Nevin Manimala Statistics

Low numbers of large microplastics on environmentally-protected Antarctic beaches reveals no widespread contamination: insights into beach sedimentary dynamics

An Acad Bras Cienc. 2023 Dec 8;95(suppl 3):e20230283. doi: 10.1590/0001-3765202320230283. eCollection 2023.


Microplastics are ubiquitous contaminants of marine ecosystems around the world and Antarctica is no exception. Microplastics can be influenced by sedimentary dynamics mainly on coastal areas where they are more abundant in Antarctica. This study evaluated microplastic contamination in beach environments from two Antarctic Specially Protected Areas, aiming to identify relationships between microplastic numbers and sedimentological parameters on beach sediments. Low numbers of microplastics were found (> 0.5 mm; fibers excluded) – one particle per sample in 4 of 15 samples analyzed – and there is no evidence of widespread contamination. Sedimentological parameters reveal differences between sampled environments, but low numbers of microplastics impaired statistical comparison. All sediment samples are coarse, denoting highenergy depositional environments that are likely little susceptible to microplastic accumulation. Microplastic contamination in the Antarctic coastal ecosystem is heterogeneous, and their detailed characterization assisted by a systematization of methods can improve the understanding of microplastics distribution patterns in the cold coastal ecosystem.

PMID:38088640 | DOI:10.1590/0001-3765202320230283

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