Predicted microplastic uptake through trophic transfer by the short-beaked common dolphin and common bottlenose dolphin
In this study, Tessa Dool and Thijs Bosker estimate the microplastic uptake of two odontocetes in the Mediterranean Sea and the Norteast Atlantic.
- Tessa Dool & Thijs Bosker
- 01 June 2022
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Predicted microplastic uptake through trophic transfer by the short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea
Marine mammals can serve as an indicator of ecosystem health, and are likely exposed to significant amounts of microplastics (MPs). In this study we estimated the MP uptake of two odontocetes, the short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), in the Mediterranean Sea and the Northeast Atlantic. These two species are expected to primarily ingest MPs through trophic transfer. To this end, data was collected on their diet, which was subsequently linked to MP occurrence and abundance in prey families. We estimated that D. delphis ingests 76 MPs/day in the Northeast Atlantic and 164 MPs/day in the Mediterranean, and T. truncatus ingests 36 MPs/day in the Northeast Atlantic and 179 MPs/day in the Mediterranean. This study provides important new predictions on MP exposure in two odontocetes, and opens up new research opportunities on the effect of this exposure on the health of organisms.