Patterns of suspended and salp-ingested microplastic debris in the North Pacific investigated with epifluorescence microscopy.
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Brandon, Jennifer A.
Sala, Linsey M.
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Microplastics (< 5 mm) have long been a concern in marine debris research, but quantifying the smallest microplastics (< 333 μm) has been hampered by appropriate collection methods, like net tows. We modified standard epifluorescence microscopy methods to develop a new technique to enumerate < 333 μm microplastics (minimicroplastics) from filtered surface seawater samples and salp stomach contents. This permitted us to distinguish mini-microplastics from phytoplankton and suspended particles. We found seawater mini-microplastic concentrations that were 5–7 orders of magnitude higher than published concentrations of > 333 μm microplastics. Mini-microplastics were the most abundant in nearshore waters and more evenly distributed from the California Current through the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Every salp examined had ingested mini-microplastics, regardless of species, life history stage, or oceanic region. Salps ingested significantly smaller plastic particles than were ava.....
JournalLimnology and Oceanography Letters
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)14.1
Maturity LevelTRL 7 System prototyping demonstration in an operational environment (ground or space)
Best Practice TypeManual (incl. handbook, guide, cookbook etc)
Spatial CoverageCalifornia Current
North Pacific Subtropical Gyre
CitationBrandon, J.A.; Freibott, A. and Sala, L.M. (2020) Patterns of suspended and salp‐ingested microplastic debris in the North Pacific investigated with epifluorescence microscopy. Limnology and Oceanography Letters, 5, pp. 46-53. DOI:10.1002/lol2.10127
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