This study investigated the changes in the sinking rates and physiochemical characteristics of the planktonic marine diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonana, caused by 72 h exposure to antifouling agent tributyltin (TBT) at 1.0 µg L−1 (72-h 10% effective concentration for growth rate, EC10), and 1.7 µg L−1 (EC50). After 72 h of exposure, the sinking rates of T. pseudonana cells were changed from 0.13–0.08 m day−1 in the control, 0.08–0.05 m day−1 in the EC10 treatment, and 0.04–0.006 m day−1 in the EC50 treatment. The results revealed that the sinking rate of T. pseudonana decreased significantly compared with the control at 48 h in the EC10 treatment group and at 24, 48, and 72 h in the EC50 treatment group. The photosynthetic performance index on an absorption basis and the maximum quantum yields of photosystem II also decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in the TBT treatments compared with the control. There was a significant (P < 0.05) positive correlation between sinking rates and cellular protein contents (ng cell−1). Changes in the biochemical and physiochemical composition of the cells suggest that interference with photosynthetic processes by TBT may have reduced their specific gravity and thereby caused a decrease in the sinking rates of T. pseudonana. The results of this investigation suggest the importance of considering the effects of pollutants on the sinking behaviors of diatoms when evaluating the adverse effects of pollutants on marine primary production.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis