Hierl, Florian, Wu, Henry and Westphal, Hildegard (2021) Scleractinian corals incorporate microplastic particles: Identification from a laboratory study. Environmental Science and Pollution Research . DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-13240-x.

[img] Text
Hierl 2021.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0.

Download (16MB)

Abstract

Microplastics have been detected on beaches and in the ocean from surface habitats to the deep-sea. Microplastics can be mistaken for food items by marine organisms, posing a potential risk for bioaccumulation and biomagnification in the food chain. Our understanding of microplastic pollution effects on ecosystem and physiological processes of coral reefs is still limited. This study contributes to the understanding of effects of microplastic pollution on skeletal precipitation of hermatypic corals. In a five month aquarium-based experiment, specimens of four tropical species were temporarily exposed to high concentrations (ca. 0.5 g L-1) of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) microplastic particles (< 500 μm). The coral specimens all survived this treatment and show skeletal growth. The skeletal material produced during the experiment, however, incorporated plastic particles and plastic fibres in the aragonitic structure. Long-term consequences of such inclusions on skeletal properties such as stability are yet unknown.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area (enter as: PA1/PA2/PA3/PA4/PA5): PA3
Research affiliation: Biogeochemistry and Geology > Geoecology & Carbonate Sedimentology
Biogeochemistry and Geology > Coral Climatology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-13240-x
ISSN: 0944-1344
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2021 16:34
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2021 16:34
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/4441

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item