Multifactorial evaluation of atenolol, caffeine, carbamazepine and ibuprofen on raphidocelis subcapitata and chlorella vulgaris

Zaniel S.D. Procopio, Joanne B. Roberts, Colin Hunter*, Ole Pahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Micropollutants in aquatic resources have raised global concerns regarding the conservation of ecosystems. Although they are usually found in the environment at trace concentrations to a maximum of several µg/L it is still necessary to address the potential risks these pollutants may represent to organisms. A multi-factor analysis was conducted using two algae as bioindicators. Four different pharmaceuticals were chosen based on their occurrence in domestic wastewaters and persistency after biological treatment processes ranging from 1/8th to four-fold representa-tive environmental concentrations over 96hr exposure. The present multi-factor analysis evaluat-ed cell size, photosynthetic capacity, and growth rate. This data was later combined into a sim-plified single entity: “the index effect”. Results obtained showed even at concentrations below the environmentally relevant concentrations (ERC) the pharmaceuticals residues (PRs) tested caused a cellular behavioral variation in both organisms. Also, the algae cultures’ response to exposure to these stressors was generally dependent on the concentration over time. By examining 4 differ-ent PR over 3 different characteristics of 2 types of algal bioindicators, this work covers signifi-cant and specific responses on the algae exposure cycle. This is unique research since most studies do not consider multiple parameters in the assessment of environment risk for bioindicators.
Original languageEnglish
Article number926
Number of pages10
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2021


  • algae; Raphidocelis subcapitata; Chlorella vulgaris; pharmaceuticals; micropollutants; ecotoxicity; Multifactorial Approach


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