Mueller, Carolin ORCID:, Erzini, Karim, Dudeck, Tim ORCID:, Cruz, Joana, Corona, Luana Santos, Abrunhosa, Felipe Eloy, Afonso, Carlos Manuel Lourenço, Mateus, Miguel Ângelo Franco, Orro, Cristina, Monteiro, Pedro and Ekau, Werner ORCID: (2023) Variability of prey preferences and uptake of anthropogenic particles by juvenile white seabream in a coastal lagoon nursery ground. Environmental Biology of Fishes . DOI

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Marine plastic litter, originating from land-based sources, enters the marine environment by passing through coastal ecosystems such as lagoons and estuaries. As early life history stages (ELHS) of many commercially important fish species rely on these transitional areas as nursery grounds, we hypothesized that they encounter a spatial gradient of habitat quality and pollution from inner to outer parts of their vital environment. With sizes < 5 mm, anthropogenic particles (AP), among them microplastic (MP) fibers and fragments, entail a high bioavailability for ELHS of fish, potentially facilitating AP uptake at early developmental stages which may have implications for their survival and growth. This study provides a contextualization baseline between feeding preferences and uptake of AP by the white seabream Diplodus sargus (Linnaeus, 1758) in an estuarine nursery ground on the southern coast of Portugal. Juvenile fish showed a generalized, omnivorous feeding mode with differences in trophic resource utilization between individuals collected at distinct seagrass meadows in the lagoon. A total of 23.13% of the fish (n = 147) were detected with AP in the gastrointestinal tract, and the mean number of AP per AP-feeding individual was 1.64 ± 1.04, with anthropogenic fibers (n = 47) occurring more frequently than fragments (n = 9). Knowledge of the underlying factors for MP ingestion will be greatly enhanced by considering environmental conditions along with species-stage and life-stage specific feeding modes and prey preferences which shape the uptake probability of anthropogenic fibers and fragments.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: PA3
Research affiliation: Ecology > Fisheries Biology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 0378-1909
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2023 12:50
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2023 12:50

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