Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Science Advances

Volume

6

Issue

44

Publisher

American Association for the Advancement of Science

School

School of Science / Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research

Funders

KAUST C.M.D Australian Research Council

Grant Number

ARC Number : LE170100219

Grant Link

http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/LE170100219

Comments

Martin, C., Baalkhuyur, F., Valluzzi, L., Saderne, V., Cusack, M., Almahasheer, H., … Duarte, C. M. (2020). Exponential increase of plastic burial in mangrove sediments as a major plastic sink. Science Advances, 6(44), article eaaz5593. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaz5593

Abstract

© 2020 The Authors. Sequestration of plastics in sediments is considered the ultimate sink of marine plastic pollution that would justify unexpectedly low loads found in surface waters. Here, we demonstrate that mangroves, generally supporting high sediment accretion rates, efficiently sequester plastics in their sediments. To this end, we extracted microplastics from dated sediment cores of the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf mangrove (Avicennia marina) forests along the Saudi Arabian coast. We found that microplastics <0.5 mm dominated in mangrove sediments, helping explain their scarcity, in surface waters. We estimate that 50 ± 30 and 110 ± 80 metric tons of plastic may have been buried since the 1930s in mangrove sediments across the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf, respectively. We observed an exponential increase in the plastic burial rate (8.5 ± 1.2% year-1) since the 1950s in line with the global plastic production increase, confirming mangrove sediments as long-term sinks for plastics.

DOI

10.1126/sciadv.aaz5593

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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