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July 2018

Microplastic in corals

Close-up of a coral interacting with microplastic (black); Photo: Jessica Reichert.

In a model study, corals interacted with plastic particles, some even misstook it for food. After four weeks, 5 out of 6 investigated species showed bleaching and necrosis of coral tissue. Further studies should test whether negative effects of microplastic will occur at ambient plastic concentrations.

Jessica Reichert, Johannes Schellenberg, Patrick Schubert und Thomas Wilke: Responses of reef building corals to microplastic exposure. Environmental Pollution, Volume 237, Juni 2018
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.11.006

For more information:
Prof. Dr. Thomas Wilke, Systematics and Biodiversity