Pollution by microplastics has become a global threat affecting coastal habitats such as sandy beaches and their resident macrofauna. The goal of this study was to assess the influence of microplastics on the feeding behavior and growth rate of a widespread sandy beach amphipod, Orchestoidea tuberculata. These organisms were exposed to artificial food prepared with Poly(styrene-co-divinylbenzene) microspheres (8 μm particle size) at 3 different concentrations (0%, 5% and 10%). The amphipods consumed significantly more food when the concentration of microplastics was 0% and significantly less when the concentration was 10%, both in trials in which they had a choice (preference experiments) and those in which they did not have a food choice. In contrast to this, the amphipod's absorption efficiency and estimated growth rates were not significantly affected by the concentration of microplastics. Combined, these results indicate that high microplastics concentrations (e.g. 10%) cause a reduction in the amphipod's consumption rates and, indirectly, may affect the role of this species as a main consumer of stranded seaweeds in sandy beaches ecosystems.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Ciencias acuáticas