Recent studies have suggested that exposure of the freshwater invertebrate Daphnia magna to dietary Zn may selectively affect reproduction without an associated increase of whole body bioaccumulation of Zn. The aim of the current research was therefore to investigate the hypothesis that dietary Zn toxicity is the result of selective accumulation in tissues that are directly involved in reproduction. Since under field conditions simultaneous exposure to both waterborne and dietary Zn is likely to occur, it was also tested if accumulation and toxicity under combined waterborne and dietary Zn exposure is the result of interactive effects. To this purpose, D. magna was exposed during a 16-day reproduction assay to Zn following a 5 × 2 factorial design, comprising five waterborne concentrations (12, 65, 137, 207, and 281 μg Zn/L) and two dietary Zn levels (49.6 and 495.9 μg Zn/g dry wt.). Tissue-specific Zn distribution was quantified by synchrotron radiation based confocal X-ray fluorescence (XRF). It was observed that the occurrence of reproductive inhibition due to increasing waterborne Zn exposure (from 65 μg/L to 281 μg/L) was accompanied by a relative increase of the Zn burdens which was similar in all tissues considered (i.e., the carapax, eggs, thoracic appendages with gills and the cluster comprising gut epithelium, storage cells and ovaries). In contrast, the impairment of reproduction during dietary Zn exposure was accompanied by a clearly discernible Zn accumulation in the eggs only (at 65 μg/L of waterborne Zn). During simultaneous exposure, bioaccumulation and toxicity were the result of interaction, which implies that the tissue-specific bioaccumulation and toxicity following dietary Zn exposure are dependent on the Zn concentration in the water. Our findings emphasize that (i) effects of dietary Zn exposure should preferably not be investigated in isolation from waterborne Zn exposure, and that (ii) XRF enabled us to provide possible links between tissue-specific bioaccumulation and reproductive effects of Zn.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry