Accumulation and effects of sediment-associated silver nanoparticles to sediment-dwelling invertebrates

Tina Ramskov, Valery E. Forbes, Douglas Gilliland, Henriette Selck

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34 Scopus citations


Sediment is increasingly recognized as the major sink for contaminants including nanoparticles (NPs). Thus, sediment-living organisms are especially susceptible to NP exposure. Studies of the fate and effects of NPs in the sediment matrix are still in their infancy, and data from such studies are in high demand. Here, we examine the effects of exposure to sediment mixed with either aqueous Ag (administered as AgNO3) or Ag NPs (13nm, citrate-capped) at a nominal exposure concentration of 100μg Ag/g dry weight sediment on four benthic invertebrates: two clones of the gastropod Potamopyrgus antipodarum (clones A and B) and two polychaete species (Capitella teleta, Capitella sp. S). Our results show that both species sensitivity and Ag form (aqueous Ag, Ag NPs) play a role in bioaccumulation and effects. Following two weeks of exposure, both clones of P. antipodarum were found to be insensitive towards both Ag forms (generally low Ag accumulation, no toxicity). In contrast, the two Capitella species varied widely with respect to Ag uptake and observed toxicity. Capitella sp. S was adversely affected by both aqueous Ag (mortality) and Ag NPs (growth), whereas C. teleta was not affected by either Ag form. For neither polychaete species was the observed toxicity directly related to bioaccumulation. Therefore, future nano-ecotoxicological research should focus on understanding differences in uptake and handling mechanisms among species and the relationship between bioaccumulation and toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-105
Number of pages10
JournalAquatic Toxicology
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The PhD research leading to these results received funding from Roskilde University (Denmark), The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, and the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n°214478 (NanoReTox).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Biokinetics
  • Deposit-feeders
  • Ecotoxicity
  • Invertebrates
  • Sediment exposure
  • Silver nanoparticles


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