No effects of plasticized microplastics on the body condition and reproduction of a marine fish

McCormick, M.I., Fakan, E.P., Vamvounis, G., Bosshard, S., Moad, C., Smyth, E., Gatenby, P., Edmiston, J., Patel, K., and Allan, B.J.M. (2023) No effects of plasticized microplastics on the body condition and reproduction of a marine fish. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 80 (5). pp. 1267-1276.

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This study experimentally explored the influence of periodic consumption of polystyrene (PS) microplastic fragments on the body condition and fitness of a tropical marine fish. Adult damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus, were pulse fed microplastic fragments bound with one of two different common plasticizers [di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), di-2-ethylhexyl terephthalate (DEHT)] together with virgin-plastic and no-plastic controls. Ingestion of plastic over a 150d period had no detectable effect on growth, indices of body condition, or gonadosomatic indices. Histology of the liver showed no detrimental effects of ingesting any of the plastic treatments on hepatocyte density or vacuolation. Plastic consumption had no effect on the number of clutches produced over the breeding period, the number of eggs, or the survival of embryos. It is believed that the relatively inert nature of PS, the low amount of plasticizers leached from the fragments and fast gut through-put times meant fish were exposed to low levels of toxic compounds.

Item ID: 82130
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9289
Keywords: body condition, coral reef fish, microplastic, phthalate plasticizer, plasticizers, polystyrene, reproduction
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC EI140100117
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2024 23:47
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 80%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410599 Pollution and contamination not elsewhere classified @ 20%
SEO Codes: 24 MANUFACTURING > 2409 Industrial chemicals and related products > 240910 Plastics @ 20%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 80%
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