With increasing demand for recycled wastewater for irrigation purposes, there is a need to evaluate the potential for manufactured nanomaterials in waste water to impact crop production and agroecosystems. Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) have previously been shown to negatively impact the growth of duckweed (Landoltia punctata) a model aquatic plant consumed by water fowl and widely found in agricultural runoff ditches in temperate climates. However, prior studies involving CuO NP toxicity to duckweed have focused on systems without the presence of dissolved organic matter (DOM). In the current study, duckweed growth inhibition was shown to be a function of aqueous Cu2+ concentration. Growth inhibition was greatest from aqueous CuCl2 and, for particles, increased with decreasing CuO particle size. The dissolution of CuO NPs in ½ Hoagland's solution was measured to increase with decreasing particle size and in the presence of Suwannee river humic and fulvic acids (HA; FA). However, the current results suggest that HA, and to a lesser extent, FA, decrease the toxicity of both CuO NPs and free ionized Cu to duckweed, likely by inhibiting Cu availability through Cu-DOM complex formation. Such results are consistent with changes to Cu speciation as predicted by speciation modeling software and suggest that DOM changes Cu speciation and therefore toxicity in natural systems.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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