Nanoplastics alter fish behavior and appetite

Written by on May 30, 2016 in Other News

Studies about plastic pollution in the oceans are fairly common, ranging from the impact pollution has on marine life (like whales and sea turtles ) to efforts to cleanup the mess. A new study from Lund University is one of only a few that focuses on the impact nanosized plastic particles have on marine life.

Plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution. Photo credit: via photopin cc.

“Plastic particles of such a small size are difficult to study,” lead author, Karin Mattsson, explained in a news release.

Mattsson and the team studied the impact of nanoplastics on Daphnia, a type of zooplankton that forms the basis of the food chain for many marine animals. They found that fish that ate Daphnia containing nanoplastics experienced changes in their predatory behavior and reduced appetite.

“Although in our study we used much larger amounts of nanoplastic than those present in oceans today, we suspect that plastic particles may be accumulated inside the fish. This means that even low doses could ultimately have a negative effect,” Mattsson said.

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Copyright © 2016 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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