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Title: Measuring the physiological responses of Pocillopora acuta to biofilmed polyethylene microplastics exposure stress
Authors: Tay, Grace Syn Yee
Keywords: Science::Biological sciences::Ecology
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Tay, G. S. Y. (2022). Measuring the physiological responses of Pocillopora acuta to biofilmed polyethylene microplastics exposure stress. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Microplastics are a prevalent pollutant in today’s environment, particularly in marine ecosystems. These polymers allow the establishment of bacterial biofilms on their surfaces, which lead to the concentration of certain bacterial species on their surface. Corals reside in shallow, coastal regions of the ocean, where microplastics have been found to accumulate. They are also suspension feeders which increases their exposure to microplastics. The ingestion of these polymers have been shown to harm the health of corals, resulting in coral bleaching and tissue necrosis. In this project, the relationship between Pocillopora acuta’s exposure to polyethylene tetraphthalate microplastics, both biofouled with Pseudoalteromonas, a widely known symbiotic bacteria with corals, and non-biofouled is examined through a week-long ex-situ experiment, using mini-vortex resuspension tanks. The results of the experiment show a statistically signficant difference between treatments in terms of coral colour (measured with the coral health chart) and Symbiodiniaceae density, which are two common methods in assessing coral health. However, due to the lack of sufficient replicates, the pair-wise post-hoc analyses do not show a statistically significant difference between treatment pairs. Interestingly, the results hint towards inter-colonial differences which may help to explain the differences in stress responses of the corals.
Schools: Asian School of the Environment 
Organisations: Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ASE Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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