Microplastics in invertebrates on soft shores in Hong Kong : Influence of habitat, taxa and feeding mode

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number136999
Journal / PublicationScience of the Total Environment
Online published28 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


Microplastic (MP) pollution in the marine environment has gained much concern in recent years. This study investigated the occurrence of MPs in invertebrates collected on 18 mudflats and sandy beaches in Hong Kong and its relationships to biological taxon, feeding mode and habitat. In total 38 species of gastropods, bivalves and crabs were collected and the mean number of suspected microplastics ranged from 0 to 9.68 particles g−1 wet weight or 0 to 18.4 particles individual−1. Around 26% of the suspected microplastics were confirmed to be synthetic polymers, including CP (cellophane), PET (polyethylene terephthalate), and PA (polyamide). Microplastic fibres were the most abundant type of MPs, followed by pellets. Significantly higher abundance of suspected microplastics was found in gastropods. Since MP abundance might vary with taxon, it is recommended to include different taxonomic groups in any ecological assessment of the impact of MPs.

Research Area(s)

  • Biological taxa, Feeding mode, Microplastics, Soft shore habitats