Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Book sections

Role of Biofilms in Contaminant Bioaccumulation and Trophic Transfer in Aquatic Ecosystems: Current State of Knowledge and Future Challenges

Abstract : In freshwater environments, microbial assemblages attached to submerged substrates play an essential role in ecosystem processes such as primary production, supported by periphyton, or organic matter decomposition, supported by microbial communities attached to leaf litter or sediments. These microbial assemblages, also called biofilms, are not only involved in nutrients fluxes but also in contaminants dynamics. Biofilms can accumulate metals and organic contaminants transported by the water flow and/or adsorbed onto substrates. Furthermore, due to their high metabolic activity and their role in aquatic food webs, microbial biofilms are also likely to influence contaminant fate in aquatic ecosystems. In this review, we provide (1) a critical overview of the analytical methods currently in use for detecting and quantifying metals and organic micropollutants in microbial biofilms attached to benthic substrata (rocks, sediments, leaf litter); (2) a review of the distribution of those contaminants within aquatic biofilms and the role of these benthic microbial communities in contaminant fate; (3) a set of future challenges concerning the role of biofilms in contaminant accumulation and trophic transfers in the aquatic food web. This literature review highlighted that most knowledge on the interaction between biofilm and contaminants is focused on contaminants dynamics in periphyton while technical limitations are still preventing a thorough estimation of contaminants accumulation in biofilms attached to leaf litter or sediments. In addition, microbial biofilms represent an important food resource in freshwater ecosystems, yet their role in dietary contaminant exposure has been neglected for a long time, and the importance of biofilms in trophic transfer of contaminants is still understudied.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Soizic Morin <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 11:20:57 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 5:44:01 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, May 10, 2021 - 6:30:20 PM


 Restricted access
To satisfy the distribution rights of the publisher, the document is embargoed until : 2023-04-01

Please log in to resquest access to the document



Chloé Bonnineau, Joan Artigas, Betty Chaumet, Aymeric Dabrin, Juliette Fabure, et al.. Role of Biofilms in Contaminant Bioaccumulation and Trophic Transfer in Aquatic Ecosystems: Current State of Knowledge and Future Challenges. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (Continuation of Residue Reviews), Springer, pp.115 - 153, 2020, ⟨10.1007/398_2019_39⟩. ⟨hal-02734075⟩



Record views