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Microplastics profile along the Rhine River

Mani, Thomas and Hauk, Armin and Walter, Ulrich and Burkhardt-Holm, Patricia. (2015) Microplastics profile along the Rhine River. Scientific Reports, 5. p. 17988.

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Abstract

Microplastics result from fragmentation of plastic debris or are released to the environment as pre-production pellets or components of consumer and industrial products. In the oceans, they contribute to the ‘great garbage patches’. They are ingested by many organisms, from protozoa to baleen whales, and pose a threat to the aquatic fauna. Although as much as 80% of marine debris originates from land, little attention was given to the role of rivers as debris pathways to the sea. Worldwide, not a single great river has yet been studied for the surface microplastics load over its length. We report the abundance and composition of microplastics at the surface of the Rhine, one of the largest European rivers. Measurements were made at 11 locations over a stretch of 820 km. Microplastics were found in all samples, with 892,777 particles km −2 on average. In the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area, a peak concentration of 3.9 million particles km −2 was measured. Microplastics concentrations were diverse along and across the river, reflecting various sources and sinks such as waste water treatment plants, tributaries and weirs. Measures should be implemented to avoid and reduce the pollution with anthropogenic litter in aquatic ecosystems.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Mensch Gesellschaft Umwelt MGU
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Mensch Gesellschaft Umwelt MGU > Aquatische Ökologie (Holm)
UniBasel Contributors:Holm, Patricia and Mani, Thomas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
e-ISSN:2045-2322
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:26 Apr 2018 08:33
Deposited On:25 Apr 2018 10:45

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