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Environ Pollut. 2014 May;188:177-81. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.02.006. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

The Danube so colourful: a potpourri of plastic litter outnumbers fish larvae in Europe's second largest river.

Author information

1
Department of Limnology and Oceanography, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: aaron.lechner@univie.ac.at.
2
Department of Limnology and Oceanography, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: hubert.keckeis@univie.ac.at.
3
Department of Limnology and Oceanography, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: franz.loisl@univie.ac.at.
4
Department of Limnology and Oceanography, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: a0707530@unet.univie.ac.at.
5
Department of Limnology and Oceanography, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: krusch7@gmx.at.
6
Christian Doppler Laboratory for Advanced Methods in River Monitoring, Modelling and Engineering, Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, Institute of Water Management, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering, BOKU-University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Muthgasse 107, 1190 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: michael.tritthart@boku.ac.at.
7
Christian Doppler Laboratory for Advanced Methods in River Monitoring, Modelling and Engineering, Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, Institute of Water Management, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering, BOKU-University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Muthgasse 107, 1190 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: martin.glas@boku.ac.at.
8
Department of Limnology and Oceanography, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: elisabeth.schludermann@tuwien.ac.at.

Abstract

Previous studies on plastic pollution of aquatic ecosystems focused on the world's oceans. Large rivers as major pathways for land-based plastic litter, has received less attention so far. Here we report on plastic quantities in the Austrian Danube. A two year survey (2010, 2012) using stationary driftnets detected mean plastic abundance (n = 17,349; mean ± S.D: 316.8 ± 4664.6 items per 1000 m(-3)) and mass (4.8 ± 24.2 g per 1000 m(-3)) in the river to be higher than those of drifting larval fish (n = 24,049; 275.3 ± 745.0 individuals. 1000 m(-3) and 3.2 ± 8.6 g 1000 m(-3)). Industrial raw material (pellets, flakes and spherules) accounted for substantial parts (79.4%) of the plastic debris. The plastic input via the Danube into the Black Sea was estimated to 4.2 t per day.

KEYWORDS:

Black Sea; Drift; Freshwater pollution; Industrial plastics; Plastic debris

PMID:
24602762
PMCID:
PMC3989055
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2014.02.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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