Validation of a method to quantify microfibres present in aquatic surface microlayers
Birkenhead, Joshua; Radford, Freya; Stead, Jessica L.; Cundy, Andrew B.; Hudson, Malcolm D.
Jessica L. Stead
Andrew B. Cundy
Malcolm D. Hudson
Many of the methods for microplastics quantification in the environment are criticised creating problems with data validity. Quantification of microplastics in the surface microlayer of aquatic environments using glass plate dipping holds promise as a simple field method, but its efficiency has yet to be validated. We tested a standard glass plate dipping method to assess recovery of four common polymer microfibres and two common natural fibres, under three different salinities (freshwater, brackish water, saltwater). Overall recovery rates were low (26.8 ± 1.54%) but higher recoveries were observed under saltwater treatments (36.5 ± 3.01%) than brackish water (24.5 ± 1.92%) or freshwater (19.3 ± 1.92%). The fibre types showed different recovery rates, with acrylic yielding significantly higher recovery rates (37.0 ± 2.71%) than other fibres across treatments. No clear relationship between the density of the fibres and the recovery efficiency was seen. We suggest that, where this method is used for monitoring microplastics, the results will typically underestimate the total amount present, but that recovery is sufficiently consistent to allow comparison of differences between sampling locations. When comparing data across river-estuarine or similar transects salinity should be monitored to account for salinity-induced differences in sampling recovery.
Birkenhead, J., Radford, F., Stead, J. L., Cundy, A. B., & Hudson, M. D. (2023). Validation of a method to quantify microfibres present in aquatic surface microlayers. Scientific Reports, 10(1), Article 17892. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-74635-3
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Sep 22, 2020|
|Online Publication Date||Oct 21, 2020|
|Deposit Date||Jan 25, 2023|
|Publicly Available Date||Jan 25, 2023|
|Publisher||Nature Research (part of Springer Nature)|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||Multidisciplinary; Environmental sciences; Ocean sciences|
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