Terrestrial Trophic Transfer of Bulk and Nanoparticle La2O3 Does Not Depend on Particle Size

The bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of bulk and nanoparticle (NP) La2O3 from soil through a terrestrial food chain was determined. To investigate the impact of growth conditions, lettuce (Lactuca sativa) was grown in 350 or 1200 g of bulk/NP amended soil. Leaf tissues were fed to crickets (Acheta domesticus) or darkling beetles (Tenebrionoidea); select crickets were fed to mantises. In the small pot (350 g), La2O3 exposure reduced plant biomass by 23–30% and La tissue content did not differ with particle size. In the large pot (1200 g), biomass was unaffected by exposure and La content in the tissues were significantly greater with bulk particle treatment. Darkling beetles exposed to bulk and NP La2O3-contaminated lettuce contained La at 0.18 and 0.08 mg/kg; respectively (significantly different, P < 0.05). Crickets fed bulk or NP La2O3-exposed lettuce contained 0.53 and 0.33 mg/kg, respectively (significantly different, P < 0.05) with 48 h of depuration. After 7 d of depuration, La content did not differ with particle size, indicating that 48 h may be insufficient to void the digestive system. Mantises that consumed crickets from bulk and NP-exposed treatments contained La at 0.05–0.060 mg/kg (statistically equivalent). These results demonstrate that although La does trophically transfer, biomagnification does not occur and NP levels are equivalent or less than the bulk metal.