Assessing the presence of microplastics in marine macrophytes for the possible use in bioremediation

Diana Calvache
room 1
Session 4, August 26, 16:00-17:30

Plastic pollution has become a threat to the oceans worldwide.  MPs can reach the marine environment through different antrophogenic and industrial inputs. MPs bioavailability has made them part of the intake for many organisms, but its transmission via food chain is not well understood yet, principally because its accumulation in marine primary producers has been scarcely studied. Macroalgae and seagrasses have the capacity to uptake nutrients and environmental pollutants, including MPs. Beyond contamination from the trophic chain bottom; such capacity could be used in bioremediation - the use of living organisms to reduce contaminants from soil or water for the restoration of the ecosystem. Different species of marine macrophytes were explored through literature search to qualitatively assess their suitability for MPs bioremediation. The macroalga Ulva prolifera, and the seagrass Zostera marina were the best candidates for their use in bioremediation.  In situ experimental studies are recommended before real implementation of bioremediation treatments using these and other marine macrophytes.