Microplastics Abundance and Uptake by Meretrix lyrata (Hard Clam) in Mangrove Forest


  • Fauziah binti Shahul Hamid Center for Research in Waste Management, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur,
  • Wang Jia Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur,
  • Rozainah Mohamad Zakaria Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, 50603




bioaccumulation, hard clam, microplastics, mangrove, Meretrix lyrata, uptake


The aim of this study was to determine the abundance and distribution of microplastics in a mangrove ecosystem, while investigating its uptake by Meretrix lyrata. Microplastics were extracted from 10 L of mangrove sediment using a floatation method. Soft tissues of M. lyrata were digested and the microplastics were filtered and observed under a light microscope. Microplastics ranging from 21 m to 100 m were the most abundant in the mangrove layers at 93634 particles/kg (dry sediment) to 1,22755 particles/kg (dry sediment) (27.19% to 31.16% of the total quantity of recovered microplastics). The most abundant microplastics, with size from 5 m to 1000 m, were found in the deepest layer. M. lyrata accumulation of microplastics averaged at 0.350.08 particles/g tissue and 0.230.07 particles/g tissue (wet weight) before and after three-day depuration, respectively. Microplastics with size from 5 to 20 m were the most commonly uptaken by the clams, averaging at 58% to 72% for pre-depuration and post-depuration, respectively. This study revealed that the most predominant size of microplastics in the sediment was 5m to 20m, which concurs with the results of the microplastics most commonly accumulated by M. lyrata. It is believed that microplastics accumulation in mangrove areas increases over time. On the other hand, the uptake rate of microplastics by Meretrix lyrata decreases over time, flushing microplastics from its system more frequently.


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