An evaluation of surface micro- and mesoplastic pollution in pelagic ecosystems of the Western Mediterranean Sea
|Author(s)||Faur Florian1, 2, Saini Camille1, Potter Gael1, Galgani Francois3, de Alencastro Luiz Felippe2, Hagmann Pascal1|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : Oceaneye Assoc, CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.
2 : Ecole Polytech Fed Lausanne, Cent Environm Lab, EPFL ENAC IIE GR CEL, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
3 : IFREMER, F-20600 Bastia, France.
|Source||Environmental Science And Pollution Research (0944-1344) (Springer Heidelberg), 2015-08 , Vol. 22 , N. 16 , P. 12190-12197|
|WOS© Times Cited||81|
|Keyword(s)||Plastic debris, Marine pollution, Mediterranean Sea, Surface net tow, Microplastic pollution, Neustonic plastic|
|Abstract||This study examines the distribution, abundance and characteristics of surface micro- and mesoplastic debris in the Western Mediterranean Sea. 41 samples were collected in 2011 (summer) and 2012 (summer). Results, firstly, revealed that micro- (<5mm) and mesoplastic debris were widely and uniformly distributed in this area with average concentrations of 130,000 parts/km(2) and 5700 parts/km(2), respectively. Importantly, a strong correlation between micro- and mesoplastic concentrations was identified. Secondly, a classification based on the shape and appearance of microplastics indicated the predominant presence of fragments (73 %) followed by thin films (14 %). Thirdly, the average mass ratio of microplastic to dry organic matter has been measured at 0.5, revealing a significant presence of microplastics in comparison to plankton. Finally, a correction method was applied in order to correct wind mixing effect on microplastics' vertical distribution. This data allows for a comprehensive view, for the first time, of the spatial distribution and nature of plastic debris in the Western Mediterranean Sea.|