Distribution Of Microplastics In Freshwater Mussels Across A Watershed Scale

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James Brandon Williams (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Michael Gangloff

Abstract: For this study, water, freshwater mussels, and sediment samples were collected from 5 sites along the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin. These samples were digested, filtered, and analyzed for microplastic particles. There were significant differences in water, mussel tissue in both particle abundance and concentration, and sediment samples among sites. Primarily, low concentrations of microplastics at the high elevation site and high concentrations at the low elevation site were responsible for these differences. Further analysis of water and sediment samples found that water concentrations correlated with drainage area while sediment concentrations correlated with elevation. Microplastic concentrations in mussels showed correlations with mussel weight and drainage area. The results imply that factors affecting microplastic contamination are likely to be complex and that microplastic contamination does not always move readily between water, biota, and sediment. This highlights the need to approach microplastic research from an ecosystems perspective and the need for a protocol such as the one used for this study, which can be applied to large-scale studies in a variety of locations.

Additional Information

Williams, B. (2023). Distribution Of Microplastics In Freshwater Mussels Across A Watershed Scale. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2023
Freshwater mussels, Microplastics, Elliptio, Watershed, Protocol

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