Do microplastics affect marine ecosystem productivity?

Tineke A. Troost, Térence Desclaux, Heather A. Leslie, Myra D. van Der Meulen, A. Dick Vethaak

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Marine and coastal ecosystems are among the largest contributors to the Earth's productivity. Experimental studies have shown negative impacts of microplastics on individual algae or zooplankton organisms. Consequently, primary and secondary productivity may be negatively affected as well. In this study we attempted to estimate the impacts on productivity at ecosystem level based on reported laboratory findings with a modelling approach, using our biogeochemical model for the North Sea (Delft3D-GEM). Although the model predicted that microplastics do not affect the total primary or secondary production of the North Sea as a whole, the spatial patterns of secondary production were altered, showing local changes of ±10%. However, relevant field data on microplastics are scarce, and strong assumptions were required to include the plastic concentrations and their impacts under field conditions into the model. These assumptions reveal the main knowledge gaps that have to be resolved to improve the first estimate above.

LanguageEnglish
Pages17-29
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume135
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2018

Fingerprint

Aquatic ecosystems
marine ecosystem
secondary productivity
plastics
secondary production
Productivity
productivity
Ecosystems
North Sea
algae
primary productivity
Air cushion vehicles
Algae
primary production
ecosystems
zooplankton
experimental study
plastic
Earth (planet)
alga

Keywords

  • Delft3D-GEM
  • Ecosystem productivity
  • Microplastics
  • Modelling approach
  • North Sea
  • Zooplankton

Cite this

Troost, Tineke A. ; Desclaux, Térence ; Leslie, Heather A. ; van Der Meulen, Myra D. ; Vethaak, A. Dick. / Do microplastics affect marine ecosystem productivity?. In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2018 ; Vol. 135. pp. 17-29
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Do microplastics affect marine ecosystem productivity? / Troost, Tineke A.; Desclaux, Térence; Leslie, Heather A.; van Der Meulen, Myra D.; Vethaak, A. Dick.

In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 135, 04.07.2018, p. 17-29.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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