Marine litter (ML) contaminates essentially all global coastal and marine environments and drives multiple ecosystem-level effects. Although deleterious effects of ML on several organisms have been investigated in the last years, this information tends to be dispersed or underreported, even in marine biodiversity hotspots such as reef ecosystems. Two are the main goals of this paper: (i) to integrate and synthesize current knowledge on the interactions of ML and reef organisms, and (ii) to evaluate the multiple disruptions on the ecological processes in reef systems. We report here ML-driven ecological disruptions on 418 species across eight reef taxa, including interactions that were previously not addressed in detail, and evaluate their major conservation implications. These results can help raise awareness of global impacts on the world’s reefs by highlighting ML associations in different reef systems around the world, and can aid in ML input reduction and marine management.
Gustavo F. de Carvalho-Souza, Marcos Llope, Moacir S. Tinôco, Diego V. Medeiros, Rodrigo Maia-Nogueira, Cláudio L.S. Sampaio, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 133, August 2018, Pages 464–471