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Textile microfibers in wild Antarctic whelk Neobuccinum eatoni (Smith, 1875) from Terra Nova Bay (Ross Sea, Antarctica)

Title data

Bergami, E. ; Ferrari, E. ; Löder, Martin G. J. ; Birarda, G. ; Laforsch, Christian ; Vaccari, L. ; Corsi, I.:
Textile microfibers in wild Antarctic whelk Neobuccinum eatoni (Smith, 1875) from Terra Nova Bay (Ross Sea, Antarctica).
In: Environmental Research. Vol. 216, Part 2 (1 January 2023) . - No. 114487.
ISSN 0013-9351
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2022.114487

Project information

Project title:
Project's official titleProject's id

Project financing: Bayerische Forschungsstiftung
Italian National Antarctic Research Program
CERIC-ERIC Consortium

Abstract in another language

Antarctica has been affected directly and indirectly by human pressure for more than two centuries and recently plastic pollution has been recognized as a further potential threat for its unique biodiversity. Global long-range transport as well as local input from anthropogenic activities are potential sources of plastic pollution in both terrestrial and marine Antarctic territories. The present study evaluated the presence of microplastics in specimens of the Antarctic whelk Neobuccinum eatoni, a key species in benthic communities of the Ross Sea, one of the largest marine protected areas worldwide. To this aim, a thermo-oxidative extraction method was applied for microplastic isolation and quantification, and polymer identification was performed by manual μ-FTIR spectroscopy. Textile (semi-)synthetic or composite microfibers (length range: 0.8–5.7 mm) were found in 27.3% of whelk specimens, suggesting a low risk of bioaccumulation along Antarctic benthic food webs in the Ross Sea. Their polymer composition (of polyethylene terephthalate and cellulose-polyamide composites) matched those of outdoor technical clothing in use by the personnel of the Italian “Mario Zucchelli” station near Terra Nova Bay in the Ross Sea. Such findings indicate that sewage from base stations may act as potential local sources of textile microplastic fibers in this remote environment. More in-depth monitoring studies aiming at defining the extent of microplastic contamination related to such sources in Antarctica are encouraged.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology I > Chair Animal Ecology I - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2022 06:47
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 06:47
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/72502