Impact of Microplastic Fiber Pollution on Planorbella campanulata (Ramshorn Snail) Fecundity and Mortality
Dr. Laurie Eberhardt
Arts and Sciences
Plastic pollution in bodies of water is an emerging environmental issue. As research towards plastic microfiber pollution (synthetic fibers <5mm shed notably from clothing and>carpeting) continues to be explored, multiple effects on marine life have been discovered. This study is a continuation and expansion of a summer research project on the potential effects of plastic microfibers on the freshwater organism Planorbella campanulata (Ramshorn Snail). The snails were exposed to polyester microfibers for six weeks, the same amount of time as the previous study. The mortality of parent snails, along with the amount of eggs, egg sacs, and offspring was recorded. An effect of exposure to microplastics was found, with a higher rate of mortality in parent snails (T=2.120, n=11, p=0.012). A trend in more eggs being laid was also observed in snails exposed to microplastics. Our results suggest that microplastic pollution can have negative effects on freshwater organisms.
Miller, Kalleb L. and Philips, Cole J., "Impact of Microplastic Fiber Pollution on Planorbella campanulata (Ramshorn Snail) Fecundity and Mortality" (2019). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 788.