Microplastics are recognised as a potential global threat to marine ecosystems, but the biological mechanisms determining their impact on marine life are still largely unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of microplastics on the red coral, a long-lived habitat-forming organism belonging to the Corallium genus, which is present at almost all latitudes from shallow-water to deep-sea habitats. When exposed to microplastics, corals preferentially ingest polypropylene, with multiple biological effects, from feeding impairment to mucus production and altered gene expression. Microplastics can alter the coral microbiome directly and indirectly by causing tissue abrasions that allow the proliferation of opportunistic bacteria. These multiple effects suggest that microplastics at the concentrations present in some marine areas and predicted for most oceans in the coming decades, can ultimately cause coral death. Other habitat-forming suspension-feeding species are likely subjected to similar impacts, which may act synergistically with climate-driven events primarily responsible for mass mortalities.
The paper provides new insights into marine environments and human activities and suggests plastic waste should be controlled through laws that regulate waste sources and plastic additives in order to solve the problem of plastic accumulation in the oceans.
The paper strengthens the evidence that microplastics are present in the studied biota, suggesting that they are transferred between trophic levels through the interconnected food chain/web. The presence of micro plastics in fish guts highlights the need for further research on processing interventions for reducing microplastic contamination.
PPE (face masks and gloves) were surveyed at six Indian beaches. There were 496 PPE counted with an average density of 1.08 × 10−3 PPE m−2. Previous studies found similar PPE density. Face masks accounted for 98.39% of all PPE recorded, while gloves accounted for only 1.61%. As a result of the increase in vaccination[…]
The research seeks to depict and reduce marine plastic pollution in India. A GIS map has been created to show plastic input from different river basins. In order to address the challenges of marine litter in India, a guiding model has been developed. According to the predictive model, India produces 536 thousand tons of municipal[…]
Plastic research, policies, waste management, socioeconomics, challenges, and opportunities are discussed. Marine plastic studies have focused on a few locations, providing information on distribution and interactions with organisms. In addition to scientific investigation, enforcement, improvisation, and, if necessary, framing new policies, integrated technologies to manage plastic waste are essential.