Multilevel assessment of microplastics and associated pollutants in the Baltic SeaCoordinator: Sonja Oberbeckmann, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde
Total budget: EUR 2,6 million
Duration: 3 years, 1.7.2017-30.6.2020
The focus of the planned project will be on the multilevel impacts of microplastics (MP) themselves, of associated pollutants and of attached biofilms on the ecosystem Baltic Sea. The hazard potential and impacts of these substances will be determined by i) detecting the recent status regarding MP in the Baltic Sea (abundance, composition, sources, sinks), ii) exploring the vector function of MP for associated pollutants and biofilms, and iii) in situ and laboratory experiments, exposing marine organisms from different trophic levels (pro- as well as eukaryotic) to defined levels and size classes of MP and POPs. The gained knowledge will enable us to create spatio-temporal scenarios and simulations for MP transfer and circulation, which will help to understand the mitigation processes of MP and associated pollutants/biofilms in the Baltic Sea. We will be able to assess the risk originating from MP and to develop indicators and suggest monitoring strategies regarding MP and associated pollutants, this way contributing to the implementation of the MSFD. One potential application to reach good ecological status will be evaluated within the project, namely a wastewater treatment technology, which retains efficiently microplastics and xenobiotics.
Keywords: microplastics, organic pollutants, biofilms, food web impact, monitoring
Partners: Germany, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden