Microplastics damage oyster fertility

Oysters that consume the small pieces of plastic that are littering the world’s oceans produce fewer and less-healthy offspring, a study suggests — fuelling concern that the material may be damaging marine life. (…)

Arnaud Huvet, a scientist at France’s national marine research agency (Ifremer) in Plouzané, and his colleagues placed Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in water laced with micrometre-sized spheres of polystyrene, at levels similar to those that have been recorded in the wild in some locations. After two months, oysters exposed to the plastic produced fewer and smaller egg cells, less-mobile sperm and fewer offspring than did animals raised in water without the plastic. The offspring themselves grew more slowly, the researchers report. (…)

Daniel Cressey, Nature, 02 February 2016

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