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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 10 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 10 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Modelling mussel (Mytilus spp.) microplastic accumulation

Natalia Stamataki1,2,3, Yannis Hatzonikolakis2,4, Kostas Tsiaras2, Catherine Tsangaris2, George Petihakis3, Sarantis Sofianos1, and George Triantafyllou2 Natalia Stamataki et al.
  • 1Department of Environmental Physics, University of Athens, 15784 Athens, Greece
  • 2Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Athens-Sounio Avenue, MavroLithari, 19013 Anavyssos, Greece
  • 3Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), 71003 Heraklion, Greece
  • 4Department of Biology, University of Athens, 15784, Greece

Abstract. Microplastics (MPs) are a contaminant of growing concern due to their widespread distribution and interactions with marine species, such as filter feeders. To investigate the MPs accumulation by wild and cultured mussels, a Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model was developed and validated with the available field data of Mytilus edulis (wild) from the North Sea and Mytilus galloprovincialis (cultured) from the North Ionian Sea. Towards a generic DEB model, the site-specific model parameter, half saturation coefficient (Xk) was applied as a power function of food density for the cultured mussel, while for the wild it was calibrated to a constant value. The DEB-accumulation model simulated the uptake and excretion rate of MPs, taking into account environmental characteristics (temperature and chlorophyll-a). An accumulation of MPs equal to 0.64 particles individual−1 (fresh tissue mass 1.9 g) and 0.91 particles individual−1 (fresh tissue mass 3.4 g) was found for the wild and cultured mussel respectively, in agreement with the field data. The inverse experiments investigating the depuration time of the wild and cultured mussel in a clean from MPs environment showed a 90 % removal of MPs load after 3 and 14 days, respectively. Furthermore, sensitivity tests on model parameters and forcing functions highlighted that besides MPs concentration, the accumulation is highly depended on temperature and chlorophyll-a of the surrounding environment. For this reason, an empirical equation was found relating directly the concentration of MPs in seawater, with MPs accumulation in mussel’s soft tissue, temperature and chlorophyll-a.

Natalia Stamataki et al.

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Natalia Stamataki et al.

Natalia Stamataki et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This study examines the accumulation of microplastics on wild and cultured mussels through a Dynamic Energy Budget model, resulting in a comparable contamination level but different cleaning time for the mussels. Our main findings highlight that microplastics contamination is strongly depended on the variability of specific environmental aspects and improve the knowledge of the transport and accumulation of microplastics in the mussels, enlighting future work on a biomagnification scenario.
This study examines the accumulation of microplastics on wild and cultured mussels through a...