Bleaching and necrosis of staghorn coral (Acropora formosa) in laboratory assays: Immediate impact of LDPE microplastics


  • Syakti A. D.
  • Jaya Jeales Veva
  • Rahman Dede Aulia
  • Hidayati Nuning Vita
  • Raza'I Tengku Said
  • Idris Fadliyah
  • Trenggono Mukti
  • Doumenq Pierre


  • Coral bleaching
  • LDPE
  • Microplastics
  • Zooxanthellae
  • Acropora formosa

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The impact of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) microplastics (<100 mm; P100-A P100-B, P100-C, 100 e200 mm; P200, 200e500 mm; P500) on Acropora formosa was investigated. This study investigated the bleaching and necrosis extent of A. formosa caused by LDPE contamination via laboratory assay. The staghorn coral ingested the microplastics, resulting in bleaching and necrosis that concomitantly occurred with the release of zooxanthellae. P100-A experimentation was the worst case, showing bleaching by day 2 (10.8 ± 2.2%) and continued bleaching to 93.6% ± 2.0 by day 14 followed by 5.9 ± 2.5% necrosis. The overall results confirmed that the LDPE concentration impacts coral health. We highlighted that microplastics have been ingested and partially egested. Their presence showed either a direct or indirect impact on coral polyps via direct interaction or through photosynthesis perturbation due to microplastics that cover the coral surface.

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