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Description

The goal of this research was to determine whether microplastics (MP) are uptaken by invertebrates, fish, andPhalacrocorax auritus (double-crested cormorants) resident to Lake Champlain. We did so by quantifying and characterizing (e.g., fragment, fiber, film, foam, pellet) plastic particulate.Wet peroxide oxidation digests were performed on digestive tracts of 506 lake organisms, specifically invertebrates (n = 301), 15 species of fish (n = 190), andPhalacrocorax auritus (double-crested cormorants) (n = 15). Our research indicated that fibers were the were the most common (80.1%) type of particulate found in all organisms, followed by fragments (9.64%), films (6.36%), foam (3.01%), and pellets (Amia calva) contained the greatest average number of plastic particulate (n = 29.67), followed by lake trout (Salvelinus hamaycush) (n = 21.42), and northern pike (Esox lucius) (n = 20.1). Among digested fish, stomachs contained the greatest mean number of MP’s (n=5.62), followed by the esophagus (n=5.36) and intestines (n=4.8). These findings suggest biomagnification and/or direct ingestion is occurring in Lake Champlain organisms, as invertebrates, fish, and double-crested cormorants contained on average 0.36, 6.08, and 22.93 microplastic particles.

Publication Date

2018

First Advisor

Danielle Garneau

Keywords

Microplastics, biomagnification in food chain, ingestion, Lake Champlain, pollution, toxins and contaminants, invertebrates, fish, double-crested cormorants

Disciplines

Environmental Monitoring | Natural Resources and Conservation | Water Resource Management

Microplastic Biomagnification in Invertebrates, Fish, and Cormorants in Lake Champlain

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