Articles | Volume 19, issue 8
Biogeosciences, 19, 2211–2234, 2022
Biogeosciences, 19, 2211–2234, 2022
Research article
25 Apr 2022
Research article | 25 Apr 2022

Modelling submerged biofouled microplastics and their vertical trajectories

Reint Fischer et al.

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Cited articles

Amaral-Zettler, L. A., Zettler, E. R., Slikas, B., Boyd, G. D., Melvin, D. W., Morrall, C. E., Proskurowski, G., and Mincer, T. J.: The biogeography of the Plastisphere: Implications for policy, Front. Ecol. Environ., 13, 541–546,, 2015. a
Amaral-Zettler, L. A., Zettler, E. R., and Mincer, T. J.: Ecology of the plastisphere, Nat. Rev. Microbiol., 18, 139–151,, 2020. a, b
Amaral-Zettler, L. A., Ballerini, T., Zettler, E. R., Asbun, A. A., Adame, A., Casotti, R., Dumontet, B., Donnarumma, V., Engelmann, J. C., Frère, L., Mansui, J., Philippon, M., Pietrelli, L., and Sighicelli, M.: Diversity and predicted inter- and intra-domain interactions in the Mediterranean Plastisphere, Environ. Pollut., 286, 117439,, 2021a. a, b
Amaral-Zettler, L. A., Zettler, E. R., Mincer, T. J., Klaassen, M. A., and Gallager, S. M.: Biofouling impacts on polyethylene density and sinking in coastal waters: A macro/micro tipping point?, Water Res., 201, 117289,, 2021b. a, b, c, d, e, f
Bernard, O. and Rémond, B.: Validation of a simple model accounting for light and temperature effect on microalgal growth, Bioresour. Technol., 123, 520–527,, 2012. a
Short summary
Since current estimates show that only about 1 % of the all plastic that enters the ocean is floating at the surface, we look at subsurface processes that can cause vertical movement of (micro)plastic. We investigate how modelled algal attachment and the ocean's vertical movement can cause particles to sink and oscillate in the open ocean. Particles can sink to depths of > 5000 m in regions with high wind intensity and mainly remain close to the surface with low winds and biological activity.
Final-revised paper