Ingestion of microplastic by ontogenetic phases of Stellifer brasiliensis (Perciformes, Sciaenidae) from the surf zone of tropical beaches

Date of publication 17 August 2020

Authors Araujo de Amorim, Ana Luisa; Ramos, Jonas A. A.; Nogueira Junior, Miodeli.

Sources Marine pollution bulletin : 158



Microplastics (< 5 mm) are present in marine ecosystems worldwide where they can be ingested by a wide range of organisms from different trophic levels. In this study we analyzed the gastrointestinal tract of 443 specimens of Stellifer brasiliensis (124 juveniles, 254 subadults, and 65 adults) sampled in tropical beaches adjacent to the Paraiba River estuary. We found 1-3 microplastics in 42 fishes (9.48%), averaging 1.31 +/- 0.52 microplastics per fish. The number of ingested microplastics by the different ontogenetic stages was statistically similar, but the adults had a higher ingestion frequency (13.8%). Among subadults, the condition factor of fishes that ingested microplastics was significantly smaller (p < 0.05) than those that had not ingested them. The ingestion of microplastics by the different ontogenetic stages of S. brasiliensis reflects the availability of this pollutant in the studied environment and highlights the vulnerability of fishes and other organisms through food webs.

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