Microplastics in Aquatic Systems – Monitoring Methods and Biological Consequences.

Hamm, Thea, Lorenz, Claudia and Piehl, Sarah (2018) Microplastics in Aquatic Systems – Monitoring Methods and Biological Consequences. Open Access In: YOUMARES 8 – Oceans Across Boundaries: Learning from each other. . Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 179-195. ISBN 978-3-319-93284-2 DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-93284-2_13.

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Microplastic research started at the turn of the millennium and is of growing interest, as microplastics have the potential to affect a whole range of organisms, from the base of the food web to top predators, including humans. To date, most studies are initial assessments of microplastic abundances for a certain area, thereby generally distinguishing three different sampling matrices: water, sediment and biota samples. Those descriptive studies are important to get a first impression of the extent of the problem, but for a proper risk assessment of ecosystems and their inhabitants, analytical studies of microplastic fluxes, sources, sinks, and transportation pathways are of utmost importance. Moreover, to gain insight into the effects microplastics might have on biota, it is crucial to identify realistic environmental concentrations of microplastics. Thus, profound knowledge about the effects of microplastics on biota is still scarce. Effects can vary regarding habitat, functional group of the organism, and polymer type for example, making it difficult to find quick answers to the many open questions. In addition, microplastic research is accompanied by many methodological challenges that need to be overcome first to assess the impact of microplastics on aquatic systems. Thereby, a development of standardized operational protocols (SOPs) is a pre-requisite for comparability among studies. Since SOPs are still lacking and new methods are developed or optimized very frequently, the aim of this chapter is to point out the most crucial challenges in microplastic research and to gather the most recent promising methods used to quantify environmental concentrations of microplastics and effect studies.

Document Type: Book chapter
Additional Information: This article is related to the YOUMARES 8 conference session no. 13: “Microplastics in Aquatic Habitats – Environmental Concentrations and Consequences”. The original Call for Abstracts and the abstracts of the presentations within this session can be found in the appendix “Conference Sessions and Abstracts”, chapter “12 Microplastics in Aquatic Habitats – Environmental Concentrations and Consequences”, of this book.
Keywords: Microplastics, Methodologies, Biological effects, Pollutant, Monitoring, Sampling design, Laboratory methods, Analytical methods, Aquatic ecosystems
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/978-3-319-93284-2_13
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2018 14:30
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 21:34
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/44941

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