Short-term effects of medetomidine on photosynthesis and protein synthesis in periphyton, epipsammon and plankton communities in relation to predicted environmental concentrations
Journal article, 2012
Medetomidine is a new antifouling substance, highly effective against barnacles. As part of a thorough ecotoxicological evaluation of medetomidine, its short-term effects on algal and bacterial communities were investigated and environmental concentrations were predicted with the MAMPEC model. Photosynthesis and bacterial protein synthesis for three marine communities, viz. periphyton, epipsammon and plankton were used as effect indicators, and compared with the predicted environmental concentrations (PECs). The plankton community showed a significant decrease in photosynthetic activity of 16% at 2 mg l(-1) of medetomidine, which was the only significant effect observed. PECs were estimated for a harbor, shipping lane and marina environment using three different model scenarios (MAMPEC default, Baltic and OECD scenarios). The highest PEC of 57 ng l(-1), generated for a marina with the Baltic scenario, was at least 10,000-fold lower than the concentration that significantly decreased photosynthetic activity. It is concluded that medetomidine does not cause any acute toxic effects on bacterial protein synthesis and only small acute effects on photosynthesis at high concentrations in marine microbial communities. It is also concluded that the hazard from medetomidine on these processes is low since the effect levels are much lower than the highest PEC.
bacterial protein synthesis