Special Issue "The Behavior of Microplastics in Environment"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 22 February 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ana Virginia Filgueiras
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), Centro Oceanográfico de Vigo, Subida a Radio Faro, 50-52, 36390 Vigo, Spain

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive defines marine environment as “the heritage that must be protected, preserved and, where practicable, restored with the ultimate aim of maintaining biodiversity and providing diverse and dynamic oceans and seas which are clean, healthy and productive”. Nevertheless, every year around 8 million tonnes of plastics reach the ocean, which over time reduce in size, giving rise to microplastics.

Although plastic is inert, many additives used are toxic, such as plasticizers (i.e., phthalates, bisphenol A), surfactants, pigments, nanofibers, biocides, lubricants, etc. In addition, microplastics can concentrate contaminants present in the environment and act as transfer vectors in the marine environment. Therefore, microplastics are recognized as an emerging contaminant in the environment, but the impact of plastic particles on aquatic ecosystems is far from understood. Hence, acquiring knowledge about microplastics’ behavior is crucial in order to determine their content in sediments and in the aquatic environment, as well as to develop up-to-date environmental legislation which aims to preserve and protect marine ecosystems more effectively.

Dr. Ana Virginia Filgueiras
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Microplastics
  • Marine pollution
  • Bioavailability
  • Monitoring
  • Environmental legislation
  • Identification
  • Quantification.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Assessing the Impact of Chrysene-Sorbed Polystyrene Microplastics on Different Life Stages of the Mediterranean Mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(19), 8924; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11198924 - 24 Sep 2021
Viewed by 767
Abstract
The sorption of organic pollutants to marine plastic litter may pose risks to marine organisms, notably for what concerns their intake and transfer through microplastic (MP) ingestion. This study investigated the effects of polystyrene MP loaded with chrysene (CHR) on early-stage and physiological [...] Read more.
The sorption of organic pollutants to marine plastic litter may pose risks to marine organisms, notably for what concerns their intake and transfer through microplastic (MP) ingestion. This study investigated the effects of polystyrene MP loaded with chrysene (CHR) on early-stage and physiological endpoints measured in the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. The same concentrations of virgin microplastics (MP) and MP loaded with 10.8 µg CHR/mg (CHR-MP) were administered to mussel gametes/embryos (25 × 103 items/mL) and adults (5⋅× 103 items/L); further treatments included 0.1 mg/L of freely dissolved CHR and a second CHR concentration corresponding to that vehiculated by CHR-MP during exposure (3.78 µg/L and 0.73 ng/L for gamete/embryos and adults, respectively). None of the treatments affected gamete fertilization, while 0.1 mg/L CHR induced embryotoxicity. In adults, CHR-MP and MP similarly affected lysosomal membrane stability and neutral lipids and induced slight effects on oxidative stress endpoints. CHR affected tested endpoints only at 0.1 mg/L, with lysosomal, oxidative stress and neurotoxicity biomarkers generally showing greater alterations than those induced by CHR-MP and MP. This study shows that the CHR sorption on MP does not alter the impact of virgin MP on mussels and may pose limited risks compared to other routes of exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Behavior of Microplastics in Environment)
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Article
Modeling and Parametric Simulation of Microplastic Transport in Groundwater Environments
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(16), 7189; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11167189 - 04 Aug 2021
Viewed by 661
Abstract
Efforts to reduce the toxic effects of microplastics (MPs) on the environment have increased globally in recent years. However, the existing models used for the simulation of contaminant transport in groundwater are meant for dissolved substances, which is not suitable for studying MPs. [...] Read more.
Efforts to reduce the toxic effects of microplastics (MPs) on the environment have increased globally in recent years. However, the existing models used for the simulation of contaminant transport in groundwater are meant for dissolved substances, which is not suitable for studying MPs. Therefore, in this study, the transport of MPs in a saturated porous medium was modeled by establishing governing equations. Simulations were performed using the finite element method to examine the effects of the parameters of the governing equations on the transport of MPs. The results suggest that it is necessary to reduce the diffusivity of MPs and increase the water flow velocity, porosity, and first-order attachment coefficient to effectively contain this environmental hazard. From the simulation results, it can be derived that a combination of low diffusivity, fast water flow velocity, and high soil porosity may reduce the amount of MPs that are leaked into groundwater environments. The modeling and simulations performed in this study provide a clear understanding of the transport phenomena of MPs with applications in combating water pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Behavior of Microplastics in Environment)
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Article
The Influence of Polystyrene Microspheres Abundance on Development and Feeding Behavior of Artemia salina (Linnaeus, 1758)
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3352; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11083352 - 08 Apr 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 937
Abstract
In the present study, it has been evaluated how 10 µm of polyethylene microspheres can be ingested by Artemia salina (Linnaeus, 1758) larvae within the first 7 days of the life cycle, and the impact on their health. Twelve A. salina larvae (instar [...] Read more.
In the present study, it has been evaluated how 10 µm of polyethylene microspheres can be ingested by Artemia salina (Linnaeus, 1758) larvae within the first 7 days of the life cycle, and the impact on their health. Twelve A. salina larvae (instar I) groups were exposed to different microplastics (MPs) concentrations (0-1-10-102-103-104 MPs/mL), with and without Dunaliella salina as a food source. The results highlighted that A. salina larvae ingest MPs in relation to the exposure times in a dose-dependent manner and are significantly influenced by food availability. The highest contamination found was 306.2 MPs/individual at 104 MPs/mL exposure without a food source. No MPs were found in the presence of the food source from 1 to 102 MPs/mL, while contamination was detected at all concentrations of MPs without a food source. The worst effect on the developmental stages was evaluated at 168 h with a food source, with a delay compared to the control of I and II instars at 103 and 104 MPs/mL, respectively. Furthermore, microalgal feeding was significantly reduced for about 50% in the presence of 104 MPs/mL. These results highlight that aquatic microplastics pollution could affect the A. salina’s feeding behavior and life cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Behavior of Microplastics in Environment)
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