APR 14, 2021 12:00 AM PDT

Distribution and bioavailability of anthropogenic microparticles in California's coastal ecosystems

  • Clare Steele, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Resource Management, California State University Channel Islands


Anthropogenic microparticles, including microplastics, are commonly found in nearshore environments, where they may be entrained in coastal waters, sequestered in sediments, or ingested by a variety of organisms. We assessed the distribution of microparticles in coastal California and examined bioavailability to foundational species such as zooplankton and invertebrate infauna. Our findings, indicating high abundance of very small and bioavailable microparticles, are concerning because of the potential impact to nearshore communities at multiple trophic levels.

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