Microplastics in mangroves and coral reef ecosystems: a review

Juliana John, A. R. Nandhini, Padmanaban Velayudhaperumal Chellam, Mika Sillanpää

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Microplastic pollution has recently been identified as a major issue for the health of ecosystems. Microplastics have typically sizes of less than 5 mm and occur in various forms, such as pellets, fibres, fragments, films, and granules. Mangroves and coral reefs are sensitive and restricted ecosystems that provide free ecological services such as coastal protection, maintaining natural cycles, hotspots of biodiversity and economically valuable goods. However, urbanization and industrial activities have started contaminating even these preserved ecosystems. Here we review sources, occurrence, and toxicity of microplastics in the trophic levels of mangrove and coral reef ecosystems. We present detection methods, such as microscopic identification and spectroscopy. We discuss mitigating measures that prevent the entry of microplastics into the marine environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-416
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Coral reefs
  • Ecosystems
  • Mangroves
  • Microplastics
  • Pollution
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry


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