Behavioural effects on marine amphipods exposed to silver ions and silver nanoparticles

Monizze Vanucci-Silva, Shanelle Kohler, Gisela Umbuzeiro, Alex Ford

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Behavioural responses to contaminants are an important endpoint in ecotoxicology because they link effects at biochemical or cellular levels to impacts on individual fitness. Due to the increasing use of silver in nanomaterials, studies of its effects on the behaviour of aquatic organisms are important to assess the risks of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) released into the environment. The aim of this work was to evaluate the behavioural effects of silver on the marine amphipod Echinogammarus marinus after exposure to AgNO3 via water and AgCl or AgNP via food. Swimming activity of the amphipods was tracked during 6 min alternating dark and light conditions. Animals swam slower and responded less to light at higher concentrations of silver in the water. No differences were found in the behaviour of animals exposed via feeding up to 28 days, hence, longer exposure times may be required for the observation of effects. This is the first work to appraise behaviour effects of silver ions and AgNP on marine amphipods. Although the protocol has been successfully developed for this purpose, specimens appeared to habituate to test conditions during the experiments. Therefore, the need for further understanding of baseline behaviours in these model organisms is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1058
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue numberPart B
Early online date4 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Nanoparticles
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Silver
  • pollution
  • Crustacea


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