Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Does microplastic exposure and sex influence shell selection and motivation in the common European hermit crab, Pagurus bernhardus?

McDaid, Alix, Cunningham, Eoghan M., Crump, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0003-4485-5740, Hardiman, Gary and Arnott, Gareth (2023) Does microplastic exposure and sex influence shell selection and motivation in the common European hermit crab, Pagurus bernhardus? Science of the Total Environment, 855. ISSN 0048-9697

Full text not available from this repository.
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158576

Abstract

Microplastics (<5 mm) are a threat to marine biodiversity however their effects on animal cognition and behaviour are unclear. We investigated whether microplastic exposure affects shell selection behaviour and motivation in the common European hermit crab, Pagurus bernhardus. Subjects were maintained for 5 days in tanks containing either: polyethylene microplastic spheres (n = 40), or no plastic (n = 40). They were then placed in low-quality shells and presented with an alternative high-quality shell. When they first touched the high-quality shell, the hermit crabs were startled using visual and aural stimuli. We recorded the post-startle latency to re-contact the high-quality shell, quantifying motivation to explore and acquire a better shell. Plastic-exposed females were more likely to select the high-quality shell than control females. As hypothesised, female hermit crabs had longer initial contact latencies, startle durations, and shell entry latencies than males. We also found an interaction effect on shell investigation duration: females from the control treatment spent longer investigating the high-quality shell compared to males. This was absent in the microplastic treatment with females behaving similar to males. This controlled study serves as a starting point to investigate the effects of microplastics and sex differences on behaviour when under predatory threat, and demonstrated sex dependent sensitivity to an environmental pollutant of global concern.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/science-of-t...
Additional Information: © 2022 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QL Zoology
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2023 16:27
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2023 13:24
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/117742

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item