Do beachrocks affect microplastic deposition on the strandline of sandy beaches?

Lara M Pinheiro, Raqueline C P Monteiro, Juliana A Ivar do Sul, Monica F Costa
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2019, 141: 569-572
The strandline is one of the first deposition habitats of microplastics before they are integrated to the beach as a standing stock or finally removed. Beaches, entirely or partially protected by beachrocks, have different sediment dynamics and therefore may present variation in microplastic deposition. The aim of this work was to test if protected and unprotected (i.e., exposed to waves) areas of a sandy beach present different microplastic accumulation on the strandline - a habitat greatly influenced by both water and sediment dynamics. Microplastic (MP) amounts were significantly higher at the protected area (Mprotected  = 642.6 ± 514.8 MP m-2 , Mexposed  = 130.6 ± 126.8 MP m-2 , Mann-Whitney U test, U = 14.5, p = 0.0009), showing that beachrocks influence microplastic accumulation on the beach face. Therefore, hard structures parallel to the beach may also affect microplastics deposition on beach sediments, being important to consider these structures on microplastic surveys.

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