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BONUS MICROPOLL: BONUS MICROPOLL - Multilevel assessment of microplastics and associated pollutants in the Baltic Sea

The focus of the planned project will be on the multilevel impacts of microplastics (MP) themselves, of associated pollutants and of attached biofilms on the ecosystem Baltic Sea. The hazard potential and impacts of these substances will be determined by i) detecting the recent status regarding MP in the Baltic Sea (abundance, composition, sources, sinks), ii) exploring the vector function of MP for associated pollutants and biofilms, and iii) in situ and laboratory experiments, exposing marine organisms from different trophic levels (pro- as well as eukaryotic) to defined levels and size classes of MP and POPs. The gained knowledge will enable us to create spatio-temporal scenarios and simulations for MP transfer and circulation, which will help to understand the mitigation processes of MP and associated pollutants/biofilms in the Baltic Sea. We will be able to assess the risk originating from MP and to develop indicators and suggest monitoring strategies regarding MP and associated pollutants, this way contributing to the implementation of the MSFD. One potential application to reach good ecological status will be evaluated within the project, namely a wastewater treatment technology, which retains efficiently microplastics and xenobiotics.


  • Schernewski, G., Radtke, H., Hauk, R., Baresel, C., Olshammar, M., Osinski, R., Oberbeckmann, S. (2020). Transport and Behavior of Microplastics Emissions From Urban Sources in the Baltic Sea. Frontiers in Environmental Sciences : , doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2020.579361
  • Kataržytė, M., A. Balčiūnas, M. Haseler, V. Sabaliauskaitė, L. Lauciūtė, K. Stepanova, C. Nazzari and G. Schernewski (2020). Cigarette butts on Baltic Sea beaches: Monitoring, pollution and mitigation measures. Mar. Poll. Bull. 156: 111248, doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111248
  • Osinski, R. D. and H. Radtke (2020). Ensemble hindcasting of wind and wave conditions with WRF and WAVEWATCH III® driven by ERA5. Ocean Sci. 16: 355-371, doi: 10.5194/os-16-355-2020
  • Enders, K., R. Lenz, J. A. Ivar do Sul, A. S. Tagg and M. Labrenz (2020). When every particle matters: A QuEChERS approach to extract microplastics from environmental samples. MethodsX 7: 100784, doi: 10.1016/j.mex.2020.100784
  • Tagg, A. S., S. Oberbeckmann, D. Fischer, B. Kreikemeyer and M. Labrenz (2019). Paint particles are a distinct and variable substrate for marine bacteria. Mar. Poll. Bull. 146: 117-124, doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.06.013
  • Enders, K., A. Käppler, O. Biniasch, P. Feldens, N. Stollberg, X. Lange, D. Fischer, K.-J. Eichhorn, F. Pollehne, S. Oberbeckmann and M. Labrenz (2019). Tracing microplastics in aquatic environments based on sediment analogies. Sci. Rep. 9: 15207, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-50508-2
  • Haseler, M. (2019). Hier und da und überall - Plastik in der marinen Umwelt. In: Weltmeere im Wandel. Ed. by B. Ratter. Hamburg: (Hamburger Symposium Geographie; Band 10) 10: 29-44,
  • Haseler, M., C. Weder, L. Buschbeck, S. Wesnigk and G. Schernewski (2019). Cost-effective monitoring of large micro- and meso-litter in tidal and flood accumulation zones at south-western Baltic Sea beaches. Mar. Poll. Bull. 149: 110544, doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110544
  • Janßen, R., J. Zabel, U. von Lukas and M. Labrenz (2019). An artificial neural network and Random Forest identify glyphosate-impacted brackish communities based on 16S rRNA amplicon MiSeq read counts. Mar. Poll. Bull. 149: 110530, doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.110530
  • Kesy, K., S. Oberbeckmann, B. Kreikemeyer and M. Labrenz (2019). Spatial environmental heterogeneity determines young biofilm assemblages on microplastics in Baltic Sea mesocosms. Front. Microbiol. 10: 1665, doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01665
  • Oberbeckmann, S. and M. Labrenz (2020). Marine microbial assemblages on microplastics: Diversity, adaptation, and role in degradation. Annu. Rev. Mar. Sci. 12: 209-232, doi: 10.1146/annurev-marine-010419-010633
  • Klaeger, F., A. S. Tagg, S. Otto, M. Bienmüller, I. Sartorius and M. Labrenz (2019). Residual monomer content affects the interpretation of plastic degradation. Sci. Rep. 9: 2120, doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-38685-6
  • Haseler, M., G. Schernewski, A. Balciunas and V. Sabaliauskaite (2018). Monitoring methods for large micro- and meso-litter and applications at Baltic beaches. J. Coast. Conserv. 22: 27-50, doi: 10.1007/s11852-017-0497-5