Capture, swallowing, and egestion of microplastics by a planktivorous juvenile fish.

Ory, Nicolas, Gallardo, Camila, Lenz, Mark and Thiel, Martin (2018) Capture, swallowing, and egestion of microplastics by a planktivorous juvenile fish. Environmental Pollution, 240 . pp. 566-573. DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.04.093.

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Abstract

Microplastics (<5 mm) have been found in many fish species, from most marine environments. However, the mechanisms underlying microplastic ingestion by fish are still unclear, although they are important to determine the pathway of microplastics along marine food webs. Here we conducted experiments in the laboratory to examine microplastic ingestion (capture and swallowing) and egestion by juveniles of the planktivorous palm ruff, Seriolella violacea (Centrolophidae). As expected, fish captured preferentially black microplastics, similar to food pellets, whereas microplastics of other colours (blue, translucent, and yellow) were mostly co-captured when floating close to food pellets. Microplastics captured without food were almost always spit out, and were only swallowed when they were mixed with food in the fish's mouth. Food probably produced a ‘gustatory trap’ that impeded the fish to discriminate and reject the microplastics. Most fish (93% of total) egested all the microplastics after 7 days, on average, and 49 days at most, substantially longer than food pellets (<2 days). No acute detrimental effects of microplastics on fish were observable, but potential sublethal effects of microplastics on the fish physiological and behavioural responses still need to be tested. This study highlights that visually-oriented planktivorous fish, many species of which are of commercial value and ecological importance within marine food webs, are susceptible to ingest microplastics resembling or floating close to their planktonic prey. Microplastic similarity to food, and food presence together with microplastics, influence the ingestion of microplastics by visually-oriented planktivorous fish.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Microplastic ingestion; Planktivorous fish; Juvenile Seriolella violacea; Laboratory experiments; Microplastic egestion;
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R01
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.04.093
ISSN: 0269-7491
Projects: FONDECYT, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 28 May 2018 08:52
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:09
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/43137

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