Plastic not fantastic for oyster's sex life

Tiny fragments of plastic the size of plankton are affecting the sex lives of oysters, according to new research. Female oysters exposed to microplastic particles made 38% fewer eggs, and males made sperm that were 23% less motile, according to a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Whether or not the detrimental effect is due to the mollusks having to expend more energy on digestion or whether the microplastics are directly disrupting reproductive hormones is not yet known. Either way, the laboratory experiments suggest that polymer pollution could be having serious negative impacts on marine ecosystems.