Differences in microplastic abundances within demersal communities highlight the importance of an ecosystem-based approach to microplastic monitoring

Catégorie : Impacts de la Pollution
Date :27 novembre 2020
Pagter, Elena; Frias, Joao; Kavanagh, Fiona; Nash, Roisin.
Marine pollution bulletin : 160
Plastic pollution is prevalent in all habitats and microplastic ingestion has been recorded in several different species examined to date. However, most studies have focused solely on commercial species. This study in-vestigates microplastics (MPs) by assessing the levels present in a mixed demersal trawl at two sites in a coastal embayment. MPs were recovered from species’ gastrointestinal tracts and polymers identified with mu FTIR spectroscopic analysis. Particles recovered comprised 20% natural fibres. The majority of MPs were identified as PE, PVDF, and PETE. Results show an average MP range of 0.11-4.67 MPs individual(-1). Fluctuating trendlines for MPs within species suggest that their bioavailability is influenced by several factors. Individual species show significant differences in ingested MP between trawls; however, when the entire trawl community is assessed there is no significant difference between sites. These results suggest that future studies should follow an ecosystem-based approach to monitor MPs.