Marine Anthropogenic Litter

Over the year I have been putting together a chapter to contribute towards a Springer published Open Access book “Marine Anthropogenic Litter”. The book is an expansive summary of the state of knowledge on all aspects of marine anthropogenic litter, including the distribution and biological implications of plastics and microplastics, as well as the socio-economic implications.

© Springer

A few months ago I received my copy of Marine Anthropogenic Litter. The book has been made available through open access, which means you can download the whole book, or separate chapters at the links below.

The book was published in June 2015, and I have enjoyed dipping into each of the chapters to read the other authors contributions. The editors, Melanie Bergmann and Lars Gutow from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and Michael Klages from the University of Gothenburg’s Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, brought together a huge variety of experts to contribute.

The book consists of 5 sections: A historical synopsis of marine litter research,abiotic aspects of litter pollution, biological and ecological implications of marine litter, microplastics,

I’ve tried to summarise each of the 16 chapter in two sentences and if you click on the title it will take you to the whole chapter on the springer website.

I had a great time contributing to this book (Chapter 10!), and hope you enjoy reading it.

Published by Amy Lusher


Chapter summaries

1. A brief History of Marine Litter Research. Ryan.

As the title says, the history of marine litter research and the rapid development of the topic and key conferences. From the first reports of entanglement and ingestion in the 1960s to the current focus on microplastics and associated chemicals transferring to the marine food web.

2. Global Distribution, Composition and Abundance of Marine Litter. Galgani et al.

Describes marine litter, primarily plastics, global abundance and composition. Plastics have been recorded on beaches, floating on the sea surface and accumulating in the deep sea.

3. Persistence of Plastic Litter in the OceansAndrady

Describes the physical and chemical process involved in the breakdown of plastics in the marine environment.

4. Deleterious Effects of Litter on Marine Life. Kühn et al.

A summary of the implications and effects of marine litter on wildlife, including entanglement and ingestion.

5. The Complex Mixture, Fate and Toxicity of Chemicals Associated with Plastic Debris in the Marine Environment. Rochman

Plastics are more than just a mechanistic threat to marine animals, this chapter looks the toxicity of chemicals and their health implications.

6. Marine Litter as Habitat and Dispersal Vector. Kiessling et al.

This chapter looks at how plastics facilitate the movement of marine organisms which colonise floating material, including invasive species.

7. Microplastics in the Marine Environment: Sources, Consequences and Solutions. Thompson

A synopsis of microplastic research to date.

8. Methodology Used for the Detection and Identification of Microplastics—A Critical Appraisal. Löder et al.

A critical appraisal of the research methods used when identifying microplastics in the field and marine biota.

9. Sources and Pathways of Microplastics to Habitats. Browne

An outline of the primary and secondary sources of microplastics

10. Microplastics in the Marine Environment: Distribution, Interactions and Effects. Lusher.

The global distribution and environmental impacts of microplastics.

11.Modeling the Role of Microplastics in Bioaccumulation of Organic Chemicals to Marine Aquatic Organisms. A Critical Review. Koelmans

A critical evaluation of the transfer of environmental contaminants to marine organisms using a modelling approach.

12.Nanoplastics in the Aquatic Environment. Critical Review. Koelmans et al.

A summary of nano-plastics.

13. Micro- and Nano-plastics and Human Health. Galloway

A summary of our current knowledge of how chemicals associated with plastics may affect human health.

14. The Economics of Marine Litter. Newman et al.

Describes the economic instruments around the world which are used to reduce litter inputs to the sea.

15. Regulation and Management of Marine Litter. Chen

Regulatory measures which are used to manage marine litter around the world.

16. The Contribution of Citizen Scientists to the Monitoring of Marine Litter. Hidalgo-Ruz et al.

A discussion on how public awareness and citizen scientists can be utilised to support global research of marine litter.


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