Goldstein, M. C., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, La Jolla, USA, email@example.com
Rosenberg, M. R., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, La Jolla, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheng, L. ., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, La Jolla, USA, email@example.com
Reports of plastic debris in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG), particularly microdebris less than 5 mm in diameter, have been cause for significant public concern. However, the distribution, abundance, and ecological effects of pelagic plastic debris remain largely unknown. We compared neuston samples from 1972-3 to those collected in 2009-2010. The median concentration of neustonic plastic microdebris increased from 0.001 particles m-2 in 1972-3 to 0.310 particles m-2 in 2009-2010. Microdebris particles were inhabited by a subset of the North Pacific subtropical rafting community, and associated with increased abundance of the pelagic insect Halobates sericeus. In a series of 24-hour incubation experiments, neustonic zooplankton ingested polyethylene spheres 25-45 µm in diameter. These results are a first step to understanding the ecological implications of plastic microdebris in the NPSG.
Time: 10:30 - 16:00
Location: Poster/Exhibit Hall
Presentation is given by student: Yes