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... The wet oxidant H2O2 digestion was carried out at concentrations ranging from 15% to 30% [37], with only one study involving density separation (i.e., NaCl) followed by digestion (H2O2). The chemicals used in alkaline digestion were 10% KOH [28,29,48] and 10 M NaOH [32]. The chemical digestion was carried out at temperatures ranging from 40ºC to 75ºC for a period of 6 h to four weeks, with or without shaking. ...
... When compared to other zones, Zone II surface waters had a maximum range of 0.015 -9.7 microplastic items m -3 (Fig. 3). Within this zone, water samples taken from the Mediterranean Sea presented the highest microplastic abundance of 9.7 items m -3 [28,29]. The authors also noticed that the considerable abundance of microplastics in the water samples from Pelagos Sanctuary overlapped with whale feeding grounds and believe that it could pose a major threat to the health of fin whales in the Mediterranean Sea [28,29]. ...
... Within this zone, water samples taken from the Mediterranean Sea presented the highest microplastic abundance of 9.7 items m -3 [28,29]. The authors also noticed that the considerable abundance of microplastics in the water samples from Pelagos Sanctuary overlapped with whale feeding grounds and believe that it could pose a major threat to the health of fin whales in the Mediterranean Sea [28,29]. Similarly, microplastic concentrations of 0.04 -1.51 items m -3 were found in Zone I, which included survey locations across North and South America [16,54]. ...
Article
Microplastics have sparked global concern due to their negative effects on organisms' health and the environment. Microplastics research in protected areas (marine and freshwater) has recently gained prominence and is expected to grow in the coming years. This review of 36 published studies examines current progress and identifies future research challenges. It begins with an overview of microplastic evaluation methodologies, followed by a discussion of recent advances in the abundance of microplastics in water, sediment, biota, wet and dry deposition, and particulate matter. Current quality assurance and control measures are also summarized. The majority of studies (44%) examined sediment samples. In biota, the gastrointestinal system was the most evaluated for microplastics. Digestion (using H2O2 and KOH) and density separation (using NaCl) are the most common microplastic extraction methods. We found that microplastic contamination is pervasive in all the surveyed protected areas, with varying levels of abundance geographically, and over 50% of the biota ingest microplastics. The methodological discrepancies amongst the investigations, from sampling to microplastics characterization, make it difficult to compare the results and generate baseline data on microplastic contamination levels. Close monitoring and a standardized approach are thus required to determine the extent to which microplastics might enter and persist in protected area environments, as well as to devise effective mitigating strategies.
... In the Ligurian Sea and Sardinian Sea also Fossi et al. (2012Fossi et al. ( , 2016Fossi et al. ( , 2017 published three studies of MPs in relation to the impact of plastic on whales. The results were expressed as items per m 3 . ...
... The results were expressed as items per m 3 . In the Ligurian Sea, the mean concentrations were between 0.94 6 2.55 items m 23 (Fossi et al., 2012) and 0.49 6 1.66 items m 23 (Fossi et al., 2016). In the same period, also De Lucia et al. (2014) reported about a quite high average plastic abundance value (0.15 items m 23 ) along the Sardinian coast, which were however lower than concentration reported by Fossi et al. (2012). ...
Chapter
An overview of the contamination of the Mediterranean marine environment with microplastics (MPs) is presented. At the sea surface various concentrations of MPs have been detected, which sometimes also coincide with modelling studies. The contamination of subtidal sediments ranges from few tens to few hundreds items per kilogram dry weight, with hotspots - few thousands items per kilogram in the deep Tyrrhenian Sea, in the lagoon of Venice and in Posidoinia oceanica meadow adjacent to agricultural hinterland in Spain. Polyethylene and polypropylene were most abundant material in both seawater and sediments, while fragments and filaments were the most frequently found shapes. Photodegradation is the main degradation driver, while biofouling has an important effect on microplastic sinking. Marine biota facilitate the sinking of MPs, the horizontal transport on the seafloor and burial in the sediments.
... Con esta información, podemos inferir que los contaminantes, como los MPs, pueden provenir de diferentes sitios lejanos o cercanos a los sitios de muestreo, tanto de las costas dentro del Golfo o ser transportados por el intercambio de agua entre el Océano Pacífico y el Golfo de California por medio de corrientes marinas superficiales, aunque dilucidar el origen exacto de las partículas encontradas en este estudio es una cuestión compleja. Existen dos estudios que han evaluado la biodisponibilidad de los MPs en aguas superficiales en zonas cercanas a la boca del Golfo (Fossi et al., 2016;Fossi et al., 2017), pero son nulos los reportes que han evaluado la dinámica y el movimiento de estas partículas dentro del Golfo. Es por ello que se requiere de más investigación sobre esta cuestión, ya que, conociendo los lugares con mayor abundancia de MPs, podríamos conocer el grado de biodisponibilidad para las especies marinas, como lo es el lobo marino de California. ...
... Esta información es evidencia de que estos contaminantes están presentes en áreas de alimentanción de estas especies en peligro de extinción y que existe la posibilidad que los tiburones ballenas u otras especies filtradoras están ingiriendo MPs por filtración de aguas superficiales. Por ejemplo, en un trabajo porFossi et al. (2016) reportaron la biodisponibilidad de MPs en muestras de agua ...
Thesis
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Microplastics (MPs, < 5 mm) are highly bioavailable to a great number of taxa in different trophic levels within the marine ecosystem. Despite the minimum information generated relating this subject to the Gulf of California, the analysis on the ingestion of these microparticles from top predators as the pinnipeds on Mexico is quite unexplored. For this reason, the determination of ingestion of particles of potentially MP origin (P-MPs) by the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) will help the assessment of the exposition level to this kind of pollutant and mark them as an indicator species on the Gulf of California. To this, we collected scats from five rookeries of the Gulf of California and the coast at Cabo Haro, Guaymas, during the breeding season (July – August 2018) and the resting season (January 2020), respectively. Samples were passed through a set of sieves (1000, 500, and 212 m). Organic matter was eliminated by a process of alkaline digestion (KOH 30%), easing P-MP visual detection. Subsequently, P-MPs obtained from scat samples were visualized using a stereoscopic microscope (Olympus SZX7, 70X) equipped with a camera (Olympus LC30). We report a mean concentration of 0.40 ± 0.61 P-MPs g-1 from the scats analyzed (n = 48). It was acknowledged that there was enough evidence to support concentration differences between P-MPs from sea lion scats analyzed in this study (non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test; H (5) = 12.40, p = 0.030). Particles founded were mainly fibers (91%) and fragments (9%). Microparticles of blue color were more abundant (53%), followed up by black (23%) and gray color (8%). Particle size distribution predominates between three ranks in similar proportions, from 250 to 500 μm, 1000 to 5000 μm, and 500 to 1000 μm (27, 26, and 25%, respectively). Even though we didn’t examine the ingestion pathway of P-MPs in sea lions, past studies suggest the approach of a trophic transfer of particles to top predators, as well as incidental ingestion while foraging. The presence of P-MPs documented here suggests the need for in-depth research studies in the correlation between these potential pollutants and the California sea lion populations in the Gulf of California.
... A fin whale stranded in Ireland in 2000 had a nylon rope tucked in its baleen plates and swallowed part of it(Lusher et al., 2018;Smiddy et al., 2002).In the western Mediterranean, researchers found high concentrations of phthalates in samples of neustonic plankton and also in fin whales feeding on it, suggesting an emerging threat of plastic additive contamination to these whales(Fossi et al., 2012(Fossi et al., , 2014. Additionally, several persistent organic pollutants were found in fin whale tissues(Fossi et al., 2016). Since some Mediterranean populations feed in areas of high plastic concentrations(Fossi et al., 2017a), which may contribute to high body burdens of persistent organic pollutants(Fossi et al., 2016), fin whaleswere proposed as an indicator for monitoring marine litter under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (see Glossary) (Fossi et al., 2014). ...
... Additionally, several persistent organic pollutants were found in fin whale tissues(Fossi et al., 2016). Since some Mediterranean populations feed in areas of high plastic concentrations(Fossi et al., 2017a), which may contribute to high body burdens of persistent organic pollutants(Fossi et al., 2016), fin whaleswere proposed as an indicator for monitoring marine litter under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (see Glossary) (Fossi et al., 2014). Four studies recorded entanglement and four studies recorded ingestion of plastic items by fin whales (LITTERBASE). ...
Technical Report
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A new report commissioned by WWF provides the most comprehensive account to date of the extent to which plastic pollution is affecting the global ocean, the impacts it’s having on marine species and ecosystems, and how these trends are likely to develop in future. The report by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) reveals a serious and rapidly worsening situation that demands immediate and concerted international action: ● Today almost every species group in the ocean has encountered plastic pollution, with scientists observing negative effects in almost 90% of assessed species. ● Not only has plastic pollution entered the marine food web, it is significantly affecting the productivity of some of the world’s most important marine ecosystems like coral reefs and mangroves. ● Several key global regions – including areas in the Mediterranean, the East China and Yellow Seas and Arctic sea ice – have already exceeded plastic pollution thresholds beyond which significant ecological risks can occur, and several more regions are expected to follow suit in the coming years. ● If all plastic pollution inputs stopped today, marine microplastic levels would still more than double by 2050 – and some scenarios project a 50-fold increase by 2100.
... However, information on phthalate concentrations in the marine fauna, and especially in the tissues of marine mammals, is scarce. To our best knowledge, fifteen species of cetaceans in ten scientific articles have been investigated on this topic until now, namely: fin whale (Baini et al., 2017;Fossi et al., 2012Fossi et al., , 2014Fossi et al., , 2016Routti et al., 2021), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) (Baini et al., 2017;Dziobak et al., 2021;Hart et al., 2018Hart et al., , 2020Montoro-Martínez et al., 2021;Page-Karjian et al., 2020), harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) (Rian et al., 2020), Fraser's dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei), Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus), and short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) (Montoro-Martínez et al., 2021), pygmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps) (Montoro-Martínez et al., 2021;Page-Karjian et al., 2020), striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) (Baini et al., 2017;Montoro-Martínez et al., 2021), melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra), Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima), pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata), white-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris), and Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) (Page-Karjian et al., 2020), blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) (Routti et al., 2021). The dynamics of these pollutants as related to the species biological variables remains to be clarified. ...
... This, added to the analytical challenges involved in the determination of these pollutants have also hindered them to be reported (Ikonomou et al., 2012;Net et al., 2015) and, therefore, studies reporting phthalate concentrations in marine mammals are scarce. Moreover, in most of the few studies available, the relationship between phthalate concentrations and the biological variables of the individuals is not assessed, probably as a consequence of reduced sample size and/or of the difficulties in accessing biological information, particularly from free ranging individuals (e.g., Baini et al., 2017;Fossi et al., 2012Fossi et al., , 2014Fossi et al., , 2016Hart et al., 2018;Routti et al., 2021). ...
Article
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The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) is a migratory filter-feeding species that is susceptible to ingest plastics while lunge feeding across the oceans. Plastic additives, such as phthalates, are compounds that are added to plastics to give them specific characteristics, such as flexibility. These so-called plasticizers are currently raising major concern because of their potential adverse effects on marine fauna. However, little is known about phthalate concentrations in tissues of baleen whales as well as their potential relation with biological variables (i.e., sex, body length and age) and their trends with time. In this study, we assessed the concentration of 13 phthalates in the muscle of 31 fin whales sampled in the feeding grounds off western Iceland between 1986 and 2015. We detected 5 of the 13 phthalates investigated, with di-n-butylphthalate (DBP), diethylphthalate (DEP) and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) being the most abundant. None of the biological variables examined showed a statistically significant relationship with phthalate concentrations. Also, phthalate concentrations did not significantly vary over the 29-year period studied, a surprising result given the global scenario of increasing plastic pollution in the seas. The lack of time trends in phthalate concentration may be due in part to the fact that phthalates also originate from other sources. Although no adverse effects of phthalates on fin whales have been detected to date, further monitoring of these pollutants is required to identify potential toxic effects in the future.
... 14,15 In mammalian species, microplastic ingestion has been hypothesised to occur unintentionally during prey capture in microplastic-polluted areas, particularly during filter feeding. 16,17 However, for marine mammals that catch prey raptorially (using jaws and teeth alone), such as pinnipeds, microplastics may be more likely to be ingested indirectly following the consumption of microplasticcontaminated prey (termed trophic transfer), rather than through direct uptake from the environment. 18,19 Microplastics are known to be associated with toxic substances including sorbed persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and/or harmful additives contained in the debris such as phthalates. ...
... 20 While still speculation, it is possible that these toxic substances may desorb into the biological tissues of marine biota following ingestion of plastic particles. 17,[21][22][23][24][25] In marine mammals, exposure to these lipophilic pollutants has been related to adverse health effects, including cancer-associated mortality in California sea lions (Zalophus californianus 26 ) and reduced plasma retinol concentrations in neonatal grey seals (Halichoerus grypus 27 ). Although not the focus of the present study, the potential negative health implications of ingesting microplastics and their associated toxins emphasise the need to better understand the interactions between marine biota and this anthropogenic debris. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Plastic pollution is of growing concern in marine ecosystems worldwide. Specifically, microplastics (<5 mm) may interact with a variety of biota with the potential to cause harm to organism health. Studies investigating microplastics are increasing, yet their occurrence within free-ranging and living marine mammals remains largely unexplored. Methods: By using a protocol involving enzymatic digestion, filtration and microscopic identification, faecal samples collected from a grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) haul-out site in the North Sea were investigated for microplastic presence. Results: Altogether, 71 suspected microplastic particles, consisting of both fibres and fragments in a variety of colours and sizes, were identified across 66 analysed faecal subsamples. Conclusion: The present study indicates that marine mammals are ingesting microplastics and that faecal material can be used to indirectly and non-invasively record microplastic uptake data in pinnipeds. Since the current paper is the first to document potential microplastic exposure among wild, living and free-ranging grey seals of the western North Sea, further research is needed to begin to understand the biological significance of these findings.
... The presence of microplastics has not only been identified in seafood of commercial importance but has been recorded across taxa of varying trophic levels (Au et al., 2017). This ranged from microorganisms such as copepods (Cole et al., 2015), to gastropods (Gutow et al., 2019), and larger organisms such as sea turtles (Caron et al., 2016) and whales (Fossi et al., 2016). Furthermore, there is evidence of microplastic bioaccumulation within each trophic level (Akhbarizadeh et al., 2019). ...
Article
Microplastic pollution is a prevalent and serious problem in marine environments. These particles have a detrimental impact on marine ecosystems. They are harmful to marine organisms and are known to be a habitat for toxic microorganisms. Marine microplastics have been identified in beach sand, the seafloor and also in marine biota. Although research investigating the presence of microplastics in various marine environments have increased across the years, studies in Southeast Asia are still relatively limited. In this paper, 36 studies on marine microplastic pollution in Southeast Asia were reviewed and discussed, focusing on microplastics in beach and benthic sediments, seawater and marine organisms. These studies have shown that the presence of fishing harbours, aquaculture farms, and tourism result in an increased abundance of microplastics. The illegal and improper disposal of waste from village settlements and factories also contribute to the high abundance of microplastics observed. Hence, it is crucial to identify the hotspots of microplastic pollution, for assessment and mitigation purposes. Future studies should aim to standardize protocols and quantification, to allow for better quantification and assessment of the levels of microplastic contamination for monitoring purposes.
... Microplastics are potentially bioavailable for marine organisms because of their similar size range to plankton [1]. Ingestion of microplastics by numerous species has been recorded across all levels of the marine food chain, ranging from tiny planktonic organisms to large mammals [2][3][4]. Microplastic ingestion by marine organisms may also provide a route for microplastic exposure to humans [5]. Therefore, all life, from ecosystems to humans, is growingly exposed to plastic waste with little knowledge of its full effects [6]. ...
Article
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The ubiquitous presence of microplastics in bivalve mollusks and related risks have raised particular concerns. In this study, the available data on the abundance and polymer type of microplastics in bivalves from twenty-two countries were extracted to comprehensively understand the risks of microplastics in bivalves. Following the data from 52 peer-reviewed papers, the abundance, chemical composition, and human exposure risks of microplastics of bivalves among countries were initially assessed. Abundance risk results indicated that bivalves from 22 countries presented a low pollution load index, showing a lower risk level (level I). The polymer risk index (H) of bivalves from Portugal (Hcountry = 1335, level IV) and India (Hcountry = 1187, level IV) were higher than the other countries due to the occurrence of hazardous microplastics, such as polyvinyl chloride. For the human exposure risks, the global mean value of microplastic exposure to humans via mollusk consumption is estimated to be 751 microplastics/capita/year, with the maximum intake by the Chinese. This study suggests that abundance risk may be a fundamental indicator for assessing the potential hazard to humans until the chemical composition risks are confirmed. This study is the first attempt to assess the potential risks of microplastics in bivalves using three evaluation models based on microplastic abundances and polymer types, which will contribute to establishing future human health risk assessment frameworks. These findings will also assist efforts in policy-making to minimize microplastic risks in seafood.
... The conservation status of this species in the Mediterranean Sea is assessed as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of threatened species™ (Panigada, Gauffier & Notarbartolo di Sciara, 2021). Threats faced by this species are linked to the high pressure of human activities, such as ship strikes (David, 2002;Panigada et al., 2006;Di-Méglio et al., 2010;Panigada & Leaper, 2010; Di-Meglio, David & Monestiez, 2018), chemical pollution (Tapie et al., 2012;Fossi et al., 2016), physical disturbance , underwater noise (Castellote, Clark & Lammers, 2012b), by-catch in pelagic driftnets (Reeves & Notarbartolo di Sciara, 2006) and floating plastic . ...
Article
The Mediterranean Sea is a high‐density maritime traffic area, particularly in the Pelagos Sanctuary. Ship strikes pose a substantial threat to fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) according to reports from the IUCN, the IWC, the ACCOBAMS and the EU Habitats Directive. Near miss events (NMEs) were collected, as a proxy indicator of ship strikes for fin whales, along the main ferry routes crossing the Pelagos Sanctuary and adjacent western waters during ‘summertime’ (April to October). The ‘Fixed Line Transect Med Network’ carries out systematic surveys from ferries and collects data according to the ‘linear transect’ method. From 2008 to 2019, 13 different ferry routes were surveyed with 238,499 km monitored. Of the 2,775 fin whales encountered, 43 individuals were involved in NMEs (1.55% of the sightings). NMEs occur over the great majority of the routes monitored with enough effort and were correlated with the density index of fin whales. High‐risk areas for NMEs were identified in the central and deeper parts of the north‐western Mediterranean Sea and in some sections of the northern Tyrrhenian Sea. Of all NMEs, the majority of whales (63.4%) surfaced in front of the vessel (<50 m), leaving no time for the crew to manoeuvre the vessel. The others were travelling (26.8%) or resting (9.7%) without any noticeable reaction at the vessel. The speed of the ferries seems to play a role in the occurrence of the NME, as this parameter is significantly different (t‐test, P = 0.002) for NMEs compared to all fin whale sightings, whereas month and hour of day were not. Quantifying NMEs based on real‐time observation with observers on board, could be used as a feasible and efficient way to limit collisions, raising awareness by the crew, and testing or evaluating other potential tools that can help mitigate this threat.
... As MP beads can easily get mixed in the aquatic food chain which makes them available for ingestion and transfer via trophic level by multitudinous aquatic organisms like mussels, zooplanktons, shrimps, Bshes, oyster, and whales (Lusher et al. 2015;Ferreira et al. 2016;Auta et al. 2017). The study of Sutton et al. (2016) and Fossi et al. (2016) reported that the ingestion of MPs might cause false satiations, pathological and oxidative stress, reduced growth and immune response, cancer, and reproductive complications in marine organisms. Moreover, ingested MPs might cause fatal injuries by sharp objects or blockage of digestive system (Wright et al. 2013). ...
Article
Present study revolves around the assessment of basic physicochemical parameters, dissolved PTEs, and microplastics (MPs) in riverine water to illuminate the policies for better sustainable management practices in river Hooghly. The samples were analysed in ICP-OES and fluorescence microscope to enumerate PTEs and MPs. The distribution of PTEs indicates that highest concentration of Al, Co, and Cu was in estuarine zone; Cd, Cr, Fe, Mn, Ni, and Pb in mixo-haline zone and Zn in freshwater zone. The maximum concentration of MPs was observed near Bali Khal, which acts as a sewage canal of the urban conglomerate of Howrah. Overall, the size of MPs was observed between 150 and 4560 µm with an abundance frequency of 1000 pieces/m3 near the mouth of the sewers. Dissolved PTEs concentration was found to be lower than previous works, which can be attributed towards GoI approved flagship program ‘Namami Gange Mission’. The study emphasizes the necessity of a uniform national water policy for better management of Indian rivers and estuaries.
... Studies of surface waters in other regions of the Mediterranean Sea report relatively lower levels (between 0.15-7.68 items/m 3 ) of microplastics than reported for Turkish coasts (Table 3; Lefebvre et al. 2019;Fossi et al. 2016;Baini et al. 2018;de Lucia et al. 2014). ...
Article
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Turkey is one of the major plastic pollution sources in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. This review summarizes present information, data, and legislation on plastic pollution in Turkish aquatic ecosystems. According to results derived from reviewed studies, both macro and microplastic pollution were documented in Turkish aquatic ecosystems. Most of the studies on plastic pollution in Turkish waters were performed in the marine environment while only four were conducted in freshwater environments. Spatially, the majority of these studies, which were on levels in the marine environment, were conducted on the northeastern Mediterranean coasts of Turkey, especially Iskenderun and Mersin Bays. Additional studies were carried out on either the ingestion/presence/impact of microplastics by/to aquatic organisms or the entanglement of marine organisms in plastics. There were also studies assessing the microplastic content of commercial salt, and another has reported microplastic presence in traditional stuffed mussels sold in Turkish streets. Some studies were conducted on microplastic presence and/or their removal in wastewater treatment plants in Mersin, Adana, Mugla, and Istanbul cities. Macro- and microliter loading from a few Turkish rivers to the sea was also estimated. All these investigations indicate that Turkish aquatic environments have significant plastic pollution problems, which were also underlined by the legislative studies. The need for further studies in this field still exists, especially in freshwater environments.
... A comparative study of Pelagos sanctuary in Mediterranean Sea and Sea of Cortez in Gulf of California, Mexico shows higher abundance of MPs in Mediterranean Sea due to high density MPs (PP, PET, LDPE, HDPE) (Fossi et al., 2016). The earlier study of MPs in the archipelagos of Gulf of California reported higher presence of MPs in this region (Piñon-Colin et al., 2018). ...
Article
This study focuses on the presence of MPs in the sediment beds around coral reefs of MPNPs in Baja California Sur, México. Based on seasonal sampling results, comparison of MPs from Cabo Pulmo (avg. 680.25 items/100 g⁻¹ d.w) recorded higher values than Espiritu Santo Island (avg. 321.75 items/100 g⁻¹ d.w) from backshore/foreshore regions. Fibrous MPs are the dominant morphotypes followed by fragments and spheres. SEM/EDS analysis revealed that the MPs are altered texturally in surface and is bioavailable to marine organisms independent of size/shape. FTIR analysis indicate different polymers (in %) in the form of PP (70), PET (65), HDPE (59), LDPE (50), PS (30), PC (18), PU (10) and RYN (10). Most of the MPs are secondary in origin resulting from man-made and tourist's activities controlled by wave transportation and tidal currents. Existence of MPs in sediment beds around the coral reefs signals the ways for future investigations.
... Although this estimate has considerable uncertainty, the point estimate and lower 95% confidence estimate are substantially higher than several previous estimates. For example, two studies estimated microplastic uptake by Mediterranean fin whales based on microplastic levels in the water column, and estimated total exposure to be 3653 particles per day (Fossi et al., 2014) and "thousands of particles" per day (Fossi et al., 2016). Fossi et al. (2014) also estimated the microplastic uptake of basking sharks to be 13,110 particles per day. ...
Article
Large filter-feeding animals are potential sentinels for understanding the extent of microplastic pollution, as their mode of foraging and prey mean they are continuously sampling the environment. However, there is considerable uncertainty about the total and mode of exposure (environmental vs trophic). Here, we explore microplastic exposure and ingestion by baleen whales feeding year-round in coastal Auckland waters, New Zealand. Plastic and DNA were extracted concurrently from whale scat, with 32 ± 24 (mean ± SD, n = 21) microplastics per 6 g scat sample detected. Using a novel stochastic simulation modeling incorporating new and previously published DNA diet information, we extrapolate this to total microplastic exposure levels of 24,028 (95% CI: 2119, 69,270) microplastics per mouthful of prey, or 3,408,002 microplastics (95% CI: 295,810, 10,031,370) per day, substantially higher than previous estimates for large filter-feeding animals. Critically, we find that the total exposure is four orders of magnitude more than expected from microplastic measurements of local coastal surface waters. This suggests that trophic transfer, rather than environmental exposure, is the predominant mode of exposure of large filter feeders for microplastic pollution. Measuring plastic concentration from the environment alone significantly underestimates exposure levels, an important consideration for future risk assessment studies.
... Crustacea seperti udang dapat ditangkap dengan trawl dasar, creels, atau traps (Lusher et al., 2017;Murray & Cowie, 2011), kerang dan tiram dapat dikumpulkan langsung dari badan air atau diambil sampelnya dengan pukat kerang (Vandermeersch et al., 2015). Penelitian lain tidak melaporkan metode khusus secara rinci, misalnya, untuk mendapatkan paus, hiu, penyu, dan anjing laut (Alomar & Deudero, 2017;Fossi et al., 2016;Hoarau et al., 2014;Eriksson & Burton, 2003). Untuk biota darat, serapan MP jarang diteliti. ...
Book
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Mikroplastik adalah kontaminan yang tersebar luas, hampir ada di semua lingkungan. Namun, pengetahuan tentang sumber, distribusi dan konsentrasi mikroplastik di air, sedimen dan biota masih terbatas karena prosedur analitis kimia yang melelahkan dan beragam yang saat ini digunakan. Dalam konteks ini kami secara kritis meninjau metode yang saat ini digunakan untuk pengambilan sampel dan deteksi mikroplastik, mengidentifikasi kekurangan dalam desain penelitian dan menyarankan alternatif yang menjanjikan. Pekerjaan ini memberikan wawasan tentang pengumpulan sampel massal, pemisahan, destruksi, identifikasi dan kuantifikasi, dan mitigasi kontaminasi silang. Pengambilan sampel mikroplastik akan meningkatkan keterwakilan dan reproduktifitas melalui penentuan volume sampel massal, ukuran pori filter, pemisahan kepadatan dan solusi destruksi, tetapi juga melalui penggunaan metode baru, seperti peningkatan identifikasi visual dengan pewarnaan pewarna, dan generalisasi penggunaan karakterisasi kimia.
... In 2018, MPs were found in more than 114 aquatic species (Szymanska and Obolewski, 2020). Various problems, including false satiation, reproductive issues, blocked enzyme production, reduced growth rate, and oxidative stress, have been reported in marine organisms due to the ingestion of MPs (Auta et al., 2017;Fossi et al., 2016). High levels of MPs have also been detected globally in rivers and lakes (Duis and Coors, 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Pollution by microplastics (MPs) formed by the physicochemical breakdown of plastics are a worldwide issue with long-lasting and hazardous natural effects. The natural expulsion of MPs takes several years and can be dangerous. Several effective technological innovations have been developed over the years to remediate harmful MPs. Among them, a blend of nanotechnological techniques using bionanomaterials has been investigated to a large extent. The objective of this review is to compile the MPs found in the environment and bionanomaterial-based approaches for their removal. This information is important for researchers who are exploring the adverse consequences of MPs and their remediation and developing advanced eco-friendly strategies to control and eradicate MPs in the future. The control and eradication of MPs depend on all of us; hence, the proper awareness of MPs pollution must be provided to every individual, as all of us are a part of the environment.
... More than 660 marine species were reported to be affected by plastic litter (Azad et al., 2018). Consumption of MPs in marine organisms leads to pathological stress, false satiation, impaired reproduction, blocked enzyme production, slow growth rate, and oxidative stress (Fossi et al., 2016;Sutton et al., 2016). Fish are the flux of protein, energy, omega-3, useful fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals useful for humans (Akhbarizadeh et al., 2018;Olmedo et al., 2013). ...
Article
The presence of Microplastics (MPs) in food has become a global health concern in the last two decades. In this study, an attempt was made to obtain articles about the occurrence of MPs in the gastrointestinal tract (gt) of fishes using searching the Scopus and PubMed databases from 1 January 1990 to 10 August 2021. The occurrence of MPs was meta-analyzed using the random effect model (REM). The results indicate that pooled occurrence of MPs in gastrointestinal of fishes was 2.76 P/gt: 95%CI:2.65–2.86 P/gt. Occurrence MPs in gastrointestinal of fishes in closed water sources (5.86 P/gt) was higher than free water sources (2.46 P/gt). In addition, the rank order of water sources based on occurrence MPs in gastrointestinal of fish was Lake (5.50 P/gt) > Estuary (5.46 P/gt) > River (2.91 P/gt) > Bay (2.85 P/gt) > Sea (2.58 P/gt) > Ocean (1.29 P/gt). The lowest and highest occurrence MPs in gastrointestinal of fishes were observed in high-income economies (1.45 P/gt) and low-income economies (8.08 P/gt), respectively. The higher frequency of color in MPS was related to blue with polyethylene-type polymers. Therefore, control plans to reduce the occurrence of MPs in fishes is recommended.
... The author with the strongest burst strength was Fastelli P (Table 1), who has published on MPs levels in the water column and marine sediments (e.g., [68]). Other influential authors also reported on concentration of plastic in cetaceans (e.g., [73]), and in fish (e.g., [50]). ...
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, the potential toxicological and environmental effects of microplastics (MPs) in the Mediterranean Sea region have received growing attention. The number of studies in this area has increased; however, presently there is no scientometric perspective addressing this topic. The purpose of this study was to identify the intellectual base and research front using the visualization and analysis software, CiteSpace, in combination with a systematic review. We retrieved 150 articles, published in print or online as an early-access article between 1979 and 2020, from the Web of Science with a topic search related to MPs, environment, and uptake by biota. We then analysed synthesized networks of co-authorship (author, institution, country), co-citation (author document, journal) and co-occurring keywords. The annual publication output has trended upwards since 2011, with interest in MP abundance in the Mediterranean Sea particularly high in the past 5 years (2016–2020). Authors based in Italy accounted for 25% of the total publications, followed by Spain (16%); but overall publications from Belgium and the Netherlands were more influential. Major research themes identified include the abundance of MPs on beaches, in surface waters, sediments and biota. Secondary microplastics, such fibres and fragments, of a wide range of sizes and chemical composition were dominant in scientific reports, albeit citizen science collection of plastic resin pellets for International Pellet Watch suggests such primary MPs are also widespread, even if their numerical abundance from such collections is unclear. Few studies reported chemical contamination of MPs in the Mediterranean albeit a significant amount of information on the level of chemical contamination of plastic resin pellets is available on the International Pellet Watch website.
... Fossi et al. (2017) undertook a slightly different approach and investigated the relationship between the fin whale feeding ground and The ocean hydrodynamic conditions from HYCOM, the released microplastic amount according to the population, field data Abundance and distribution of microplastics in the southern coastal region of the US Hydrodynamic the accumulation hot spots of micro-, meso-, and macroplastic in the Pelagos Sanctuary, a pelagic Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI). Model results agreed with Collignon et al. (2012) and Fossi et al. (2016). The authors suggested that previous hydrodynamic conditions seriously affected the floating plastic debris concentration. ...
Article
Microplastic pollution in marine and riverine environments is a threat not only for the aquatic ecosystem itself but also for human activity and life. Although there are reviews regarding microplastic debris in environments, most of them focus on the studies on their type, occurrence, and distribution. Only a limited number of these studies focus on the modeling methods, usually concentrating on particular aspects, such as settling or bioaccumulation. In this paper, physically-based existing microplastics modeling studies are classified and reviewed according to the environment, modeling methodology, and input-output relationships. Considering the strengths and weaknesses of all modeling methodologies, it is deduced that more reliable results are obtained using hybrid methods, especially the coupling of hydrodynamic and process-based models, and hydrodynamics and statistical models. The significance of having much more consideration and knowledge on the microplastics' physical properties and the environmental processes affecting their fate and transport in the aquatic environments is revealed for future research. It has also been recommended that a standardized method for data calibration, validation, and verification is necessary to be able to compare the modeling results with field investigations more efficiently than it is currently.
... Extensive research has demonstrated the ubiquity of plastic pollution in several matrices such as beaches (Fortibuoni et al., 2021;Prevenios et al., 2018), sediments (Piazzolla et al., 2020;Renzi et al., 2018) and seawater (Atwood et al., 2019;Capriotti et al., 2021) although remote (Cincinelli et al., 2017;Lusher et al., 2015). Microlitter was retrieved from all water samples taken within the framework of the PISCES project in a much higher (~20-fold) average Cincinelli et al., 2017;Collignon et al., 2012;Constant et al., 2018;Cózar et al., 2015;de Lucia et al., 2018;de Lucia et al., 2014;Expósito et al., 2021;Fagiano et al., 2022;Fossi et al., 2012Fossi et al., , 2016Kazour et al., 2019;Lusher et al., 2015;Panti et al., 2015;Suaria et al., 2016;van der Hal et al., 2017;Zhang et al., 2017;Zhao et al., 2014) (Fig. 9), suggesting that also surveys that are not extensive in either duration or sample sizes can effectively capture the extent of microlitter pollution. This is desirable to minimize the impacts of research-related anthropogenic activities. ...
Article
Marine litter is composed mainly of plastics and is recognized as a serious threat to marine ecosystems. Ecotoxicological approaches have started elucidating the potential severity of microplastics (MPs) in controlled laboratory studies with pristine materials but no information exists on marine environmental microlitter as a whole. Here, we characterized the litter in the coastal Northern Tyrrhenian sea and in the stomach of two fish species of socio-economic importance, and exposed primary cell cultures of mucosal and lymphoid organs to marine microlitter for evaluating possible cytotoxic effects. An average of 0.30 ± 0.02 microlitter items m⁻³ was found in water samples. μFT-IR analysis revealed that plastic particles, namely HDPE, polyamide and polypropylene were present in 100% and 83.3% of Merluccius merluccius and Mullus barbatus analyzed, which overall ingested 14.67 ± 4.10 and 5.50 ± 1.97 items/individual, respectively. Moreover, microlitter was confirmed as a vector of microorganisms. Lastly, the apical end-point of viability was found to be significantly reduced in splenic cells exposed in vitro to two microlitter conditions. Considering the role of the spleen in the mounting of adaptive immune responses, our results warrant more in-depth investigations for clarifying the actual susceptibility of these two species to anthropogenic microlitter.
... In this respect, the highest concentrations presented in Table 1 seem to correspond to the most critical and affected areas highlighted by these models. Indeed, the Balearic Basin, the Tyrrhenian Basin and the Levantine Basin have been identified as particularly vulnerable areas susceptible to plastic particle accumulation Compa et al., 2020;Fossi et al., 2016Fossi et al., , 2017Ruiz-Orejón et al., 2019;van der Hal et al., 2017). ...
Article
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Plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea has been widely reported, but its impact on biodiversity has not been fully explored. Simultaneous sampling of microplastics (MP) with a manta net and surveys of large marine vertebrates were conducted along the coastal waters of Sicily (Western Ionian Sea). A total of 17 neustonic samples have been collected and 17 marine species (cetaceans, sea turtles, seabirds, and fish) have been sighted in the target area. Kernel density estimation was evaluated to highlight a possible overlap between the presence of large marine fauna and MP densities to provide a preliminary risk assessment. The highest biodiversity and MP concentration (0.197 ± 0.130 items/m²) were observed in the southernmost part of the studied area. The overlap between biodiversity hotspots and the occurrence of MP, potential contribute to the identification of sensitive areas of exposure in a poorly studied region.
... The activities of plastic degradation also consider as major source of microplastic which was getting fragment as small particles and distributed in to the ocean and their rate of lose quite increasing than large size plastics (Alomar et al. 2016). There are many studies reported that, microplastics are consumed by wide range of marine organisms like phytoplankton, zooplankton, fish, crustaceans and they getting damages such as reproductive systems, liver inflammation, reducing growth rate and enzyme production (Batel et al. 2016;Lönnstedt and Eklöv, 2016;Lu et al. 2016;Fossi et al. 2016). And also the microplastics can have the ability to absorb the metals and other organic pollutants in their Communicated by Erko Stackebrandt. ...
Article
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The present study aimed to evaluate the microplastic degradation efficiency of bacterial isolates collected from Vaigai River, Madurai, India. The isolates were processed with proper methods and incorporated in to the UV-treated polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) degradation. Based on preliminary screening, four bacterial isolates such as Bacillus sp. (BS-1), Bacillus cereus (BC), Bacillus sp. (BS-2), and Bacillus paramycoides (BP) were proceed to further degradation experiment for 21 days. The microplastics were filled with bacterial isolates which is use microplastic (PE, PP) as carbon source for their growth and proceed for shake flask experiment were carried out by two approaches with control. The microplastic degradation was confirmed through their weight loss, increasing fragmentations and changes of surface area against control experiments (microplastic without isolates) also confirms degrading efficiency of isolated bacterial strains through non-changes in their weight and surface area. The highest degradation of PP and PE were observed in BP (78.99 ± 0.005%), and BC (63.08 ± 0.009%) in single approach, while in combined approach BC & BP recorded the highest degradation in both PP (78.62 ± 2.16%), and PE (72.50 ± 20.53%). The formation of new functional groups is confirming the biofilm formation in the surface area of microplastics by isolates and proving their efficiency in degrade the microplastics. The degradation of microplastic experiments should be cost effective and zero waste which is helpful to save the environment and the present findings could reveal the way to degrade the microplastics and prevent the microplastic pollution in aquatic environment.
... C'est le cas des filtreurs qui ont tendance à ingérer passivement des MP avec leur nourriture habituelle (Rist et al., 2019). Cela a été démontré pour de nombreuses espèces aquatiques comme le zooplancton (Cole et al., 2013), les bivalves (Santana et al., 2016), les cirripèdes (Goldstein & Goodwin, 2013), et même les baleines filtrantes (Fossi et al., 2016). En plus des impacts multiples (e.g. ...
Thesis
Les microplastiques (MP) sont largement répandus dans les zones côtières et les océans du monde entier. Les MP sont préoccupants sur le plan environnemental en raison de leurs impacts potentiels sur un large éventail d’organismes marins, de sorte que l'évaluation de leur impact sur les écosystèmes est devenue une priorité de recherche. En complément, les substances phytosanitaires utilisées régulièrement en agriculture se déversent dans les milieux côtiers, par ruissellements. Ces travaux de thèse se sont focalisés sur (i) une étude exploratoire d’un site pilote des Pertuis Charentais (PC) afin d’évaluer l’importance de la contamination plastique et pouvoir évaluer leur toxicité sur (ii) les stades précoces et (iii) tardifs de développement de l’huître creuse, Crassostrea gigas. Ces travaux fournissent une première investigation de l’état de contamination plastique (macro et micro) d’un site d’étude littoral des PC, où la présence de plastiques ostréicoles ainsi que des concentrations élevées en MP dans les sédiments de plage ont été identifiés. De plus, les expérimentations menées en conditions de laboratoire contrôlées, nous informent sur le caractère toxique des MP de PE et des pesticides sur les stades précoces de développement (embryo-larvaire) de l’huitre creuse. Les pesticides dosés dans les eaux des PC ont montré des effets significatifs à des concentrations proches de l’environnement naturel alors que les MP s’avèrent toxiques pour des concentrations plus fortes. Ces effets apparaissent sur le développement, la croissance et le comportement natatoire des larves d’huitre creuse. Des expérimentations complémentaires, effectuées sur des stades plus tardifs, notamment les naissains d’huitre creuse, ont permis de montrer un comportement valvaire modifié suite à une exposition de 25 jours aux MP de type PE et au Chlortoluron, en conditions de laboratoire. Les effets intergénérationnels ont pu être observés avec l’utilisation de MP environnementaux (cocktail de PE, PP et PVC), vieillis aux abords des concessions ostréicoles. La qualité et le succès de fécondation ont été modifiés ainsi que le développement et le comportement de nage des larves-D issues de parents préalablement exposés durant deux mois. Ces premiers résultats permettront de renforcer les connaissances de la communauté scientifique et d’informer les professionnels et acteurs conchylicoles sur les risques des contaminants émergents, tels que les MP et les pesticides. Des adaptations des pratiques conchylicoles seront nécessaires afin d’éviter une probable dégradation de la qualité des eaux littorales dans les PC.
... Several hundreds of chemicals are either added or adsorbs by the MPs, including phthalates, organochlorine contaminants (HCB, DDTs, PCBs), persistent organic pollutants, organophospho-rus esters, dioxins, antibiotics, tributyltin, bisphenol A, aluminium oxide, chromium, lead, cadmium, antimony, and other chemical ingredients (Ylitalo et al., 2005;Fossi et al., 2014;Fossi et al., 2016;Kedzierski et al., 2018;Campanale et al., 2020;Barrick et al., 2021;Meaza et al., 2021). Due to the contaminant's hydrophobicity, these contaminants have a greater affinity for MPs than natural sediments and seawater. ...
Article
Full-text available
Microplastics (MPs), an emerging ubiquitous pollutant in the aquatic ecosystem, pose serious health concerns to the survival of aquatic fauna, especially top predators (e.g., aquatic mammals). It is challenging to investigate the toxicological profile of MPs in aquatic mammals due to their diverse toxicological behaviour, physico-chemical properties, and other technical and ethical issues. This study reviewed the current burden of MPs in the aquatic ecosystem, the occurrence of MPs in the various tissues of aquatic mammals, its composition (heavy metals, pesticides, pathogens), and possible health effects on individual and population levels in aquatic mammals. Aquatic mammals are constantly exposed to MPs directly and indirectly via the food-web. The MPs and a wide range of toxic heavy metals, pesticides, and pathogens added during manufacturing or adsorbed from the surrounding environments are bioaccumulated in aquatic mammals for years. Due to their long life-span and heavy body masses, these pollutants can cause several serious health issues in aquatic mammals that can drastically reduce the population size and ultimately can cause extinction, especially in vulnerable populations. Still today the toxicological profile of MPs and its presence in other deep tissues largely remains unknown in aquatic mammals. We therefore suggest a global assessment of the risks associated with the consumption of MPs by aquatic mammals and the presence of MPs in their habitats.
... This observation potentially results from several factors including the high population concentration (∼150 million), the increased tourism activity in the Mediterranean area (1/3 of the world's tourism), the expanded shipping activity (15% of the global shipping; UNEP/MAP, 2017), in combination with the enclosed character of the basin. The distribution of floating MPs in the Mediterranean Sea, has been mainly investigated in the northwestern and central part of the basin (Collignon et al., 2012(Collignon et al., , 2014Fossi et al., 2012Fossi et al., , 2016De Lucia et al., 2014;Cózar et al., 2015;Pedrotti et al., 2016;Suaria et al., 2016;Zeri et al., 2018). Even though there are some studies in the open and coastal waters in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (Cózar et al., 2015;Gündogdu and Çevik, 2017;Güven et al., 2017;van der Hal al., 2017), there is still lack of information for the floating MPs distribution. ...
Article
Full-text available
Microplastic pollution is a pervasive anthropogenic phenomenon at the ocean surface. Numerous studies have been performed worldwide; nevertheless, the distribution patterns, morphological properties, and sources of origin in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea are still poorly explored. The purpose of this study is to investigate the distribution patterns of surface floating microplastics (MPs) in the Ionian, Aegean, and Levantine Seas in relation to their sources and sea surface circulation. In total, eighty-four samples were collected using manta nets from 2014 to 2020, covering open waters, coastal waters, and enclosed gulfs (Corfu and Saronikos). MPs concentration measurements revealed high variability ranging from 0.012 to 1.62 items m –2 and did not present maximum concentrations close to MPs hotspot areas. The presence of sea surface slicks, as recorded visually during our samplings, seems to play a key role on the distribution pattern of MPs, and highest concentrations were recorded in samples affected by these formations. The dominant MPs shape type identified were fragments (50–60%), whilst filaments (1–23%), films (3–26%), and foams (0–34%) varied among the studied areas. The majority of MPs in open waters had sizes ≤2 mm peaking between 0.6 and 1.4 mm. Spectroscopic analysis of MPs revealed the presence of 11 polymer types in both open sea and gulfs; the most abundant type was polyethylene (PE), followed by polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS). The relative abundance of polymer types was more diverse in Saronikos Gulf, compared to the open sea due to the proximity to major urban and industrial sources. Our findings suggest that the vicinity to coastal population centers determined the properties, size and polymer types of MPs and highlight that MPs concentrations are affected significantly by local oceanographic conditions, such as surface slicks.
... Over the years from 2012 to 2017, different researches that have been conducted by Fossi et al. attributed the presence of inspected MPs as well as their related pollutants (e.g., persistent organic pollutants and additive phthalates) inside the Mediterranean fin whales Balaenoptera physalus to the direct MPs ingestion in addition to filter-feeding of contaminated prey. They also suggested the potential overlap between the MPs hot spot area and the whale feeding habitat [236][237][238][239]. An indirect skin biopsy toxicological investigation performed by the same author on 12 whale sharks assembled from the Gulf of California, assured the presence of DDTs, PBDEs, PCBs, and CYP1A-like protein with elevated concentrations in the subcutaneous tissues, reflecting the undesirable influences on the sharks [240]. ...
Article
Microplastics (MPs) have been seen over recent years as a major water contaminant with significant potential for adverse health and animal health effects. Natural attenuation has little impact, and traditional treatment processes are unable to fully eliminate MPs, which have been reported to accumulate in the ecosystem, in aquatic food web species, and humans; Aquatic plants can accumulate MPs in their tissues, thereby possibly transferring the accumulated MPs to higher trophic levels through the food chain. This review provides explanations for the interaction between community composition in the aqueous ecosystem and MPs. MPs could act as vectors for persistent organic/inorganic pollutants in the natural environment. As a result of MPs interaction with pollutants of emerging concern and/or heavy metals, enhanced toxicity has been summarized; MPs can accommodate several contaminants onto their surface due to the high adsorption potentiality. It is imperative to understand the occurrence and prevalence of MPs in the aquatic environment. limitations in reproducing real conditions for MPs occurrence in environmental matrices (composition, size, concentration) was observed due to their interaction with different pollutants, therefore, very few studies have been carried out about MPs remediation, and there is a paucity of information, especially on the designed techniques to remove MPs from wastewater efficiently. Efficient technologies like floatation, filtration, and membrane separation have been discussed considering their merits and demerits.
... Yan et al. (2020) investigated the capacity of synthesized 500 nm PS MPs and 60 nm PS NPs to adsorb TC on human gastric cancer cells and found that both the 600 mg/L PS NPs and PS MPs could decrease the cell viability, induce oxidation stress, and cause apoptosis. Moreover, MPs consumption could lead to oxidative stress, abrasion, satiation, ulcers, decreased growth rate, and decreased reproduction (Miao et al., 2011;Fossi et al., 2016). Ma et al. (2016) compared the joint toxicity of NPs/MPs (from 50 nm to 10 μm) with Phe to D. magna and the effects of NPs/MPs on the environmental fate bioaccumulation of 14C-Phe in freshwater and found that the 50 nm NPs had significantly higher toxicity and caused physical damage to D. magna. ...
Article
Full-text available
Nano/microplastics (NPs/MPs) and organic micropollutants are contaminants exerting serious threats to aquatic ecosystems, which are further aggravated through their interactions. Organic micropollutants can adsorb on the surface of NPs/MPs, enter to the digestive systems of aquatic organisms with NPs/MPs, and desorb from the surface inside the organism. Consequently, the migration behaviour of organic micropollutants is significantly affected increasing their risk to accumulate in the food chain. Therefore, understanding the adsorption interactions between NPs/MPs and organic micropollutants is critical for evaluating the fate and impact of NPs/MPs in the environment. This review article provides an overview about the role of NPs/MPs as (temporary) sinks for organic micropollutants but also as primary sources of organic micropollutants through the leaching of plastic additives. Specifically, the following aspects are discussed: adsorption/desorption mechanisms (e.g., hydrophobic partitioning interaction, surface adsorption by van der Waals forces or hydrogen bonding, and pore filling), influencing environmental factors (e.g., pH, salinity, and dissolved organic matter), leaching of plastic additives from NPs/MPs, and potential ecotoxicological effects arising from the interactions of NPs/MPs and organic micropollutants.
... For marine animals, microplastics may be produced from feeder on the aquaculture or by ingesting microplastic prey. Indeed, marine mammals can be regarded as an ocean safety sentinel for microplastic ingestion and plastic contaminants consumption in different baleen whales (Fossi et al., 2012(Fossi et al., , 2014(Fossi et al., , 2016Baini et al., 2017;Lavers et al., 2019;Kuhn et al., 2020). ...
Preprint
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The accumulation of plastic substances in the aquatic ecosystem is a threat that should not be underestimated. Smaller plastic pieces, such as microplastics and nanoplastics, are of particular concern since their presence in the food web is persistent. Microplastics enter in the food chain and its very bottom, when aquatic organisms eat or ingest contaminated food materials, and keep being transferred in the next food web such as predators including humans. It is evident that aquatic organisms frequently ingest microplastics across a variety of feeding guilds. Marine organisms may cause shock, inner or outer injuries, ulcerating sores, blocking digestive tracts, fake feelings, degraded feeding capabilities, fatigue, weakness, limited predator prevention, or death due to the ingestion of large plastic material and/or particles. However, effects of microplastic particles on marine organisms and the toxicity mechanisms are largely unknown. There is much more limited evidence of the impacts of microplastics intake on freshwater species, both in the limited number of studies performed and the number of species examined. However, a few recent freshwater investigations imply that the physical impacts are similar to those observed in the sea. As a result, we conducted a brief evaluation of the state of the science in order to identify knowledge gaps and research requirements to examine the impacts of microplastics on aquatic ecosystem. To yet, just a few researches have looked at the biological consequences of plastics on aquatic organisms, and the important transport pathways of plastics from freshwater to marine environments and vice-versa.
... PP is used in the production of automobile parts, packaging, toys, ropes, disposable syringes as well as domestic ware (Esthappan et al., 2012;Rai et al., 2021) and its presence is also confirmed in the submerged sediment (Ballent et al., 2016). Furthermore, it has been found in the digestive tracts of various marine animals including fish, turtles, and whales (Fossi et al., 2016;Bessa et al., 2018;Caron et al., 2018). Therefore, there is a need for an innovative and environmentally friendly technology that can simultaneously remove these persistent contaminants from aquatic ecosystems along with the release of byproducts that are less noxious, and preferably non-toxic. ...
Article
Endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), as well as microplastics, have drawn global attention due to their presence in the aquatic ecosystem and persistence in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In the present study, for simultaneous bio-removal of two EDCs, 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), bisphenol A (BPA), and a microplastic, polypropylene (PP) four kinds of periphytic biofilms were employed. Additionally, the effect of humic acid (HA) on the removal efficacy of these biofilms was evaluated. It was observed that EE2 and BPA (0.2 mg L⁻¹ each) were completely (∼100%) removed within 36 days of treatment; and the biodegradation of EE2, BPA, and PP was significantly enhanced in the presence of HA. Biodegradation of EE2 and BPA was evaluated through Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC), and Gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) was used to determine the mechanism of degradation. Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and SEM had validated the biodegradation of PP (5.2–14.7%). MiSeqsequencing showed that the community structure of natural biofilm changed after the addition of HA, as well as after the addition of EDCs and PP. This change in community structure might be a key factor regarding variable biodegradation percentages. The present study revealed the potential of periphytic biofilms for the simultaneous removal of pollutants of different chemical natures, thus provides a promising new method for wastewater treatment applications.
Preprint
Marine litter is composed mainly of plastics and is recognized as a serious threats to marine ecosystems. Ecotoxicological approaches have started elucidating the potential severity of microplastics (MPs) in controlled laboratory studies with pristine materials but no information exist on marine environmental microlitter as a whole. Here, we characterized the litter in the coastal Northern Tyrrhenian sea and in the stomach of two fish species of socio-economic importance, and exposed primary cell cultures of mucosal and lymphoid organs to marine microlitter for evaluating possible cytotoxic effects. An average of 0.30 ± 0.02 microlitter items m ⁻³ was found in water samples. μFT-IR analysis revealed that plastic particles, namely HDPE, polyamide and polypropylene were present in 100% and 83.3% of Merluccius merluccius and Mullus barbatus analyzed, which overall ingested 14.67 ± 4.10 and 5.50 ± 1.97 items/individual, respectively. Moreover, microlitter was confirmed as a vector of microorganisms. Lastly, the apical end-point of viability was found to be significantly reduced in splenic cells exposed in vitro to two microlitter conditions. Considering the role of the spleen in the mounting of adaptive immune responses, our results warrant more in-depth investigations for clarifying the actual susceptibility of these two species to anthropogenic microlitter. Highlights 0.30 ± 0.02 microlitter items m ⁻³ were found at the surface of coastal Northern Tyrrhenian sea 14.67 ± 4.10 and 5.50 ± 1.97 items/individual were retrieved from the stomach of hakes and mullets The ingested microlitter contained plastic items Microlitter was validated as a carrier of bacteria, fungi and flagellates Splenic cells exposed to two microlitter conditions for 72 hours suffered cytotoxicity
Article
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The Mediterranean is considered a hot-spot for plastic pollution, due to its semi-enclosed nature and heavily populated coastal areas. In the present study, a basin-scale coupled hydrodynamic/particle drift model was used to track the pathways and fate of plastics from major land-based sources (coastal cities and rivers), taking into account of the most important processes (advection, stokes drift, vertical and horizontal mixing, sinking, wind drag, and beaching). A hybrid ensemble Kalman filter algorithm was implemented to correct the near- surface circulation, assimilating satellite data (sea surface height, temperature) in the hydrodynamic model. Different size classes and/or types of both micro- and macroplastics were considered in the model. Biofouling induced sinking was explicitly described, as a possible mechanism of microplastics removal from the surface. A simplified parameterization of size-dependent biofilm growth has been adopted, as a function of bacterial biomass (obtained from a biogeochemical model simulation), being considered a proxy for the biofouling community. The simulated distributions for micro- and macroplastics were validated against available observations, showing reasonable agreement, both in terms of magnitude and horizontal variability. An 8-year simulation was used to identify micro- and macroplastics accumulation patterns in the surface layer, water column, seafloor and beaches. The impact of different processes (vertical mixing, biofouling, and wind/wave drift) was identified through a series of sensitivity experiments. For both micro- and macroplastics, distributions at sea surface were closely related to the adopted sources. The microplastics concentration was drastically reduced away from source areas, due to biofouling induced sinking, with their size distribution dominated by larger (>1 mm) size classes in open sea areas, in agreement with observations. High concentration patches of floating plastics were simulated in convergence areas, characterized by anticyclonic circulation. The distribution of macroplastics on beaches followed the predominant southeastward wind/wave direction. In the water column, a sub-surface maximum in microplastics abundance was simulated, with increasing contribution of smaller particles in deeper layers. Accumulation of microplastics on the seafloor was limited in relatively shallow areas (<500 m), with bottom depth below their relaxation depth due to defouling. The simulated total amount of floating plastics (∼3,760 tonnes) is comparable with estimates from observations.
Article
The study evaluated the impact of ingestion of microplastics on accumulation, survival, opercular respiratory rate (ORR), and swimming performance of Clarias gariepinus, the African freshwater catfish exposed to polyethylene microplastics. Juveniles were exposed for 4 days to 50–500 µm low-density polyethylene (LDPE) microplastics at four different concentrations (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 g/L). After 4 days of exposure, the concentration of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of the fish increased with increasing concentrations of microplastics. Mean weights of microplastics in the GIT of the fish ranged from 0.0025 ± 0.001 g to 0.054 ± 0.01 g, suggesting that the fish were unable to detect and avoid ingesting the microplastics. No mortality was observed in all the treatment concentrations except in the highest concentration (2 g/L) where 10% mortality was observed. The results showed that ORR increased in a concentration and time-dependent manner. Compared with the control group, the swimming speed, travel distance and movement patterns of the fish exposed to microplastics were significantly reduced (p < 0.05). Therefore, this study helps understand the environmental impact of microplastics on C. gariepinus in freshwater environments
Article
The awareness of the plastic issue is rising in recent years. Our seas and coastal seawaters are investigated with the aim to evaluate the possible fate, behavior and the impact of these novel contaminants upon marine biota. In particular, benthic organisms are exposed to micro(nano)plastics that sink and accumulated on the seabed. Sea urchins can be prone to the plastic impact for all their lifespan with effect that can be extended upon the trophic cascade since their key role as grazer organisms. Moreover, they are largely used in the assessment of contaminant impact both as adult individuals and as early larval stages. This review analyzes the recent literature about the chemical and physical hazards posed by diverse polymers to sea urchins, in relation to their peculiar characteristics and to their size. The search was based on a query of the keyword terms: microplastic _ OR nanoplastic_AND Sea urchins in Web of Science and Google Scholar. The effects provoked by exposure of different sea urchin biological form are highlighted, considering both laboratory exposure and collection in real world. Additional focus has also been given upon the exposure methods utilized in laboratory test and in the existing limitations in the testing procedures. In conclusion, the micro(nano)plastics major impact seemed to be attributable to leaching compounds, however variability and lacking of realisms in the procedures do not allow a full understanding of the hazard posed by micro(nano)plastics for sea urchins. Finally, the work provides insights into the future research strategies to better characterize the actual risk for sea urchins.
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Microplastics have emerged as a major threat for the aquatic ecosystems in recent decades. They have been a great danger to the coastal ecosystems where they pose serious harmful effects on the water quality, fishes, dolphins, crabs, planktons, and other benthic organisms. Urbanization and industrialization have brought with them a deteriorating impact on the environment. Such harmful impacts are very much visible in various forms like air pollution, water pollution, toxic chemicals, waste generation and management issues, and degradation of land. Among many such cases, plastic pollution in general and microplastics in particular is the one among many. According to sizes, plastics are grouped as macroplastics and microplastics. The difference is because of size difference of fragments. Microplastics are generally less than 5 mm, and above this are the macroplastics. They are widely spread across the marine ecosystems. They have become part of the system. They pose many dangers to marine biodiversity because whatever be the source and site of their generation, they are carried away with rivers, streams, and floodwaters to oceans. Seas and oceans are their final destination, where they remain in the form of debris and contaminate the water quality and affect marine biodiversity as well. Often, the fishes, whales, and other sea animals eat plastics considering them to be their food. Microplastics are chemical formulation. When ingested by sea animals, they suffer from many health issues. Many times, they die out of suffocation. As far as microplastics are concerned, they remain suspended in the water because of their minimal size, which ultimately hinders the marine animals’ various life processes—problems related to the coastal regions and their great significance in the overall ecology. This chapter is designed to focus on the spread of microplastics’ menace across the globe and the ill effects caused by it on marine life and overall system, the challenges involved in tackling such a situation, and possible recommendations.
Chapter
Plastics are materials composed of polymers, defined as repeating chains of molecules that can be easily processed and shaped. Common plastics are obtained from fossil fuels, such as crude oil and natural gas, and are nowadays the main materials of most consumer goods. The many uses of plastics prompted an ever-increasing production that is now abundantly beyond 300 million tons per year. This massive production made plastics ubiquitous in the environment, especially in marine ecosystems that act as the final sink for most land-based plastic litter. Marine plastic pollution is made even worse by microplastics, whose harmful impact affects the geochemistry, biology, and ecology of all oceans and seas. The effects of marine plastic litter are recognized as a global issue, and important signals to fight this phenomenon come from the main stakeholders such as scientific community with intense research, policy-makers with measures to support a circular plastics economy, the third sector trying to improve their green image, as well as ordinary citizens more and more aware of the sea conditions.
Chapter
Every piece of plastic is made up of a unique combination of the host polymer, with some residual monomers or catalysts, as well as chemical additives added during processing of the plastic. This chapter aims to introduce plastic additives with a focus on their chemistry and function, transport and fate, detection in marine environments, and toxicities. The extensive list of additives can be simplified by dividing the types of additives into three groups: functional additives, colorants, and fillers/reinforcements. Plasticizers are added to plastics to improve their flexibility, durability, and elasticity over a broad range of temperatures while also reducing the glass transition temperature and the melt flow. Additives are well known to leach from plastics in the marine environment. Like their plastic counterparts, plastic additives are also susceptible to oxidative degradation and biodegradation. The toxicity of plastic additives is quite variable given the diversity of their chemical classes.
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Microplastics (MPs) have become an emerging global pollutant due to their widespread dispersion and potential threats to marine ecosystems. However, studies on MPs in estuarine and coastal ecosystems of Bangladesh are very limited. Here, we conducted the first study on abundance, distribution, characteristics, and risk assessment of microplastics in the sediment of Karnaphuli River estuary, Bangladesh. Microplastic particles were extracted from sediments of 30 stations along the estuary by density separation and then enumerated and characterized using a stereomicroscope and Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. In the collected sediment of the Karnaphuli River estuary, the number of MPs varied from 22.29 to 59.5 items kg⁻¹ of dry weight. The mean abundance was higher in the downstream and left banks of the estuary, whereas the predominant shape, colour, and size of MPs were films (35%), and white (19%), and 1–5 mm (30.38%), respectively. Major polymer types were polyethylene terephthalate, polystyrene, polyethylene, cellulose, and nylon. MPs were found to pose risks (low to high) in the sediment of the estuary, with the highest risk occurring at one station near a sewage outlet, according to the results of risk analyses using the pollution risk index, polymer risk index (H), contamination factors, and pollution load index (PLI). The single value index, PLI, clearly demonstrated that all sampling sites were considerably polluted with microplastics (PLI > 1). H values showed toxic polymers, even in lower proportions, possess higher polymeric hazard scores and vice versa. This investigation uncovered new insights on the status of MPs in the sediments of the Karnaphuli River estuary, laying the groundwork for future research and control of microplastic pollution and management.
Article
Microplastics (MPs) are characterized by their high persistence in marine ecosystems, and due to their small size, they can be easily ingested by very diverse organisms. Although the presence of MPs in wild fish is well documented, there is still limited information on their potential to induce adverse effects. Pelagic fish species, because of their wide distribution, are considered good bioindicators for monitoring environmental pollution of marine ecosystems. This study investigated the presence of MPs in the gastrointestinal tract of the predatory pelagic fish (Seriola dumerili) in the Balearic Islands (Mediterranean Sea), and the possible relationship with oxidative stress through the analysis of biomarkers in liver tissue. The results showed the presence of MPs in 98% of total samples examined (n = 52) with an average of 12.2 ± 1.3 MPs/individual. A greater amount of fibre-like particles was isolated compared to fragments. No correlation between the presence of MPs in the gastrointestinal contents and the size of the fishes was noted. Antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and catalase) and the phase II detoxification enzyme glutathione-S-transferase showed increased activities in fish with higher MPs load. The activity ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase and the levels of malondialdehyde were similar in both groups. In conclusion, the present results provide an important database on the assessment of the presence of MP debris in S. dumerili gastrointestinal tract and, the potential capability to cause oxidative stress.
Article
Microplastics (MPs) contamination has become a global concern with potential impacts on the marine environment. Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a significant contributor of plastic litter inputs into the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The current study provides an in-depth analysis of the plastic particles accumulated along Alexandria beaches. Types, composition, and potential sources of MPs were investigated using microscopy and thermal analysis. A mean value of 389.1 ± 285.9 items kg−1 dry weight was detected in the shore sediments similar to other records from the Eastern Mediterranean region. An average of 457.4 ± 281.8 items m−3 was recorded in the surface water, which was the highest recorded MPs density in onshore waters of the Mediterranean region. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) showed that plastics made up 0.5% - 72% of the materials extracted from the sediment samples, and 0.58% - 20.6% from the water samples. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) identified ten semi-crystalline polymers. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA) were the common polymers. The single-use plastic bags and detergents were the land-based sources of marine plastic litter. The sea-based sources included antifouling paints, maintenance of ships, and abandoned fishing gears. Proper management plans of domestic waste input, polluter-pay strategy, and education programs aiming at the fishermen and how plastic pollution would impact their livelihood are urgently needed.
Article
Marine microplastics (MPs) pose a risk to human health through accumulation in maricultural organisms, particularly bivalves. Various studies have reported the presence of MP particles in Pacific oysters (Crasostrea gigas). In this study, we investigated the size-specific ingestion and egestion of polystyrene (PS) MPs by Pacific oysters. The cultivation density of C. gigas was maintained at 1 L of filtered seawater per oyster (n = 5) during the MP ingestion and egestion experiments. On exposure to 300 n/L of PS MP fragments for 7 d, 60.4% of the PS was ingested within 6 h (7.25 × 10² ± 1.36 × 10² n/indv.), and the ingestion was saturated at 12 h (1.2 × 10³ ± 2.2 × 10² n/indv.) in C. gigas. The maximum MP ingestion capacity (Igmax) of a single Pacific oyster was 73.0 ± 16.3 n/g wet weight. Further, 62.9% of the PS MP particles were egested for 7 d from the saturated single C. gigas. Ingestion and egestion varied according to the PS MP size. In the case of <50 μm PS MP, ingestion rate was low but MP amount and net-ingestion efficiency was significantly higher than other PS MP sizes. In addition, egestion, egestion rate, and net-egestion efficiency for <50 μm PS MPs were significantly higher than other PS MP sizes. Therefore, smaller MPs (<50 μm) normally exhibit the highest ingestion and egestion rates; therefore, the 50–300 μm size fraction exhibited the highest residual possibility (particles >1000 μm were excluded). Additionally, considering the net-egestion efficiency, the most economical and efficient depuration period was 24 h. This study clarifies the size-specific MP accumulation in oysters, and the egestion results suggest that the potential risk of MPs to human health through the intake of maricultural products could be reduced by depuration.
Chapter
The Mediterranean Sea, one of the most important biodiversity hotspots, has been recently considered as one of the most affected areas by marine litter. Plastics are the prevailing type of debris, accounting for up to 95–100% of total floating material, and more than 50% of seabed litter. Over the past decades, biological indicators have emerged as particularly interesting and effective measurement systems. This chapter discusses the usefulness of the main marine organisms that interact with and/or are affected by marine debris. The high number of taxa impacted by different plastic materials underlines the magnitude of this threat to biodiversity, and highlights the urgent need to promote an effective monitoring and management through sink and source surveys, strong legislation and enforced policies on plastic dumping and reuse. The priority lines of future research on marine bioindicators of plastic pollution should be oriented to prepare a robust monitoring programme that relies on a multi-species approach.
Book
Plastic Pollution and Marine Conservation: Approaches to Protect Biodiversity and Marine Life provides comprehensive knowledge on the consequences of plastic waste in marine environments at different levels, ranging from ecological and biological, to social, economic and political. The book synthesizes historical information, gaps in current knowledge, and recent discoveries by illustrating the main stages that made plastics a global issue for ocean ecosystems and their wildlife. Written by international experts on marine pollution, marine biology, and management of environmental resources, this book explores the main topics of marine plastic pollution such as input quantification, polluting sources, ultimate fate, ecological consequences, and more. This an important resource for a wide audience, including marine conservationists, environmental managers, decision-makers, NGOs, private companies, and activists working to combat plastics in our seas and oceans. https://www.elsevier.com/books/Plastic%20Pollution%20and%20Marine%20Conservation/9780128224717?utm_campaign=BookRelease_Email1_ELS&utm_medium=email&utm_acid=93990062&SIS_ID=&dgcid=BookRelease_Email1_ELS&CMX_ID=&utm_in=DM217799&utm_source=AC_
Article
Plastic trash dumped into water bodies degrade over time into small fragments. These plastic fragments, which come under the category of micro-plastics (MPs), are generally 0.05–5 mm in size, and due to their small size they are frequently consumed by aquatic organisms. As a result, widespread MPs infiltration is a global concern for the aquatic environment, posing a threat to existing life forms. MPs easily bind to other toxic chemicals or metals, acting as vector for such toxic substances and introducing them into life forms. Polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and other polymers are emerging pollutants that are detrimental to all types of organisms. The main route for MPs into the aquatic ecosystems is through the flushing of urban wastewater. The current paper investigates the origin, environmental fate, and toxicity of MPs, shedding light on their sustainable remediation.
Article
The presence of microplastics has been reported in the marine environment and these pollutants have also been reported in food webs. Information about the presence of microplastics in the Haller's Round Ray (Urobatis halleri) and bottom sediments off the east coast of the Gulf of California is non-existent. The digestive tracts of individuals of this species and sediment samples were examined for plastic particles in this region. In total, 107 plastic particles were found in the sediment. All were fibers and 94.4% were microplastics, the rest were mesoplastics. The gastrointestinal tracts of 142 rays were analysed, and it was determined that this is a benthic feeder. A total of 386 plastic particles were recovered from 46 individuals (32.4%). On average 10.2 (±7.4) plastic particles were found per specimen, with plastic lengths ranging from 0.00821 mm to 0.953 mm. The FTIR-ATR analysis revealed the presence of six types of polymers: polyamide or nylon polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyacrylic were found in both sediments and gastrointestinal tracts of Haller's Round Ray. Polyethylene terephthalate and polyacrylamide were only found in the gastrointestinal tracts of the ray. These polymers are consistent with the human activities undertaken in this area, specifically intensive small-scale and industrial fisheries, as they are used for the elaboration of fishing nets, plastic bags, storage containers, clothing, and fishing boats maintenance. Our results show that benthic feeders are exposed to plastic debris, and its presence is another potential threat to batoids, which are already threatened by bycatch, overfishing, and other pollutants. However, studies on the ingestion of plastic debris in batoids and its presence in the sediment are still scarce or non-existent for this region. As such, these studies are necessary to help in the preservation of these species.
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In this study, the abundance and properties (size, shape, and polymer type) of microplastics (MPs) in sea surface water samples, collected during two sampling campaigns over 2018–2019, in four coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea (Saronikos Gulf, LIgurian Sea, Gulf of Lion, and Gabes Gulf) were investigated. Coupled hydrodynamic/particle drift model simulations with basin-scale Mediterranean and high resolution nested models were used to provide a better understanding on the variability of the abundance/size of MPs, originating from wastewater and river runoff, in the four areas. Different size classes of MPs were considered in the model, taking into account biofouling induced sinking, as a possible mechanism of MPs removal from the surface. The Gabes Gulf showed the highest mean MPs abundance (0.073–0.310 items/m ² ), followed by Ligurian Sea (0.061–0.134 items/m ² ), Saronikos Gulf (0.047–0.080 items/m ² ), and Gulf of Lion (0.029–0.032 items/m ² ). Overall, the observed MPs abundance and size distribution was reasonably well reproduced by the model in the four different areas, except an overestimation of small size contribution in Saronikos Gulf. The basin-scale simulation revealed a strong decrease of smaller size MPs in offshore areas, due to biofouling induced sinking, with larger (floating) MPs being able to travel longer distances in the open sea. A significant impact of waves drift and advection of MPs from non-local sources was identified from model simulations, particularly in the Gulfs of Lion and Gabes, having a stronger effect on larger microplastics. In Gabes Gulf, most MPs originated from offshore areas, being mainly (floating) larger size classes, as suggested by the observed quite small contribution of <1 mm particles. The MPs observed abundance distribution in each area could be partly explained by the adopted sources distribution. The modeling tools proposed in this study provide useful insight to gain a better understanding on MPs dynamics in the marine environment and assess the current status of plastic pollution on basin and regional scale to further develop environmental management action for the mitigation of plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.
Article
The accumulation of human-derived debris in the oceans is a global concern and a serious threat to marine wildlife. There is a volume of evidence that points to deleterious effects of marine debris (MD) on cetaceans in terms of both entanglement and ingestion. This review suggests that about 68% of cetacean species are affected by interacting with MD with an increase in the number of species reported to have interacted with it over the past decades. Despite the growing body of evidence, there is an ongoing debate on the actual effects of plastics on cetaceans and, in particular, with reference to the ingestion of microplastics and their potential toxicological and pathogenic effects. Current knowledge suggests that the observed differences in the rate and nature of interactions with plastics are the result of substantial differences in species-specific diving and feeding strategies. Existing projections on the production, use and disposal of plastics suggest a further increase of marine plastic pollution. In this context, the contribution of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to marine plastic pollution appears to be substantial, with potentially serious consequences for marine life including cetaceans. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to investigate the direct links between industry, human behaviours and the effects of MD on cetaceans. This could help inform management, prevention efforts, describe knowledge gaps and guide advancements in research efforts. This review highlights the lack of assessments of population-level effects related to MD and suggests that these could be rather immediate for small populations already under pressure from other anthropogenic activities. Finally, we suggest that MD is not only a pollution, economic and social issue, but also a welfare concern for the species and populations involved.
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The presence of microplastics in the sea is a global issue widely studied and discussed in the last years. The whole marine ecosystem is now considered at high risk because of their presence and abundance in every studied environment all over the world because polymeric materials commonly constitute the main raw materials in contemporary industrial production. The presented study reports the results obtained from surface seawater monitoring of two sampling transects in the coastal area close to the Venice Lagoon (Italy) inlet, investigated in order to get new information about the presence and relevance of plastic pollution. Plastic particles collected by means of a manta net (0.3-mm mesh size) have been characterized in detail by utilizing a multi-technique approach in order to discriminate them by typology, dimension, colour, spatial density and chemical composition. Such information permitted the individuation of subgroups (specific groups) of plastic micro-debris in this Northern Adriatic area.
Chapter
Spatial and temporal variations of microplastics (MPs) studies in both fresh water and seawater ecosystems have produced many results that support the adsorption of toxic pollutants to the microplastic surface. In addition, small-sized polymer fragments have increased their participation in the food web since phytoplanktonic organisms. This situation causes consequences that can severely limit the growth and/or development of many aquatic species. In this part of the book, the toxicity studies results examined in the last 10 years show that the properties of microplastics (polymer type, shape, size, colour, etc.), the exposed dose, the forms of exposure and the way in which functional disorders occur afterwards are addressed; methodically and conceptually. In the methodology studies of toxicity studies, it was determined that the most preferred microorganism was Daphnia magna. Many factors taken into account due to the ease of operation of the organism, the clarity of the test procedures, its comparability and the purpose of the studies carried out are effective in these choices. In addition, Danio rerio, Mytilus galloprovincialis, Mytilus edulis and Scrobicularia plana were found to be among the other organisms of frequent choice. Toxicology studies focus more on the effect of exposure to a single concentration or independent chemicals. Therefore, researchers have struggled to find answers to the type of interaction. The movement and dynamic of microplastics in water, the similarity of MP colour to nutrients for the organism or pollutant absorption due to surface load affect the accumulation of pollutants in the organism. In addition, it has been observed that polymer type is an important factor in determining microplastic toxicity, while polypropylene (PP) is the most common type of microplastic in detection and analysis studies, toxicology and MP studies have shown that studies on polyethylene (PE) and polystyrene (PS) are high. The pressure of these polymers on each step in the food web, when additives used in the plastic manufacturing process are added, leading to toxicology results reach to a toxic or very toxic level.
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Microplastic particles (MP) contaminate oceans and affect marine organisms in several ways. Ingestion combined with food intake is generally reported. However, data interpretation often is circumvented by the difficulty to separate MP from bulk samples. Visual examination often is used as one or the only step to sort these particles. However, color, size, and shape are insufficient and often unreliable criteria. We present an extraction method based on hypochlorite digestion and isolation of MP from the membrane by sonication. The protocol is especially well adapted to a subsequent analysis by Raman spectroscopy. The method avoids fluorescence problems, allowing better identification of anthropogenic particles (AP) from stomach contents of fish by Raman spectroscopy. It was developed with commercial samples of microplastics and cotton along with stomach contents from three different Clupeiformes fishes: Clupea harengus, Sardina pilchardus, and Engraulis encrasicolus. The optimized digestion and isolation protocol showed no visible impact on microplastics and cotton particles while the Raman spectroscopic spectrum allowed the precise identification of microplastics and textile fibers. Thirty-five particles were isolated from nine fish stomach contents. Raman analysis has confirmed 11 microplastics and 13 fibers mainly made of cellulose or lignin. Some particles were not completely identified but contained artificial dyes. The novel approach developed in this manuscript should help to assess the presence, quantity, and composition of AP in planktivorous fish stomachs.
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In this review we report new findings concerning interaction between marine debris and wildlife. Deleterious effects and consequences of entangle-ment, consumption and smothering are highlighted and discussed. The number of species known to have been affected by either entanglement or ingestion of plastic debris has doubled since 1997, from 267 to 557 species among all groups of wildlife. For marine turtles the number of affected species increased from 86 to 100 % (now 7 of 7 species), for marine mammals from 43 to 66 % (now 81 of 123 species) and for seabirds from 44 to 50 % of species (now 203 of 406 species). Strong increases in records were also listed for fish and invertebrates, groups that were previously not considered in detail. In future records of interactions between marine debris and wildlife we recommend to focus on standardized data on frequency of occurrence and quantities of debris ingested. In combination with dedicated impact studies in the wild or experiments, this will allow more detailed assessments of the deleterious effects of marine debris on individuals and populations.
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Concentrations of floating plastic were measured throughout the Mediterranean Sea to assess whether this basin can be regarded as a great accumulation region of plastic debris. We found that the average density of plastic (1 item per 4 m2), as well as its frequency of occurrence (100% of the sites sampled), are comparable to the accumulation zones described for the five subtropical ocean gyres. Plastic debris in the Mediterranean surface waters was dominated by millimeter-sized fragments, but showed a higher proportion of large plastic objects than that present in oceanic gyres, reflecting the closer connection with pollution sources. The accumulation of floating plastic in the Mediterranean Sea (between 1,000 and 3,000 tons) is likely related to the high human pressure together with the hydrodynamics of this semi-enclosed basin, with outflow mainly occurring through a deep water layer. Given the biological richness and concentration of economic activities in the Mediterranean Sea, the affects of plastic pollution on marine and human life are expected to be particularly frequent in this plastic accumulation region.
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The Mediterranean Sea is the area most affected in the world by marine litter, now including a majority of plastic debris. Input sources vary and are affected by factors such as proximity of urban centers, coastal uses, wind and current patterns. Mediterranean beaches are increasingly littered by plastics, aluminium cans, glass bottles, smoking-related debris. Mediterranean submarine canyons are important accumulation sites as well: in a sea where continental shelves are narrow, they contribute to the transfer of debris to the deep sea. This chapter reviews inter alia the current state of knowledge on the physical transport of plastic litter, its colonization by marine microbiota, its impact and toxicity on marine organisms ranging from algae to marine mammals, the biodegradability and bio-availability of microplastics, their interaction with marine bacteria, and points to promising areas for future research. Interested readers can access the detailed table of contents, and order the full 180 pages Monograph from https://www.ciesm.org/catalog/index.php?article=2004&tg=RG
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Plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the marine environment, yet estimates of the global abundance and weight of floating plastics have lacked data, particularly from the Southern Hemisphere and remote regions. Here we report an estimate of the total number of plastic particles and their weight floating in the world’s oceans from 24 expeditions (2007–2013) across all five sub-tropical gyres, costal Australia, Bay of Bengal and the Mediterranean Sea conducting surface net tows (N5680) and visual survey transects of large plastic debris (N5891). Using an oceanographic model of floating debris dispersal calibrated by our data, and correcting for wind-driven vertical mixing, we estimate a minimum of 5.25 trillion particles weighing 268,940 tons. When comparing between four size classes, two microplastic ,4.75 mm and meso- and macroplastic .4.75 mm, a tremendous loss of microplastics is observed from the sea surface compared to expected rates of fragmentation, suggesting there are mechanisms at play that remove ,4.75 mm plastic particles from the ocean surface.
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Due to their versatility, robustness, and low production costs, plastics are used in a wide variety of applications. Plasticizers are mixed with polymers to increase flexibility of plastics. However, plasticizers are not covalently bound to plastics, and thus leach from products into the environment. Several studies have reported that two common plasticizers, bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, induce adverse health effects in vertebrates; however few studies have addressed their toxicity to non-mammalian species. The aim of this review is to compare the effects of plasticizers in animals, with a focus on aquatic species. In summary, we identified three main chains of events that occur in animals exposed to BPA and phthalates. Firstly, plasticizers affect development by altering both the thyroid hormone and growth hormone axes. Secondly, these chemicals interfere with reproduction by decreasing cholesterol transport through the mitochondrial membrane, leading to reduced steroidogenesis. Lastly, exposure to plasticizers leads to the activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors, the increase of fatty acid oxidation, and the reduction in the ability to cope with the augmented oxidative stress leading to reproductive organ malformations, reproductive defects, and decreased fertility.
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There is a rising concern regarding the accumulation of floating plastic debris in the open ocean. However, the magnitude and the fate of this pollution are still open questions. Using data from the Malaspina 2010 circumnavigation, regional surveys, and previously published reports, we show a worldwide distribution of plastic on the surface of the open ocean, mostly accumulating in the convergence zones of each of the five subtropical gyres with comparable density. However, the global load of plastic on the open ocean surface was estimated to be on the order of tens of thousands of tons, far less than expected. Our observations of the size distribution of floating plastic debris point at important size-selective sinks removing millimeter-sized fragments of floating plastic on a large scale. This sink may involve a combination of fast nano-fragmentation of the microplastic into particles of microns or smaller, their transference to the ocean interior by food webs and ballasting processes, and processes yet to be discovered. Resolving the fate of the missing plastic debris is of fundamental importance to determine the nature and significance of the impacts of plastic pollution in the ocean.
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Plastic debris litters aquatic habitats globally, the majority of which is microscopic (< 1 mm), and is ingested by a large range of species. Risks associated with such small fragments come from the material itself and from chemical pollutants that sorb to it from surrounding water. Hazards associated with the complex mixture of plastic and accumulated pollutants are largely unknown. Here, we show that fish, exposed to a mixture of polyethylene with chemical pollutants sorbed from the marine environment, bioaccumulate these chemical pollutants and suffer liver toxicity and pathology. Fish fed virgin polyethylene fragments also show signs of stress, although less severe than fish fed marine polyethylene fragments. We provide baseline information regarding the bioaccumulation of chemicals and associated health effects from plastic ingestion in fish and demonstrate that future assessments should consider the complex mixture of the plastic material and their associated chemical pollutants.
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ABSTRACT Due to their large body size and high mammalian metabolic rate, blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) have the highest average daily total energy requirement of any species. Blue whales meet this energy demand,by feeding exclusively upon dense but patchy schools of euphausiids. We used an integrated approach to determine whether a unique combination,of seasonally high primary production supported by coastal upwelling works in concert with topographic breaks in the continental shelf off California to collect and maintain large concentrations of euphausiids that are exploited by foraging whales. Specifically we used concurrent ship- and mooring-based oceanographic, hydroacoustic, and net sampling, opportunistic whale sighting records, systematic visual surveys, and time-depth recorder deployment to: 1) define prey patches and whale foraging behavior within patches, 2) determine spatial and temporal patterns in the distribution and abundance of whale prey patches, and 3) examine the biotic and abiotic factors important in creating whale foraging patches in the seasonal upwelling context of Monterey Bay, California between 1992-1996. Blue whales fed exclusively upon epipelagic euphausiids (Thysanoessa spinifera and Euphausia pacifica) that were larger and in proportions from that generally available in the Bay. Foraging blue whales targeted schools of adult T. spinifera, diving repeatedly to extremely dense patches aggregated between 150 and 200m on the edge of the Monterey Bay Submarine Canyon. These patches averaged 145 g m,) and the presence of a deep canyon that provided deep water downstream,from the Davenport/Año Nuevo coastal upwelling center. Peak euphausiid densities occur in late summer/early fall, lagging the seasonal increase in primary production by 3-4 months. This lag likely
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Fin whales Balaenoptera physalus exhibit one of the most extreme feeding methods among aquatic vertebrates. Fin whales, and other rorquals (Balaenopteridae), lunge with their mouth fully agape, thereby generating dynamic pressure to stretch their mouth around a large volume of prey-laden water, which is then filtered by racks of baleen. Despite their large body size, fin whales appear to be limited to short dive durations, likely because of the energetic cost associated with large accelerations of the body during several lunges at depth. Here, we incorporate kinematic data from high-resolution digital tags and morphological data of the engulfment apparatus in a simple mechan- ical model to estimate the drag acting on a lunge-feeding fin whale. This model also allowed us to quantify the amount of water and prey obtained in a single lunge. Our analysis suggests that the reconfiguration and expansion of the buccal cavity enables an adult fin whale to engulf approxi- mately 60 to 82 m3 of water, a volume greater than its entire body. This large engulfment capacity, however, comes at a high cost because the drag, work against drag, and drag coefficient dramatically increase over the course of a lunge. As a result, kinetic energy is rapidly dissipated from the body, and each subsequent lunge requires acceleration from rest. Despite this high cost, living bal- aenopterids are not only among the largest animals on earth, but are relatively speciose and exhibit diverse prey preferences. Given this ecological diversity, we frame our results in an evolutionary con- text, and address the implications of our results for the origin of lunge feeding.
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Small plastic detritus, termed 'microplastics', are a widespread and ubiquitous contaminant of marine ecosystems across the globe. Ingestion of microplastics by marine biota, including mussels, worms, fish and seabirds, has been widely reported, but despite their vital ecological role in marine food-webs, the impact of microplastics on zooplankton remains under-researched. Here, we show that microplastics are ingested by, and may impact upon, zooplankton. We used bio-imaging techniques to document ingestion, egestion and adherence of microplastics in a range of zooplankton common to the northeast Atlantic, and employed feeding rate studies to determine the impact of plastic detritus on algal ingestion rates in copepods. Using fluorescence and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy we identified that thirteen zooplankton taxa had the capacity to ingest 1.7 - 30.6 µm polystyrene beads, with uptake varying by taxa, life-stage and bead-size. Post-ingestion, copepods egested faecal pellets laden with microplastics. We further observed microplastics adhered to the external carapace and appendages of exposed zooplankton. Exposure of the copepod Centropages typicus to natural assemblages of algae with and without microplastics showed that 7.3 µm microplastics (>4000 ml-1) significantly decreased algal feeding. Our findings imply that marine microplastic debris can negatively impact upon zooplankton function and health.
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Despite its vital function in a highly dynamic environment, baleen is typically assumed to be a static material. Its biomechanical and material properties have not previously been explored. Thus I tested sections of baleen from bowhead whales, Balaena mysticetus, and humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, alone or in groups representing miniature 'racks', in a flow tank through which water and buoyant particles circulated with variable flow velocity. Kinematic sequences were recorded through an endoscopic camera or viewing window. One set of experiments investigated particle capture; another series analyzed biomechanical behavior, including fringe spacing, movement and interaction. Baleen fringe porosity directly correlates, in a mostly linear fashion, with velocity of incident water flow. However, undulation and interaction of fringes (especially of bowheads) at higher flow velocities can decrease porosity. Fringe porosity depends on distance from the baleen plate. Porosity also varies, with fringe length, by position along the length of an individual plate. Plate orientation, which varied from 0 to 90 deg relative to water flow, is crucial in fringe spacing and particle capture. At all flow velocities, porosity is lowest with plates aligned parallel to water flow. Turbulence introduced when plates rotate perpendicular to flow (as in cross-flow filtration) increases fringe interaction, so that particles more easily strike fringes yet more readily dislodge. Baleen of bowhead whales, which feed by continuous ram filtration, differs biomechanically from that of humpbacks, which use intermittent lunge filtration. The longer, finer fringes of bowhead baleen readily form a mesh-like mat, especially at higher flow velocities, to trap tiny particles.
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