: Microplastics (MPs) are emerging contaminants in freshwater systems that have already attracted much scientific interest, but little attention has been paid to a multi-matrix analysis of MP occurrences along the length of a river. The present research provides the first record of MP contamination of four abiotic and biotic matrices from a river ecosystem simultaneously analysed. MPs were isolated and identified by micro-Fourier Transform Infrared (μ-FTIR) spectroscopy from samples collected along the Ticino River in North Italy during spring 2019. Abiotic samples were surface water (n = 18, 33 MPs m-3) and sediment (n = 18, 11 MPs kg-1), while biological samples consisted of stomach and gut content of fish (n = 18, wels catfish, Silurus glanis, 0.032 MPs g-1) and macroinvertebrates (n = 90, caddisfly larvae, Hydropsychidae, 0.03 MPs mg-1). MPs were found in biota from all stations; 44% of fish and 61% of macroinvertebrate samples contained MPs. The calculated unit-consistent concentration ratios indicate that both S. glanis and Hydropsychidae larvae had a consistent higher amount of MPs than their respective medium (sediment and water), strongly suggesting an efficient uptake pathway into organisms. MP levels in surface water, sediment, fish and macroinvertebrates were not correlated and did not increase with the river's length. From our mass balance calculations, the Ticino River transports a consistent amount of MP (yearly load of 3.40 × 1011 ± 1.1 × 1011 MPs) to the Po River. This MP load was almost half than an estimated MP load from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). On that basis and supported by the finding that MP concentration in sediment was mostly opposed to that in surface water but was on average 750-fold higher compared to the water matrix, we surmise that the complex hydrological network of the Ticino River retains a consistent amount of MPs which might build up over time.

Following the fate of microplastic in four abiotic and biotic matrices along the Ticino River (North Italy) / A. Winkler, D. Antonioli, A. Masseroni, R. Chiarcos, M. Laus, P. Tremolada. - In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. - ISSN 0048-9697. - 823(2022 Feb 04), p. 153638. [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.153638]

Following the fate of microplastic in four abiotic and biotic matrices along the Ticino River (North Italy)

Winkler, Anna;Tremolada, Paolo
2022-02-04

Abstract

: Microplastics (MPs) are emerging contaminants in freshwater systems that have already attracted much scientific interest, but little attention has been paid to a multi-matrix analysis of MP occurrences along the length of a river. The present research provides the first record of MP contamination of four abiotic and biotic matrices from a river ecosystem simultaneously analysed. MPs were isolated and identified by micro-Fourier Transform Infrared (μ-FTIR) spectroscopy from samples collected along the Ticino River in North Italy during spring 2019. Abiotic samples were surface water (n = 18, 33 MPs m-3) and sediment (n = 18, 11 MPs kg-1), while biological samples consisted of stomach and gut content of fish (n = 18, wels catfish, Silurus glanis, 0.032 MPs g-1) and macroinvertebrates (n = 90, caddisfly larvae, Hydropsychidae, 0.03 MPs mg-1). MPs were found in biota from all stations; 44% of fish and 61% of macroinvertebrate samples contained MPs. The calculated unit-consistent concentration ratios indicate that both S. glanis and Hydropsychidae larvae had a consistent higher amount of MPs than their respective medium (sediment and water), strongly suggesting an efficient uptake pathway into organisms. MP levels in surface water, sediment, fish and macroinvertebrates were not correlated and did not increase with the river's length. From our mass balance calculations, the Ticino River transports a consistent amount of MP (yearly load of 3.40 × 1011 ± 1.1 × 1011 MPs) to the Po River. This MP load was almost half than an estimated MP load from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). On that basis and supported by the finding that MP concentration in sediment was mostly opposed to that in surface water but was on average 750-fold higher compared to the water matrix, we surmise that the complex hydrological network of the Ticino River retains a consistent amount of MPs which might build up over time.
Fish; Freshwater ecosystem; Macroinvertebrates; Microplastic; Sediment; Surface water
Settore BIO/07 - Ecologia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/906705
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