Little information is available about the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of antibiotics in marine food webs. Here, we investigate the levels and trophic transfer of 9 sulfonamide (SA), 5 fluoroquinolone (FQ), and 4 macrolide (ML) antibiotics, as well as trimethoprim in nine invertebrate and ten fish species collected from a marine food web in Laizhou Bay, North China in 2014 and 2015. All the antibiotics were detected in the marine organisms, with SAs and FQs being the most abundant antibiotics. Benthic fish accumulated more SAs than invertebrates and pelagic fish, while invertebrates exhibited higher FQ levels than fish. Generally, SAs and trimethoprim biomagnified in the food web, while the FQs and MLs were biodiluted. Trophic magnification factors (TMF) were 1.2–3.9 for SAs and trimethoprim, 0.3–1.0 for FQs and MLs. Limited biotransformation and relatively high assimilation efficiencies are the likely reasons for the biomagnification of SAs. The pH dependent distribution coefficients (log D) but not the lipophilicity (log KOW) of SAs and FQs had a significant correlation (r = 0.73; p < 0.05) with their TMFs. Although the calculated estimated daily intakes (EDI) for antibiotics suggest that consumption of seafood from Laizhou Bay is not associated with significant human health risks, this study provides important insights into the guidance of risk management of antibiotics.
Pollution and Marine Debris
This study provides toxicity values for early life stages (ELS) of two phylogenetically distinct marine animal taxa, the sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus), a deuterostome invertebrate, and the turbot (Scophthalmus maximus), a vertebrate (teleost), when challenged by six hazardous and noxious substances (HNS): aniline, butyl acrylate, m-cresol, cyclohexylbenzene, hexane and trichloroethylene. The aim of the study was to provide preliminary information on toxic effects of representative and relevant priority HNS to assess the risk posed by spills to marine habitats and therefore improve preparedness and the response at the operational level. Selection criteria to include each compound in the study were (1) inclusion in the HASREP (2005) list; (2) presence on the priority list established by Neuparth et al. (2011); (3) paucity of toxicological data (TOXnet and ECOTOX) for marine organisms; (4) behaviour in the water according to the categories defined by the European Behaviour classification system (GESAMP 2002), by selecting compounds with different behaviours in water; and (5) physicochemical and toxicological properties, where available, in order to anticipate the most toxic compounds. Aniline and m-cresol were the most toxic compounds with no observed apical effect concentration (NOAEC) values for sea urchin ranging between 0.01 and 0.1 mg/L, followed by butyl acrylate and cyclohexylbenzene with NOAECs ranging between 0.1 and 1.0 mg/L and trichloroethylene with NOAEC values that were in the range between 1 and 10 mg/L, reflecting their behaviour in water, mostly vapour pressure, but also solubility and log Kow. Hexane was toxic only for turbot embryos, due to its neurotoxic effects, and not for sea urchin larvae, at concentrations in the range between 1 and 10 mg/L. The concentrations tested were of the same order of magnitude for both species, and it was observed that sea urchin embryos (length of the longest arm) are more sensitive than turbot eggs larvae (hatching and cumulative mortality rates) to the HNS tested (except hexane). For this specific compound, concentrations up to 70 mg/L were tested in sea urchin larvae and no effects were observed on the length of the larvae. Both tests were found to be complementary depending on behaviour in water and toxicity target of the compounds analysed.
Guanabara Bay is characterized by predominant eutrophication and anoxic sediments with a mixture of pollutants. The risk prognosis associated with the dumping of its dredged sediments into the open ocean was addressed by our algorithm. Our algorithm could prioritize areas, characterize major processes related to dredging, measure the potential risk of sediments, and predict the effects of sediment mixing. The estimated risk of dredged sediment was > 10-fold than that of ocean sediments. Among metals, mercury represented 50–90% of the total risk. The transfer of dredged material into the ocean or internal dumping in the bay requires a 1:10 dilution to mitigate the risk and bring the risk levels close to that in the EPA criteria, below which there is less likelihood of adverse effects to the biota, and a 1:100 dilution to maintain the original characteristics of the ocean disposal control area. Our algorithm indicator can be used in the design of both aquatic and continental disposal of dredged materials and their management.
Marine litter is a growing environmental problem, especially plastic material is accumulated in the seas where it will fragment to smaller pieces. Marine litter has severe consequences for the marine life, as well as for economy and social development. Marine litter is high on the political agenda, and legislations, amongst all the Marine Strategy Framework Directive's descriptor 10 for determining good environmental status, aims at preventing waste to become marine litter. The purpose of the pilot study presented in this report is to raise awareness amongst officials at municipalities and authorities about the need to reduce the presence of litter in the marine environment and to give ideas/suggestions on how this can be done. The project has therefore developed a “Plug the Marine Litter Tap”-approach, which together with local knowledge and experience, can be used to identify sources of marine debris by using existing statistics. Södertälje is used as a pilot area where we give examples on indicators for marine litter in the urban environment and proposed measures for each indicator. We hope that this will encourage municipalities to reflect on how preventive measures against marine litter can be incorporated in local waste management plans and become part of their regular routine.
A new approach is presented for analysis of microplastics in environmental samples, based on selective fluorescent staining using Nile Red (NR), followed by density-based extraction and filtration. The dye adsorbs onto plastic surfaces and renders them fluorescent when irradiated with blue light. Fluorescence emission is detected using simple photography through an orange filter. Image-analysis allows fluorescent particles to be identified and counted. Magnified images can be recorded and tiled to cover the whole filter area, allowing particles down to a few micrometres to be detected. The solvatochromic nature of Nile Red also offers the possibility of plastic categorisation based on surface polarity characteristics of identified particles. This article details the development of this staining method and its initial cross-validation by comparison with infrared (IR) microscopy. Microplastics of different sizes could be detected and counted in marine sediment samples. The fluorescence staining identified the same particles as those found by scanning a filter area with IR-microscopy.
Marine debris is a burgeoning global issue with economic, ecological and aesthetic impacts. While there are many studies now addressing this topic, the influence of urbanisation factors such as local population density, stormwater drains and roads on the distribution of coastal litter remains poorly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we carried out standardized surveys at 224 transect surveys at 67 sites in two estuaries and along the open coast in Tasmania, Australia. We explored the relative support for three hypotheses regarding the sources of the debris; direct deposition by beachgoers, transport from surrounding areas via storm water drains and coastal runoff, and onshore transport from the marine system. We found strong support for all three mechanisms, however, onshore transport from the marine reservoir was the most important mechanism. Overall, the three models together explained 45.8 percent of the variation in our observations. Our results also suggest that most debris released into the marine environment is deposited locally, which may be the answer to where all the missing plastic is in the ocean. Furthermore, local interventions are likely to be most effective in reducing land-based inputs into the ocean.
Plastic pollution is a growing global concern. In the present study, we investigated plastic pollution in 21 species of sea fish and 6 species of freshwater fish from China. All of the species were found to ingest micro- or mesoplastics. The average abundance of microplastics varied from 1.1 to 7.2 items by individual and 0.2–17.2 items by gram. The average abundance of mesoplastics varied from 0.2 to 3.0 items by individual and 0.1–3.9 items by gram. Microplastics were abundant in 26 species, accounting for 55.9–92.3% of the total number of plastics items in each species. Thamnaconus septentrionalis contained the highest abundance of microplastics (7.2 items/individual). The average abundance of plastics in sea benthopelagic fishes was significantly higher than in freshwater benthopelagic fishes by items/individual. The plastics were dominanted by fiber in shape, transparent in color and cellophane in composition. The proportion of plastics in the stomach to the intestines showed great variation in different species, ranging from 0.5 to 1.9 by items/individual. The stomach of Harpodon nehereus and intestines of Pampus cinereus contained the highest number of plastics, (3.3) and (2.7), respectively, by items/individual. Our results suggested that plastic pollution was widespread in the investigated fish species and showed higher abundance in comparison with worldwide studies. The ingestion of plastics in fish was closely related to the habitat and gastrointestinal tract structure. We highly recommend that the entire gastrointestinal tract and digestion process be used in future investigations of plastic pollution in fish.
Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen pollution is one of the major sources of nitrogen to many terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, worldwide. This modeling study suggests that coastlines frequently experience disproportionally high dry deposition of reactive nitrogen. High concentrations of air pollution from coastal cities often accumulate over adjacent estuaries and coastal waters due to low dry deposition rates over the water and a shallow marine boundary layer trapping marine emissions. As high concentrations of pollutants over the water are transported inland, enhanced dry deposition occurs onshore along the coastlines. Large spatial gradients in air pollutants and deposition totals are simulated along the coastline with decreasing concentrations/deposition as the distance from the water increases. As pollutants are transported onshore, air pollution mixing ratios near the surface decrease due to removal by dry deposition, vertical dilution due to deeper mixing layer heights, and decrease in friction velocity as a function of distance inland from the coastline. Ammonium nitrate formation near agricultural ammonia sources, sodium nitrate formation near coastal areas with atmospheric sea-salt loadings, and particulate growth via water uptake also contribute to large nitrate dry deposition totals at the coastline. Gradients in dry N deposition are evident over a monthly time scale and are enhanced during sea and bay breeze events. Current existing N-deposition monitoring networks do not capture the large spatial gradients of ammonium, nitrate, and nitric acid concentrations near coastlines predicted by the model due to the coarse spatial density distribution of monitoring sites.
The chemical digestion of tissue from marine biota for microplastic analysis is currently conducted following a variety of protocols published in scientific literature. Often there is a lack of information on whether and to which degree the applied chemicals are destructive to microplastic particles of various polymer types. In the present study we report that a digestion protocol recently recommended by ICES using nitric and perchloric acid has strong detrimental effects on several common plastic polymers, in particular polyamide and polyurethane and to a lesser degree acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polymethyl methacrylate and polyvinylchloride. Raman spectroscopic measurements revealed changes in peak occurrence and intensity for several polymers that did not otherwise show visual macroscopic changes. We developed and tested an alkaline digestion protocol in order to preserve small microplastic particles while removing organic tissue material. We recommend this method for the development of guidelines for plastic microplastic monitoring in biota.
This study investigated the composition, density and distribution of floating macro-litter along the Liguro-Provençal basin with respect to cetaceans presence. Survey transects were performed in summer between 2006 and 2015 from sailing vessels with simultaneous cetaceans observations. During 5171 km travelled, 1993 floating items were recorded, widespread in the whole study area. Plastics was the predominant category, with bags/packaging always representing > 45% of total items. Overall mean density (14.98 items/km2) was stable with significant increase reported only in 2010–2011; monthly analysis showed lower litter densities in July–September, suggesting possible seasonal patterns. Kernel density estimation for plastics revealed ubiquitous distribution rather than high accumulation areas, mainly due to the circulation dynamics of this area. The presence range of cetaceans (259 sightings, 6 species) corresponded by ~ 50% with plastic distribution, indicating high potential of interaction, especially in the eastern part of the area, but effective risks for marine species might be underrepresented.