© Alan Jamieson / Newcastle University

Ein Forschungsteam der „Newcastle University“ hat eine Studie veröffentlicht über den Einfluss von Plastikmüllverschmutzung auf Amphipoden (Flohkrebse) in der Tiefsee. Die Ergebnisse sind schockierend. Selbst im fast 11 Kilometer tiefen Marianengraben, dem tiefsten Punkt des Ozeans, hatten alle Exemplare Mikroplastik in ihrem Körper. Es zeigt, dass kein marines Ökosystem mehr unberührt ist. Immer mehr Hinweise deuten darauf hin, dass die Tiefsee, als größter Lebensraum, auch das größte Reservoir für Plastikmüll sein könnte. Die Amphipoden stehen ganz unter in der Nahrungskette und werden von vielen anderen Meerestieren gefressen, wenn die nun Mikroplastik essen, wirkt sich das auf das ganze Ökosystem aus.

The Atlantic, 27.02.2019, Autor: Ed Yong

Alan Jamieson remembers seeing it for the first time: a small, black fiber floating in a tube of liquid. It resembled a hair, but when Jamieson examined it under a microscope, he realized that the fiber was clearly synthetic—a piece of plastic. And worryingly, his student Lauren Brooks had pulled it from the gut of a small crustacean living in one of the deepest parts of the ocean.

For the past decade, Jamieson, a marine biologist at Newcastle University, has been sending vehicles to the bottom of marine trenches, which can be as deep as the Himalayas are tall. Once there, these landers have collected amphipods—scavenger relatives of crabs and shrimp that thrive in the abyss. Jamieson originally wanted to know how these animals differ from one distant trench to another. But a few years ago, almost on a whim, he decided to analyze their body for toxic, human-made pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which have been banned for decades but which persist in nature for much longer.

The team found PCBs galore. Some amphipods were carrying levels 50 times higher than those seen in crabs from one of China’s most polluted rivers. When the news broke, Jamieson was inundated with calls from journalists and concerned citizens. And in every discussion, one question kept coming up: What about plastics? […]

Den gesamten Artikel findet ihr hier.

The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/world/

Weitere Informationen über die Studie der „Newcastle University“: