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Three-dimensional distribution of plastic pellets in sandy beaches: shifting paradigms
Turra, A.; Manzano, A.B.; Jasão S. Dias, R.; Mahiques, M.M.; Barbosa, L.; Balthazar-Silva, D.; Moreira, F.T. (2014). Three-dimensional distribution of plastic pellets in sandy beaches: shifting paradigms. NPG Scientific Reports 4(4435): 7 pp. hdl.handle.net/10.1038/srep04435
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Pellets; Plastics; Pollution; Sandy beaches; Spatial distribution; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Turra, A.
  • Manzano, A.B.
  • Jasão S. Dias, R.
  • Mahiques, M.M.
  • Barbosa, L.
  • Balthazar-Silva, D.
  • Moreira, F.T.

Abstract
    Plastic pellets are worldwide contaminants that accumulate in the ocean, especially in sandy beaches, where their historic standing-stock quantification relies on surface sediment samples. We demonstrated these particles present a three-dimensional instead of a simple along-across shore distribution, being found as deep as 2.0 m, with surface layers accounting for <10% of the total abundance in the sediment column. This gradient seemed to be more related to oceanographic rather than anthropic processes, suggesting a general pattern whose applicability to microplastics and sedimentary environments as a whole should be investigated. This poses criticism in the exactness of standing-stock records and demands urgent discussion of sampling protocols.

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