Abundance, distribution, and drivers of microplastic contamination in urban river environments

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Abundance, distribution, and drivers of microplastic contamination in urban river environments. / Tibbetts, Joseph; Krause, Stefan; Lynch, Iseult; Sambrook-Smith, Greg.

In: Water, Vol. 10, No. 11, 1597, 07.11.2018.

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@article{5fa791299eed43f58d1ecff9aa99159a,
title = "Abundance, distribution, and drivers of microplastic contamination in urban river environments",
abstract = "Given the persistence of microplastics in the environment and their potential toxicity to ecosystems, understanding of likely microplastic accumulation {\textquoteleft}hotspots{\textquoteright} in rivers is urgently needed. To contribute to this challenge, this paper reports results of a microplastic survey from a heavily urbanised catchment, the River Tame and four of its tributaries, which flows through the city of Birmingham, UK. All sediment sampled was found to contain microplastics with an average abundance of 165 particles kg−1. While urban areas generally have a greater abundance of microplastics as compared with rural, there is no simple relationship between microplastic numbers and population density or proximity to wastewater treatment sites. The greatest change in microplastic abundance was due to the presence of a lake along the course of the River Tame—i.e., flow velocities are reduced on entering the lake, which promotes the deposition of fine sediment and potentially microplastics. This suggests that the greatest concentrations of microplastics will not be found in-channel but rather on the floodplain and other low velocity environments such as meander cutoffs. We also identified a new mechanism of microplastic fixation in freshwater environments through ecological engineers, specifically caddisflies, that incorporated microplastics into their casing. These results highlight the need to explore further hydrodynamic and ecological impacts on microplastics fate and transport in rivers",
keywords = "Deposition, Freshwater, Microplastics, Transport",
author = "Joseph Tibbetts and Stefan Krause and Iseult Lynch and Greg Sambrook-Smith",
year = "2018",
month = nov
day = "7",
doi = "10.3390/w10111597",
language = "English",
volume = "10",
journal = "Water",
issn = "0310-0367",
publisher = "Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)",
number = "11",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Abundance, distribution, and drivers of microplastic contamination in urban river environments

AU - Tibbetts, Joseph

AU - Krause, Stefan

AU - Lynch, Iseult

AU - Sambrook-Smith, Greg

PY - 2018/11/7

Y1 - 2018/11/7

N2 - Given the persistence of microplastics in the environment and their potential toxicity to ecosystems, understanding of likely microplastic accumulation ‘hotspots’ in rivers is urgently needed. To contribute to this challenge, this paper reports results of a microplastic survey from a heavily urbanised catchment, the River Tame and four of its tributaries, which flows through the city of Birmingham, UK. All sediment sampled was found to contain microplastics with an average abundance of 165 particles kg−1. While urban areas generally have a greater abundance of microplastics as compared with rural, there is no simple relationship between microplastic numbers and population density or proximity to wastewater treatment sites. The greatest change in microplastic abundance was due to the presence of a lake along the course of the River Tame—i.e., flow velocities are reduced on entering the lake, which promotes the deposition of fine sediment and potentially microplastics. This suggests that the greatest concentrations of microplastics will not be found in-channel but rather on the floodplain and other low velocity environments such as meander cutoffs. We also identified a new mechanism of microplastic fixation in freshwater environments through ecological engineers, specifically caddisflies, that incorporated microplastics into their casing. These results highlight the need to explore further hydrodynamic and ecological impacts on microplastics fate and transport in rivers

AB - Given the persistence of microplastics in the environment and their potential toxicity to ecosystems, understanding of likely microplastic accumulation ‘hotspots’ in rivers is urgently needed. To contribute to this challenge, this paper reports results of a microplastic survey from a heavily urbanised catchment, the River Tame and four of its tributaries, which flows through the city of Birmingham, UK. All sediment sampled was found to contain microplastics with an average abundance of 165 particles kg−1. While urban areas generally have a greater abundance of microplastics as compared with rural, there is no simple relationship between microplastic numbers and population density or proximity to wastewater treatment sites. The greatest change in microplastic abundance was due to the presence of a lake along the course of the River Tame—i.e., flow velocities are reduced on entering the lake, which promotes the deposition of fine sediment and potentially microplastics. This suggests that the greatest concentrations of microplastics will not be found in-channel but rather on the floodplain and other low velocity environments such as meander cutoffs. We also identified a new mechanism of microplastic fixation in freshwater environments through ecological engineers, specifically caddisflies, that incorporated microplastics into their casing. These results highlight the need to explore further hydrodynamic and ecological impacts on microplastics fate and transport in rivers

KW - Deposition

KW - Freshwater

KW - Microplastics

KW - Transport

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85056227170&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3390/w10111597

DO - 10.3390/w10111597

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85056227170

VL - 10

JO - Water

JF - Water

SN - 0310-0367

IS - 11

M1 - 1597

ER -