Evidence of microplastics from benthic jellyfish (Cassiopea xamachana) in Florida estuaries

Catégorie : Détection et Caractérisation
Date :2 octobre 2020
Iliff, Samantha M.; Wilczek, Eliza R.; Harris, Rachel J.; Bouldin, Ryan; Stoner, Elizabeth W.
Marine pollution bulletin : 159
Plastic pollution is a concern in many nearshore ecosystems, and it is critical to understand how microplastics (plastics < 5 mm in length) affect nearshore marine biota. Here, we report the presence of microplastics in the benthic, upside-down jellyfish (Cassiopea xamachana) across three estuaries in south Florida. Microplastics were recovered from Cassiopea using an acid digestion, then enumerated via microscopy, and identified using micro Fourier-transform interferometer (mu FTIR) analysis. Out of 115 specimens analyzed, 77% contained microplastics. Bell diameter and number of plastics per individual varied significantly across locations with the highest plastic densities and bell diameter observed in individuals from Big Pine Key, followed by Jupiter, and Sarasota. mu FTIR analysis confirmed that synthetic microfibers were the dominant microplastic measured at all three locations and may indicate Cassiopea as potential sinks of microplastic. Cassiopea may be used as bioindicators of microplastic contamination in the future, allowing for potential plastic pollution mitigation.