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Bleaching and necrosis of staghorn coral (Acropora formosa) in laboratory assays: Immediate impact of LDPE microplastics

Syakti, Agung Dhamar, Jaya, Jales Veva, Rahman, Aulia, Hidayati, Nuning Vita, Raza'i, Tengku Said, Idris, Fadliyah, Trenggono, Mukti, Doumenq, Pierre, Chou, Loke Ming
Chemosphere 2019 v.228 pp. 528-535
Acropora cervicornis, bleaching, coral polyps, microplastics, necrosis, photosynthesis, polyethylene
The impact of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) microplastics (<100 μm; P100-A P100-B, P100-C, 100–200 μm; P200, 200–500 μm; P500) on Acropora formosa was investigated. This study investigated the bleaching and necrosis extent of A. formosa caused by LDPE contamination via laboratory assay. The staghorn coral ingested the microplastics, resulting in bleaching and necrosis that concomitantly occurred with the release of zooxanthellae. P100-A experimentation was the worst case, showing bleaching by day 2 (10.8 ± 2.2%) and continued bleaching to 93.6% ± 2.0 by day 14 followed by 5.9 ± 2.5% necrosis. The overall results confirmed that the LDPE concentration impacts coral health. We highlighted that microplastics have been ingested and partially egested. Their presence showed either a direct or indirect impact on coral polyps via direct interaction or through photosynthesis perturbation due to microplastics that cover the coral surface.