First Evidence of Microplastics Presence in Corals of Jepara Coastal Waters, Java Sea: A Comparison Among Habitats Receiving Different Degrees of Sedimentations
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Tropical Marine Biotechnology Laboratory, Marine Science Department, Diponegoro University, Semarang 50275, Indonesia
Coastal Resources Management, Diponegoro University, Semarang 50275, Indonesia
Agus Sabdono   

Marine Science, Diponegoro University Jl. Prof Sudharto, SH, Kampus Tembalang, Semarang 50275, Indonesia
Submission date: 2021-05-02
Final revision date: 2021-06-18
Acceptance date: 2021-06-25
Online publication date: 2021-11-22
Publication date: 2022-01-28
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2022;31(1):825–832
Even though the research on the richness and diversity characteristics of microplastics in coral reef ecosystems has received great attention, however, understanding the occurrence, fate, and impact of microplastics in corals remain still poor. The study reported here was aimed to observe the microplastic abundance and distribution on selected life-form corals from habitats receiving different degrees of sedimentation in the Jepara Coastal Waters, Java Sea. Microplastics were sampled from four different locations representing a different level of sedimentations. Four coral life-forms (massive, submassive, folious, and branching) were sampled with two replications at each location in July 2020. In the laboratory, microplastics were extracted and enumerated under fluorescent microscopy. The study demonstrated that the means of microplastics were found to reach 16.00±7.5, 14.25±3.8, 14.80±7.9, and 9.50±3.6 particles kg-1 in the Awur Bay, Kartini Coast, Panjang Island, and Bandengan Coast, respectively. The Awur Bay, the location with the highest sedimentation rate, has the highest microplastic abundance. Statistically, however, there were no significantly different among site locations (F(3,13) = 1.27, p-value = 0.327>0.05). It is indicating that there was no spatial variation in microplastic abundance across sampling site locations. While the means of microplastics in the coral life-forms of massive, submassive, folious, and branching corals were 9.75±6.6, 9.50±3.3, 11.50±4.5, and 17.75±2.3 particles kg-1, respectively. One-way ANOVA statistical analyses showed that there was no significant difference in microplastic abundance among coral life-forms (F(3,10) = 2.12, p-value = 0.161>0.05). Even there was no significant difference among coral life-forms, however, microplastics on the branching coral lifeform showed a strong tendency to increase. The black microplastics were the primary color, and the fiber shape is the dominant type of microplastics found in all locations. This study contributes novel information on microplastic occurrence and composition in different coral life-forms. Besides, our results provide insights on the role of environmental filters in governing the distribution, abundance, and diversity of microplastics on habitats receiving different degrees of sedimentation.