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Microplastic burden in invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) increases along a stream urbanization gradient

Dent, Abigail R; Chadwick, Daniel DA; Eagle, Lawrence JB; Gould, Alex N; Harwood, Matthew; Sayer, Carl D; Rose, Neil L; (2023) Microplastic burden in invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) increases along a stream urbanization gradient. Ecology and Evolution , 13 (5) , Article e10041. 10.1002/ece3.10041. Green open access

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Abstract

Microplastics are a globally pervasive pollutant with the potential to directly impact species and accumulate in ecosystems. However, there remains a relative paucity of research addressing their accumulation in freshwater ecosystems and a near absence of work in crayfish, despite their high ecological and economic importance. This study investigated the presence of microplastics in the invasive signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus along a stream urbanization gradient. The results demonstrate a ubiquitous presence of microplastics in crayfish digestive tracts at all sites and provide the first evidence of microplastic accumulation in tail tissue. Evidence of a positive linear trend was demonstrated between microplastic concentration in crayfish and upstream urban area size in generalized linear models. Evidence for a positive effect of the upstream urban area and a negative effect of crayfish length on microplastic concentrations in crayfish was demonstrated in multiple generalized linear regression models. Our results extend the current understanding of microplastics presence in freshwater ecosystems and demonstrate their presence in crayfish in the wild for the first time.

Type: Article
Title: Microplastic burden in invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) increases along a stream urbanization gradient
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.10041
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.10041
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Pacifastacus leniusculus, freshwater ecosystem, macroinvertebrate, microplastics, signal crayfish, urbanization
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10169708
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