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Microplastic Distribution through the Salinity Gradient in a Stratified Estuary

Parać, Marija; Cuculić, Vlado; Cukrov, Nuša; Geček, Sunčana; Lovrić, Marin; Cukrov, Neven (2022) Microplastic Distribution through the Salinity Gradient in a Stratified Estuary. Water, 14 (20). ISSN 2073-4441

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Despite the extensive and rapidly growing literature on microplastics in oceans and coastal seas, little information exists on microplastic distribution through the salinity gradient. This study is the first one to evaluate microplastic distribution through the salinity gradient of a highly stratified estuary. A total of 910 microplastic particles were collected from 12 different sampling events in the Krka River estuary, Croatia. The number of detected particles ranged from 389 in the surface layer to 63 in the deepest marine layer. The highest plastic abundance was found in the surface layer (3.68 particles/m3) and the lowest in the marine layer (0.13 particles/m3). The measured values of the cross-sectional area indicated an ellipsoidal cross-sectional shape of the particles. It was also found that the majority of microplastic particles belonged to the small microplastic class (<1 mm). The Nile Red (NR) staining method was used to visualize fluorescent microplastic particles, while quantification was performed using ImageJ/Fiji software. The strong salinity stratification in the studied estuary did not alter the usual distribution of microplastic particles in the water column, and there was no significant accumulation on the halocline.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: microplastics; salinity gradient; Krka River estuary; Nile Red (NR); fluorescence
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Marine Science
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Environmental Science
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Međudjelovanje morskog (mikro)plastičnog otpada i metala zagađivala: mogući put od morskog okoliša do čovjeka-METALPATHVlado CuculićIP-2019-04-5832HRZZ
Depositing User: Vlado Cuculić
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2022 09:54
DOI: 10.3390/w14203255

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