophic levels relates to consumptive traits. We also lack understanding of key life-history effects of MPs, for example, reproductive strategies such as oviposition. The present study examines the predatory ability of non-biting midge larvae, Chaoborus flavicans, towards larvae of Culex pipiens mosquitoes when the latter are exposed to MPs, using a functional response (FR) approach. Transfer of MPs occurred from larval mosquitoes to larval midges via predation. Microplastics transfer was significantly positively related to predation rates. Predation by C. flavicans followed a Type II FR, with average maximum feeding rates of 6.2 mosquito larvae per hour. These and other FR parameters (attack rates and handling times) were not significantly influenced by the presence of MPs. Further, C. pipiens adults did not avoid ovipositing in habitats with high concentrations of MPs. We thus demonstrate that MPs can move readily through freshwater food webs via biotic processes such as predation, and that uptake correlates strongly with consumption rates. Further, as MPs do not deter adult mosquitoes from ovipositing, our experiments reveal high potential for MP exposure and transference through ecosystems.",
author = "Cuthbert, {Ross N.} and Rana Al-Jaibachi and Tatenda Dalu and Dick, {Jaimie T. A.} and Amanda Callaghan",
year = "2019",
month = "2",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.108",
language = "English",
volume = "651",
pages = "2420--2423",
journal = "The Science of the total environment",
issn = "0048-9697",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "2",

}

The influence of microplastics on trophic interaction strengths and oviposition preferences of dipterans. / Cuthbert, Ross N.; Al-Jaibachi, Rana; Dalu, Tatenda; Dick, Jaimie T. A. ; Callaghan, Amanda.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 651, No. 2, 15.02.2019, p. 2420-2423.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The influence of microplastics on trophic interaction strengths and oviposition preferences of dipterans

AU - Cuthbert, Ross N.

AU - Al-Jaibachi, Rana

AU - Dalu, Tatenda

AU - Dick, Jaimie T. A.

AU - Callaghan, Amanda

PY - 2019/2/15

Y1 - 2019/2/15

N2 - Microplastic (MP) pollution continues to proliferate in freshwater, marine and terrestrial environments, but with their biotic implications remaining poorly understood. Biotic interactions such as predation can profoundly influence ecosystem structuring, stability and functioning. However, we currently lack quantitative understandings of how trophic interaction strengths and associated behaviours are influenced by MP pollution, and how transference of MPs between trophic levels relates to consumptive traits. We also lack understanding of key life-history effects of MPs, for example, reproductive strategies such as oviposition. The present study examines the predatory ability of non-biting midge larvae, Chaoborus flavicans, towards larvae of Culex pipiens mosquitoes when the latter are exposed to MPs, using a functional response (FR) approach. Transfer of MPs occurred from larval mosquitoes to larval midges via predation. Microplastics transfer was significantly positively related to predation rates. Predation by C. flavicans followed a Type II FR, with average maximum feeding rates of 6.2 mosquito larvae per hour. These and other FR parameters (attack rates and handling times) were not significantly influenced by the presence of MPs. Further, C. pipiens adults did not avoid ovipositing in habitats with high concentrations of MPs. We thus demonstrate that MPs can move readily through freshwater food webs via biotic processes such as predation, and that uptake correlates strongly with consumption rates. Further, as MPs do not deter adult mosquitoes from ovipositing, our experiments reveal high potential for MP exposure and transference through ecosystems.

AB - Microplastic (MP) pollution continues to proliferate in freshwater, marine and terrestrial environments, but with their biotic implications remaining poorly understood. Biotic interactions such as predation can profoundly influence ecosystem structuring, stability and functioning. However, we currently lack quantitative understandings of how trophic interaction strengths and associated behaviours are influenced by MP pollution, and how transference of MPs between trophic levels relates to consumptive traits. We also lack understanding of key life-history effects of MPs, for example, reproductive strategies such as oviposition. The present study examines the predatory ability of non-biting midge larvae, Chaoborus flavicans, towards larvae of Culex pipiens mosquitoes when the latter are exposed to MPs, using a functional response (FR) approach. Transfer of MPs occurred from larval mosquitoes to larval midges via predation. Microplastics transfer was significantly positively related to predation rates. Predation by C. flavicans followed a Type II FR, with average maximum feeding rates of 6.2 mosquito larvae per hour. These and other FR parameters (attack rates and handling times) were not significantly influenced by the presence of MPs. Further, C. pipiens adults did not avoid ovipositing in habitats with high concentrations of MPs. We thus demonstrate that MPs can move readily through freshwater food webs via biotic processes such as predation, and that uptake correlates strongly with consumption rates. Further, as MPs do not deter adult mosquitoes from ovipositing, our experiments reveal high potential for MP exposure and transference through ecosystems.

U2 - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.108

DO - 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.108

M3 - Article

VL - 651

SP - 2420

EP - 2423

JO - The Science of the total environment

T2 - The Science of the total environment

JF - The Science of the total environment

SN - 0048-9697

IS - 2

ER -