The significance of trophic transfer in the uptake of microplastics by carnivorous gastropod Reishia clavigera

Xiaoyu Xu, James Kar Hei Fang, Chun Yuen Wong, Siu Gin Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The present study compared the relative significance of prey consumption and respiration as routes of microplastic (MP) intake in a carnivorous muricid gastropod, Reishia clavigera. The time-dependent accumulation of MPs within 14-day exposure and their removal through depuration were also investigated for two forms of MPs (fibre, fragment) at an environmentally relevant concentration (10 items L−1) and two higher concentrations (100 and 1000 items L−1). At 1000 items L−1, the number of MPs in R. clavigera on Day 14 was 1.8 ± 0.2 fibres individual−1 or 0.8 ± 0.3 fragments individual−1, equivalent to 64.6% of the fibres or 9.4% of the fragments retained by the variable mussel Brachidontes variabilis, a prey of R. clavigera. Consumption of B. variabilis was the most important route of MP intake in R. clavigera, although a small number of MPs were adhered to the gills during ventilation. Depuration in clean seawater without MPs was very effective in eliminating MPs in the body of R. clavigera but the possibility of long-term bioaccumulation of MPs could not be ruled out. The high percentage of MPs transferred from the prey to predator indicates the potential of trophic transfer as a significant route of uptake for MPs in higher predators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118862
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Marine mussel
  • Microplastics
  • Muricid gastropod
  • Predator-prey interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'The significance of trophic transfer in the uptake of microplastics by carnivorous gastropod Reishia clavigera'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this