The uptake of microfibers by freshwater Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) varies based upon physicochemical properties

Microplastic is an umbrella term that covers particles with various physical and chemical properties. However, microplastics with a consistent shape, polymer type and size are generally used in exposure studies (e.g., spherical polyethylene or polystyrene beads 1–100 μm in size). In the present study, we exposed freshwater Asian clams (Corbicula fluminea) to microfibers with different physicochemical properties at concentrations of 100 and 1000 fibers/L. The first experiment in this study exposed clams to microfibers made from six different polymers, demonstrating that Asian clams uptake more polyester (PET) (4.1 items/g) relevant to other polymers. The next experiment exposed clams to PET fibers of different size classes, demonstrating that uptake in the size range 100–250 μm (1.7 items/g) was greater than other size classes. These results suggest that physicochemical properties such as polymer and size play important roles in the uptake of microfibers by organisms. Thus, we strongly suggest that the properties of microplastics used in future laboratory exposure experiments be considered, with the aim of being “environmentally relevant”, i.e., similar to what is found in nature.

Li L., Su L., Cai H. and al., Chemosphere, Volume 221, April 2019, Pages 107-114

The article


Investigating the Quantity and Types of Microplastics in the Organic Tissue of Oysters and Crabs in the Indian River Lagoon

Microplastics are widespread and abundant. Few studies have examined the diversity and abundance of microplastics in wild organisms. This study determined the microplastic quantity and types in the organic tissues of the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica and Atlantic mud crab Panopeus herbstii from the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). This study also investigated whether location affected the microplastic abundance and variety. Organisms were collected from three sites across Mosquito Lagoon in the northern IRL. Oysters were frozen after collection. Crabs were placed in containers for 5 days before freezing. The soft organic tissue was chemically digested using hydrogen peroxide, filtered, and examined for microplastics. Water samples collected from each study site had an average of 23.1 microplastic pieces per liter and fibers were the most common type. There was a significant interaction for microplastic type and site for both oysters and crabs (p

Heidi Waite, University of Central Florida, Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Biology, 2017

The thesis

Experimental analysis of microplastics in beach sediment samples by density separation and microscopic examination

This thesis mainly deals with microplastics, its sources and experimental approach to investigate the presence of microplastics in environment. Microplastics are threat to environment in recent years. Its adverse effect is directed towards aquatic animals. This thesis will provide the information about the sources of microplastics and how it ends up to the marine environment. The main objectives of this thesis project are to review the methods to analyze microplastics, develop methods to collect microplastic samples from local terrestrial environment and the procedure to analyze them in Arcada’s laboratory. Sediment samples collected from 4 different locations were examined using microscopic analysis. Two different methods were employed to analyze collected sediments samples. Sodium chloride was used as a density separator to extract microplastics from sample. Results obtained from microscopic analysis showed the presence of colored microplastics and fibers in all the collected sediment samples.

Sharma, Ritesh (2019), Degree thesis

Beached microplastics in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea

Microplastics are small (<5 mm) fragments of plastic debris that are ubiquitous in coastal areas and in open ocean. We have investigated the occurrence and composition of microplastics in beach sediments from the micro-tidal Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Samples were collected on two beaches (northern and southern site) of the western Gulf of Lion showing markedly different characteristics. Sampling was performed along depositional lower, mid and upper beaches and repeated after 1 month. Concentrations of microplastics in the northern and southern site were highly variable, ranging from 33 to 798 and from 12 to 187 microplastics per kg of dry sediment, respectively. Highest concentrations were found at three specific locations: nearby a local river mouth, within an accretionary area and in a depositional upper beach. The spatial and temporal distribution of beached microplastics seems to be directly dependent on external forcing such as wind, swell, precipitation, outflow and river mouth proximity.

Constant M., Kerhervé P., Mino-Vercellio-Verollet M. and al., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 142, May 2019, Pages 263-273

The article

Marine microfiber pollution: A review on present status and future challenges

Microfibers are emerging pollutants with widespread distribution in the environment and have adverse ecological impacts. Approximately 2 million tonnes of microfibers are released into the ocean every year from various sources, of which 700,000 micro fleeces are released from each garment through domestic laundry. Microfibers are the major marine pollutant throughout the world estimating 13 million tonnes of coastal synthetic fabric waste entering the ocean each year, out of which 2.5 million tonnes enter through adjoining rivers. It is anticipated that, to date, 1.5 million trillion of microfibers are present in the ocean. Microfibers are mistakenly ingested by marine animals and cause hazardous effects to aquatic species. Microfiber treatment techniques are under progress for efficient control of this pollutant. This article focuses on global microfiber generation and its sources, pathway of its entry into the environment and food chain, potential threat to aquatic animals and humans, present treatment technologies, and future challenges.

Mishra S., Rath C. C., Prasad Das A., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 140, March 2019, Pages 188-197

The article

Presence and characterization of microplastics in fish of commercial importance from the Biobío region in central Chile


• Microfibers were the only Microplastic type found in fish species from central Chile

• Red microfibers (70-100%) were the most abundant showing sizes range between 176 and 2842 μm

• Polyester, polyethylene (PE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) were identified as the prevalent polymers detected

• The coastal species showed the highest abundance (70%) of microfibers, even more than oceanic species (30%)

K. Pozo, V. Gomez, M. Torres and al., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 140, March 2019, Pages 315-319

The article

Presence of microplastics in the stomachs of Carcinus aestuarii Nardo, 1857 in Çardak Lagoon, Çanakkale Strait, Turkey

This paper reports the presence of microplastic in the stomachs of the Mediterranean green crab, Carcinus aestuarii Nardo, 1857. The crabs were collected from six sites chosen in the Çardak Lagoon (Çanakkale Strait). Plastic fibers were observed in the stomach contents of three male individuals. Since C. aestuarii is an important food for fish and birds in estuarine and lagoon areas, microplastics can go up to the trophic levels by entering the food chain.

, Cah. Biol. Mar. (2018) 59 : 493 – 496

The article