Two methods for marine microlitter sampling were compared in the Gulf of Finland, northern Baltic Sea: manta trawl (333µm) and a submersible pump (300 or 100µm). Concentrations of microlitter (microplastics, combustion particles, non-synthetic fibres) in the samples collected with both methods and filter sizes remained
Although the presence of microplastics in marine biota has been widely recorded, extraction methods, method validation and approaches to monitoring are not standardized. In this study a method for microplastic extraction from fish guts based on a chemical alkaline digestion is presented. The average particle retrieval rate from spiked fish guts, used for method validation, was 84%. The weight and shape of the test particles (PET, PC, HD-PE) were also analysed with no noticeable changes in any particle shapes and only minor weight change in PET (2.63%). Microplastics were found in 1.8% of herrings (n=164) and in 0.9% of sprat (n=154). None of the three-spined sticklebacks (n=355) contained microplastic particles.
The present study aimed to develop monitoring methods for shallow water sessile and mobile epifauna with the main focus on enhancing the chance of early detection for new non-indigenous species (NIS) invasions. The field sampling was conducted between June and September in 2012, in the Archipelago Sea (Finland). The tested monitoring methods included baited traps that capture organisms and habitat collectors that provide habitat and refuges for organisms, as well as fouling plates. Catch efficiency of a trap/collector was defined as the number of NIS and all species caught, including their abundances. The American collector with oyster shells (habitat collector) caught the highest number of NIS, and their use is recommended in all places, where oyster shells are easily accessible. Sampling of all habitats of interest between 1 and 2?m depth is recommended with at least three habitat collectors per site.
Tvärminne Zoological Station, University of Helsinki, J.A. Palménin tie 260, FI-10900 Hanko, Finland; Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute, Latokartanonkaari 11, FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Resistant to degradation, plastic litter poses a long-term threat to marine ecosystems. Biodegradable materials have been developed to replace conventional plastics, but little is known of their impacts and degradation in marine environments. A 14-week laboratory experiment was conducted to investigate the sorption of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to conventional (polystyrene PS and polyamide PA) and bio-based, biodegradable plastic films (cellulose acetate CA and poly-L-lactic acid PLLA), and to examine the composition of bacterial communities colonizing these materials. Mesoplastics (1?cm2) of these materials were incubated in sediment and seawater collected from two sites in the Gulf of Finland, on the coast of the highly urbanized area of Helsinki, Finland. PS sorbed more PAHs than did the other plastic types at both sites, and the concentration of PAHs was consistently and considerably smaller in plastics than in the sediment. In general, the plastic bacterial biofilms resembled those in the surrounding media (water and/or sediment). However, in the sediment incubations, the community composition on CA diverged from that of the other three plastic types and was enriched with Bacteroidia and potentially cellulolytic Spirochaetia at both sites. The results indicate that certain biodegradable plastics, such as CA, may harbour potential bioplastic-degrading communities and that PAH sorption capacity varies between polymer types. Since biodegradable plastics are presented as replacements for conventional plastics in applications with risk of ending up in the marine environment, the results highlight the need to carefully examine the environmental behaviour of each biodegradable plastic type before they are extensively introduced to the market.