Corals are half plant and half animal. Turbidity in seawater blocks sunlight, which stifles photosynthetic growth. This story is about new research which identifies that animal component of coral ingests micro plastics which accumulate in the gut which, again, kills growth.
Senior Lecturer in Marine Sciences at James Cook University, Dr Mia Hoogenboom, has been studying the effect of the microplastics on coral. ‘We found that Coral ingests plastics at approximately the same rate as they eat their normal food sources.’ After dissecting coral tissue, Dr Hoogenboom and her team found plastics deep within the gut cavity, indicating that they are not able to process them back out. As a result, she says microplastics are contributing to the overall slow death of coral in the Great Barrier Reef
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