01 Oct 2020
CLAIM took part in an Arctic marine pollution research
Researchers, amongst whom is the CLAIM partner Technical University of Denmark (DTU), conducted an experimental investigation on the Ingestion and impact of microplastics on the Calanus copepods.
Schematic overview of the experiment and subsequent analyses used to investigate the impact of MPs (20 μm polyethylene spheres) on arctic Calanus copepods. Animals were exposed to different combinations of 0.2 (low) or 20 (high) MPs mL− 1, and 50-500 (low food) or 3000-5000 (high food) algal cells mL− 1 for 6 days.
Microplastics (MPs) are considered to be emerging as a matter of concern in the Arctic. Scientists are so far lacking empirical data of how MPs can pose a threat to the marine environment, therefore a group of experts conducted an experimental study on how the microplastics may affect the arctic copepods Calanus.
Three sub species of the copepods were exposed to the testing – Calanus finmarchicus, C. glacialis and C. hyperboreus, as they are considered to be the most relevant for the investigation of the potential impact of MPs on the Arctic marine ecosystem.
The results of the research show that exposure to the polyethylene virgin microplastics does not have any effect on the tested species. Nonetheless, numbers of indicators suggest that MPs may have caused stress-induced spawning in two of the species.
The experts were able to run numerous examinations in order to establish to what extent the MPs may affect the marine ecosystem in the Arctic. The experimental work concluded that there is almost no indicator for the impact of the microplastics on the Calanus, considering the current environmental concentration of MPs, which was found in surface waters.
You can read the whole article here.