eCite Digital Repository

A critical review of harm associated with plastic ingestion on vertebrates


Puskic, PS and Lavers, JL and Bond, AL, A critical review of harm associated with plastic ingestion on vertebrates, Science of The Total Environment, 743 pp. 1-10. ISSN 0048-9697 (2020) [Review Several Works]

PDF (preprint)
Not available

Not available

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140666


Studies documenting plastic ingestion in animals have increased in recent years. Many do not describe the less conspicuous, sub-lethal impacts of plastic ingestion, such as reduced body condition or physiological changes. This means the severity of this global problem may have been underestimated. We conducted a critical review on the sub-lethal impacts of plastic ingestion on marine vertebrates (excluding fish). We found 34 papers which tried to measure plastics' impact using a variety of tools, and less than half of these detected any impact. The most common tools used were visual observations and body condition indices. Tools that explore animal physiology, such as histopathology, are a promising future approach to uncover the sub-lethal impacts of plastic ingestion in vertebrates. We encourage exploring impacts on species beyond the marine environment, using multiple tools or approaches, and continued research to discern the hidden impacts of plastic on global wildlife.

Item Details

Item Type:Review Several Works
Keywords:marine debris, plastic pollution, vertebrates, sub-lethal effects
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Puskic, PS (Mr Peter Puskic)
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
UTAS Author:Bond, AL (Dr Alexander Bond)
ID Code:139890
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2020-07-13
Last Modified:2020-07-27
Downloads:5 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page