IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research


Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Print this page

Ingestion of microplastic has limited impact on a marine larva
Kaposi, K.L.; Mos, B.; Kelaher, B.P.; Dworjanyn, S.A. (2014). Ingestion of microplastic has limited impact on a marine larva. Environ. Sci. Technol. 48(3): 1638-1645.
In: Environmental Science and Technology. American Chemical Society: Easton. ISSN 0013-936X; e-ISSN 1520-5851, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Tripneustes gratilla (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]

Authors  Top 
  • Kaposi, K.L.
  • Mos, B.
  • Kelaher, B.P.
  • Dworjanyn, S.A.

    There is increasing concern about the impacts of microplastics (<1 mm) on marine biota. Microplastics may be mistaken for food items and ingested by a wide variety of organisms. While the effects of ingesting microplastic have been explored for some adult organisms, there is poor understanding of the effects of microplastic ingestion on marine larvae. Here, we investigated the ingestion of polyethylene microspheres by larvae of the sea urchin, Tripneustes gratilla. Ingestion rates scaled with the concentration of microspheres. Ingestion rates were, however, reduced by biological fouling of microplastic and in the presence of phytoplankton food. T. gratilla larvae were able to egest microspheres from their stomach within hours of ingestion. A microsphere concentration far exceeding those recorded in the marine environment had a small nondose dependent effect on larval growth, but there was no significant effect on survival. In contrast, environmentally realistic concentrations appeared to have little effect. Overall, these results suggest that current levels of microplastic pollution in the oceans only pose a limited threat to T. gratilla and other marine invertebrate larvae, but further research is required on a broad range of species, trophic levels, and polymer types

All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors