Exploring plastic-induced satiety in foraging green turtles

Date of publication 24 August 2020

Authors Santos, Robson G.; Andrades, Ryan; Demetrio, Guilherme Ramos; Kuwai, Gabriela Miki; Sobral, Manana Felix; Vieira, Julia de Souza; Machovsky-Capuska, Gabriel E.

Sources Environmental Pollution : 265 (DocId: PT A)

DOILink https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114918


In the last decade many studies have described the ingestion of plastic in marine animals. While most studies were dedicated to understanding the pre-ingestion processes involving decision-making foraging choices based on visual and olfactory cues of animals, our knowledge in the post-ingestion consequences remains limited. Here we proposed a theoretical complementary view of post-ingestion consequences, attempting to connect plastic ingestion with plastic-induced satiety. We analyzed data of plastic ingestion and dietary information of 223 immature green turtles (Chelonia mydas) from tropical Brazilian reefs in order to understand the impacts of plastic ingestion on foraging behavior. Generalized linear mixing models and permutational analysis of variance suggested that plastic accumulations in esophagus, stomach and intestine differed in their impact on green turtle’s food intake. At the initial stages of plastic ingestion, where the plastic still in the stomach, an increase in food intake was observed. The accumulation of plastic in the gastrointestinal tract can reduce food intake likely leading to plastic-induced satiety. Our results also suggest that higher amounts of plastics in the gastrointestinal tract may led to underweight and emaciated turtles. We hope that adopting and refining our proposed framework will help to clarify the post-ingestion consequences of plastic ingestion in wildlife. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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