No Effect of Polystyrene Microplastics on Foraging Activity and Survival in a Post-larvae Coral-Reef Fish, Acanthurus triostegus

  • Hugo Jacob
  • Arthur Gilson
  • Chantal Lanctôt
  • Marc Besson
  • Marc MetianEmail author
  • David Lecchini


Microplastics (MP) are ubiquitous in the marine environment and have been shown to alter the behaviour of some species due to potential neurotoxic effect. However, very little is known on the effect of this stressor on behavioural responses of early and more vulnerable life stages. This study explores the effects of polystyrene MP (90 µm diameter) on the foraging activity of newly settled surgeonfish Acanthurus triostegus and on their survival facing predators. Exposure to a high concentration of 5 MP particles per mL (5 MP mL−1) for 3, 5 and 8 days did not alter their foraging activity nor their susceptibility to predation. This suggests that short-term exposures to reportedly high MP concentrations have negligible effects on the behaviour of newly settled A. triostegus. Nevertheless, responses to MP can be highly variable, and further research is needed to determine potential ecological effects of MP on reef fish populations during early-life stages.


Plastic pollution Behaviour Feeding Predation Larval recruitment Acanthurus triostegus 



The work was supported by funds from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and USR 3278 CNRS-EPHE-UPVD (Contrat de Projet Etat-Polynésie française 2015–2020, LabEx Corail – project Etape, PSL environment – project Pesticor, Agence de l’eau – Rhone Méditérranée Corse – Grant No. 2018 1765). The IAEA is grateful for the support provided to its Environment Laboratories by the Government of the Principality of Monaco.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugo Jacob
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arthur Gilson
    • 1
  • Chantal Lanctôt
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marc Besson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marc Metian
    • 2
    Email author
  • David Lecchini
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.PSL Research University: EPHE-UPVD-CNRS, USR, 3278 CRIOBEPapetoaiFrench Polynesia
  2. 2.International Atomic Energy Agency - Environment LaboratoriesPrincipality of MonacoMonaco
  3. 3.Australian Rivers InstituteGriffith UniversitySouthportAustralia
  4. 4.Laboratoire d’Excellence “CORAIL”PapetoaiFrench Polynesia

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