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A comparison with natural particles reveals a small specific effect of PVC microplastics on mussel performance


Yap, VHS and Chase, Z and Wright, JT and Hurd, CL and Lavers, JL and Lenz, M, A comparison with natural particles reveals a small specific effect of PVC microplastics on mussel performance, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 160 Article 111703. ISSN 0025-326X (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2020 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111703


Effects of microplastics on marine taxa have become a focal point in marine experimental biology. Almost all studies so far, however, assessed the influence of microplastics on animals only in relation to a zero-particle group. Documented microplastic impacts may thus be overestimated, since many marine species also experience natural suspended solids as a stressor. Here, we compared the effects of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and red clay (mean for both particles: ~12–14 μm) on the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis across three particle concentrations (1.5, 15, 150 mg l−1). Exposure to PVC for 35 days lowered mussel body condition index by 14% in relation to clay, but no difference in byssus production, respiration and survival rates emerged between the two particle types. This suggests that the effects of synthetic particles on filter feeders may emulate those of natural suspended solids, and highlights the importance of including natural particles in microplastic exposure studies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:benthic filter feeders, body condition index, microplastic, mussels, pollution, Mytilus galloprovincialis, polyvinyl chloride, suspended solids
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Animal physiological ecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Yap, VHS (Mr Vincent Yap)
UTAS Author:Chase, Z (Professor Zanna Chase)
UTAS Author:Wright, JT (Associate Professor Jeffrey Wright)
UTAS Author:Hurd, CL (Professor Catriona Hurd)
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
ID Code:141158
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2020-09-29
Last Modified:2021-02-15

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