Research ArticleCHEMICAL ECOLOGY

Marine plastic debris emits a keystone infochemical for olfactory foraging seabirds

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Science Advances  09 Nov 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 11, e1600395
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600395
  • Fig. 1 DMS concentration in plastic debris headspace.

    (A) DMS was not detected on any of the virgin plastic samples tested (n = 10 samples each for HDPE, LDPE, and PP, N = 30 total). (B) DMS was detected on every plastic sample after marine exposure (n = 12 bags of each plastic type; each bag subsampled five times). Box plots illustrate DMS concentrations on marine-seasoned plastic of each plastic type across sites (HPDE = 8.31 ± 2.25 μg of DMS per gram of plastic; LDPE = 8.90 ± 1.34 μg of DMS per gram of plastic; PP = 9.56 ± 2.33 μg of DMS per gram of plastic). Points represent each bag’s average DMS quantification; the error bars represent the SE of the five subsamples of each bag. Site averages by plastic type are as follows: for BML, x̄HDPE = 13.45 ± 2.41 μg g−1, x̄LDPE = 11.76 ± 1.65 μg g−1, and x̄PP = 4.99 ± 0.98 μg g−1; for HMS, x̄HDPE = 3.16 ± 1.07 μg g−1, x̄LDPE = 6.05 ± 1.39 μg g−1, and x̄PP = 14.13 ± 2.33 μg g−1.

  • Fig. 2 Effects of DMS responsiveness and nesting behavior on plastic ingestion in procellariiform seabirds.

    (A) Maximum likelihood estimate (±SEM) of the DMS-responsive and non–DMS-responsive species groups, illustrating a significantly higher frequency of plastic debris ingestion in DMS-responsive species (binomial GLMM, P < 0.0001). (B) Maximum likelihood estimate (±SEM) of burrow- and surface-nesting species groups, illustrating a significantly higher frequency of plastic ingestion in burrow-nesting species (binomial GLMM, P < 0.05). Burrow-nesting behavior is used here as a proxy for DMS responsiveness.

  • Fig. 3 Plastic ingestion and DMS responsiveness among procellariiform seabirds.

    Colored circles and horizontal lines represent the mean and 95% CIs for each species’ model-predicted plastic ingestion prevalence. Vertical dashed lines are model-predicted mean plastic ingestion frequency for each group (DMS-responsive and non–DMS-responsive). Vertical dotted lines represent the 95% CIs of the plastic ingestion frequency for each group.

  • Fig. 4 Relationship of plastic ingestion and nesting behavior.

    Colored circles and horizontal lines represent the mean and 95% CIs for each species’ model-predicted plastic ingestion frequency. Vertical dashed lines are model-predicted mean plastic ingestion frequency for each group (burrow- and surface-nesting). Vertical dotted lines represent the 95% CIs of the plastic ingestion frequency for each group.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary material for this article is available at http://advances.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2/11/e1600395/DC1

    fig. S1. Field sites and experimental design for plastic deployments.

    fig. S2. DMS standard curves with a plastic bead matrix.

    fig. S3. DMS standard curves with a seawater matrix.

    fig. S4. Plastic ingestion and DMS responsiveness among procellariiform species in the database.

    fig. S5. Cross-validation results for the DMS responsiveness model.

    fig. S6. Plastic ingestion and nesting behavior among procellariiform species in the database.

    fig. S7. Cross-validation results for the nesting behavior model.

    fig. S8. Data from oceanographic monitoring buoys.

    table S1. Model selection table for the plastic ingestion meta-analysis in relation to DMS responsiveness.

    table S2. Model selection table for the plastic ingestion meta-analysis in relation to nesting behavior.

    table S3. Model selection table testing only DMS responsiveness as predictor against the null model.

    table S4. Model selection table testing only nesting behavior as predictor against the null model.

    database S1. Procellariiform plastic ingestion database (.xlsx).

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • fig. S1. Field sites and experimental design for plastic deployments.
    • fig. S2. DMS standard curves with a plastic bead matrix.
    • fig. S3. DMS standard curves with a seawater matrix.
    • fig. S4. Plastic ingestion and DMS responsiveness among procellariiform species in the database.
    • fig. S5. Cross-validation results for the DMS responsiveness model.
    • fig. S6. Plastic ingestion and nesting behavior among procellariiform species in the database.
    • fig. S7. Cross-validation results for the nesting behavior model.
    • fig. S8. Data from oceanographic monitoring buoys.
    • table S1. Model selection table for the plastic ingestion meta-analysis in relation to DMS responsiveness.
    • table S2. Model selection table for the plastic ingestion meta-analysis in relation to nesting behavior.
    • table S3. Model selection table testing only DMS responsiveness as predictor against the null model.
    • table S4. Model selection table testing only nesting behavior as predictor against the null model.
    • Legend for database S1

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    Other Supplementary Material for this manuscript includes the following:

    • database S1 (Microsoft Excel format). Procellariiform plastic ingestion database.

    Files in this Data Supplement: