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Annual variation in neustonic micro- and meso-plastic particles and zooplankton in the Bay of Calvi (Mediterranean–Corsica)

January 9, 2014

The annual variation in neustonic plastic particles and zooplankton was studied in the Bay of Calvi (Corsica) between 30 August 2011 and 7 August 2012. Plastic particles were classified into three size classes, small microplastics (0.2–2 mm), large microplastics (2–5 mm) and mesoplastics (5–10 mm).

74% of the 38 samples contained plastic particles of varying composition: e.g. filaments, polystyrene, thin plastic films. An average concentration of 6.2 particles/100 m2 was observed. The highest abundance values (69 particles/100 m2) observed occurred during periods of low offshore wind conditions. These values rose in the same order of magnitude as in previous studies in the North Western Mediterranean.

The relationships between the abundance values of the size classes between zooplankton and plastic particles were then examined. The ratio for the intermediate size class (2–5 mm) reached 2.73. This would suggest a potential confusion for predators regarding planktonic prey of this size class.

Collignon A, Hecq J-H, Galgani F, Collard F, Goffart A, in press. Annual variation in neustonic micro- and meso-plastic particles and zooplankton in the Bay of Calvi (Mediterranean–Corsica), Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2013, doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.11.023. Article.

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