How mangrove plants affect microplastic distribution in sediments of coastal wetlands : Case study in Shenzhen Bay, South China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations

Author(s)

  • Jiehan Duan
  • Jie Han
  • Chui-Man Lo
  • Fred Wang-Fat Lee
  • Steven Jing-Liang Xu
  • Yang Yang
  • Nora Fung-yee Tam
  • Hai-Chao Zhou

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number144695
Journal / PublicationScience of the Total Environment
Volume767
Online published30 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

Abstract

Microplastic pollution is common in marine and coastal ecosystems, especially in mangrove wetlands. However, factors affecting the distribution of microplastics, such as plants, have not been sufficiently studied. We investigated the effect of different plant species on the distribution of sediment microplastics in two Nature Reserves in South China, viz. Futian Mangrove and Mai Po Mangrove. In Futian Mangrove, the abundance of total microplastics among three monospecific mangrove stands dominated by Sonneratia caseolaris, Kandelia obovata, and Sonneratia apetala was similar. The abundance of microplastics in the mudflat was similar to that in the forest interior, except for the fact that more fiber was found in the mudflat than in the interior of Sonneratia apetala. This suggested that the dense pneumatophores at the fringe prevented fibers from entering the mangrove forest. The significant positive dependence (p < 0.05) between the density of Sonneratia pneumatophores and the abundance of fibers highlighted the importance of pneumatophores. The abundance of total microplastics, predominantly in the form of fibers, in sediments at the forest fringe (2835 ± 713 items/kg d.w. and 2070 ± 224 items/kg d.w. in Futian and Mai Po, respectively) was higher than that in the forest interior and mudflat. There was no difference between the two latter locations in both mangroves, which demonstrated the significance of the fringe effect. This paper reports for the first time that the spatial distribution of microplastics in mangrove sediments was affected by plant species, which provides useful information for environmental processes of microplastics in coastal wetlands.

Research Area(s)

  • Fibers, Mangrove plants, Microplastic pollution, Pneumatophore, Sediments

Citation Format(s)

How mangrove plants affect microplastic distribution in sediments of coastal wetlands : Case study in Shenzhen Bay, South China. / Duan, Jiehan; Han, Jie; Cheung, Siu Gin; Chong, Richard Kong Yuen; Lo, Chui-Man; Lee, Fred Wang-Fat; Xu, Steven Jing-Liang; Yang, Yang; Tam, Nora Fung-yee; Zhou, Hai-Chao.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 767, 144695, 01.05.2021.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review