HomeIAMURE International Journal of Ecology and Conservationvol. 15 no. 1 (2015)

Nutrient Enrichment, Sedimentation, Heavy Metals and Plastic Pollution in the Marine Environment and its Implications on Philippine Marine Biodiversity: A Review

Neil Angelo S. Abreo | Edison D. Macusi | Ginalyn C. Cuenca-Ocay | Cyril Tom B. Ranara | Michael B. Andam | Lemuel C. Cardona | Glio Florgiley P. Arabejo

Discipline: Ecology, Environmental Conservation



Marine biodiversity plays a vital role in ecosystem resilience and stability against climate change and alien species invasions, among others. This also plays a role in the provision of ecosystem services and functions that benefits humans. However due to anthropogenic activities and population increase, marine biodiversity have been affected most. We conducted a review using open-sourced journals on the effects of nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, heavy metals and plastic pollution in the marine environment and its implications on marine biodiversity. Lethal and sub-lethal effects were observed in different organisms that could affect marine biodiversity directly or indirectly. Direct effects include mortality of organisms while indirect effects include habitat degradation or alteration, a simplified food web, increase alien species invasion and reduced fitness of organisms. Human land use change, coastal construction activities, untreated sewage discharges, pesticides, mine tailings, uncollected, unsegregated and improperly dumped garbages and unabated garbage dumping at sea have been found to negatively influence marine biodiversity. In the Philippines, very few studies have been conducted with regards to marine pollution, especially on marine plastic debris, and even fewer studies have been made that tackles the effect of these stressors at an ecosystem level. Furthermore, this review has identified direct and indirect effects of pollution stressors on marine organisms which include: mortality and reduced fitness, vulnerability to disease or sickness,-habitat degradation, and food web simplification.