Corals Consuming Microplastics over Traditional Food

Corals off the coast of Rhode Island were found to favor consumption of microplastic particles over traditional food (brine shrimp), according to “Patterns, dynamics and consequences of microplastic ingestion by the temperate coral, Astrangia poculata”. This report was published June 26, 2019 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences by researchers with Boston University and the University of Massachusetts.

A June 25, 2019 National Geographic story summarized the report, noting that the “… plastic particles may also be a vehicle for microbes that sicken or even kill corals … researchers say the findings suggest that more familiar tropical, reef-building corals may also be consuming—and being harmed by—microplastics …”