Microplastics vs. ichthyoplankton: effects of this interaction in controlled and estuarine environments

Microplásticos vs. ichthyoplankton: efeitos desta interação em ambientes controlados e estuarinos


  • Elizângela Alves dos Santos
  • Ana Carla Asfora El-Deir
  • Jacqueline Santos Silva Cavalcanti




estuary, fibers, plastic fragments, ingestion, microplastics, ichthyoplankton.


This literature review exploring the relationship between microplastics and ichthyoplankton was conducted in the main databases available online, considering the period from 2007 to 2021. Sixty articles were found reporting the presence of microplastics in estuarine environments (71.7%), and ingestion by ichthyoplankton in estuarine environments (16.6%) and under experimental conditions (11.7%). The most abundant microplastic found in natural environments was fiber (55%). Environments with densities between 17.5 and 4100 particles/m³ exhibited greater possibilities of ingestion of these particles by ichthyoplankton, the smaller the microplastic particle (63 μm-0.5 mm) the greater the probability (95%) of being ingested by ichthyoplankton (>2.56 mm). Danio rerio (zebrafish) was the species commonly used to assess the effects caused by the interaction between microplastics and ichthyoplankton under experimental conditions. The effects frequently reported were: increased heart rates (25%); growth inhibition (25%); interference in larvae’s swimming speed (53.4%); and inflammation in various organs (e.g., liver, intestine) (50%).