Microplastic ingestion by scleractinian corals

Hall, N.M., Berry, K.L.E., Rintoul, L., & Hoogenboom, M.O. (2015) Microplastic ingestion by scleractinian corals. Marine Biology, 162(3), pp. 725-732.

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Abstract

We report for the first time the ingestion of microplastics by scleractinian corals, and the presence of microplastics in coral reef waters adjacent to inshore reefs on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GRE, 18°31′S 146°23′E). Analysis of samples from sub-surface plankton tows conducted in close proximity to inshore reefs on the central GBR revealed microplastics, similar to those used in marine paints and fishing floats, were present in low concentrations at all water sampling locations. Experimental feeding trials revealed that corals mistake microplastics for prey and can consume up to ~50 μg plastic cm−2 h−1, rates similar to their consumption of plankton and Artemia nauplii in experimental feeding assays. Ingested microplastics were found wrapped in mesenterial tissue within the coral gut cavity, suggesting that ingestion of high concentrations of microplastic debris could potentially impair the health of corals.

Impact and interest:

20 citations in Scopus
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19 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 95220
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: microplastic, coral reef health
DOI: 10.1007/s00227-015-2619-7
ISSN: 1432-1793
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Springer
Deposited On: 27 Apr 2016 23:56
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2016 23:41

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