Incorporation and effects of microplastics on seahorses (Hippocampus reidi)

Marta Dominguez

Microplastic pollution has received increased attention over the last few years. The ingestion of microplastics (MP) by marine zooplanktonic organisms is well documented and has been suggested to be a significant input of plastic into the marine food webs. Seahorses are vulnerable species that may be affected by the ingestion of MP through their prey or even by the presence of MP in seawater. However, there is a lack of information on the effects of MP on seahorse species. This study investigated the incorporation of MP in the seahorse (Hippocampus reidi) using copepods as transfer vectors. Copepods exposed to the pollutants have shown to evacuate them in a short period of time. On the other hand, seahorses have demonstrated to retain and accumulate MP. However, further studies should be performed to determine how MP harm seahorses, since they are good bioindicators of pollution.


Keywords: microplastics, seahorse, copepods, incorporation.