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Title: Nowhere to go! Microplastic abundances in freshwater fishes living near wastewater plants.
Authors: Dalu, Tatenda.
Themba, Nombuso Nothando.
Dondofema, Farai .
Cuthbert, Ross N.
University of Mpumalanga
University of Mpumalanga
University of Venda
Queen’s University Belfast
Keywords: Microplastics.;Freshwater fishes.;Microplastic ingestion.;Wastewater treatment plant.;Feeding zone.
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Microplastic presence in aquatic environments is a major problem globally. This study quantified microplastic abundances in fish species across two systems in South Africa around wastewater treatment works. Fish (n = 163) were examined for microplastic in gills and gastrointestinal tracts. Microplastic levels were generally low during the cool–dry season (mean 11.0 – 34.0 particles per fish taxon), and high during the hot–wet season (mean 10.0 – 119.0 particles per fish taxon). The microplastic concentrations per fish were similar between these systems, with downstream of wastewater treatment plants having high microplastic abundances. Although benthopelagic feeders were dominant, pelagic feeders had high microplastic abundances (range 20–119 particles), followed by benthopelagic (range 10–110 particles) and demersal (22 particles) feeders. Multiple regression analysis revealed a significant positive relationship between fish standard length and total microplastic levels, which suggests fish consume more microplastics due to increased food demand as a result of growth.
Description: Published version
DOI: 10.1016/j.etap.2023.104210
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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