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MicroCatch_Balt: One System: Analysing microplastics sinks and sources from a typical catchment area to the open Baltic

MicroCatch_Balt will focus on the determination of inland sources and sinks of microplastics (MP) and the relevant fate processes on its pathways to the open Baltic Sea within the exemplary Warnow catchment area. It will provide a unique set of coupled models covering the entire catchment area together with the estuary and coastal waters. The set of models will be used to identify hot-spot areas of MP-input and to forecast the impact of MP-reduction measures within subareas of the catchment area and on the Baltic Sea. Transferring these models into multimedia applications will create valuable interactive learning modules on a multi-touch table, which will be at the centre of a travelling exhibition to be shown in municipalities along the German Baltic Sea coast from Stralsund to Flensburg. Thus, we will offer access to most current research results highlighting the consequences of plastic litter in the immediate vicinity of the visitors with a direct reference to their own individual behaviour. It is important to stress that MicroCatch_Balt will include the investigation of boat paints, extreme events as sources and higher organisms as sinks. These previously nearly neglected aspects have been identified as essential gaps in the overall MP assessment for the Warnow estuary by the project MikrOMIK. In consequence, MicroCatch_Balt will cover the most significant aspects of MP contamination in Northern Germany, from limnic to marine systems, providing expertise to support stakeholders in designing future monitoring or mitigation strategies.


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  • Tagg, A. S., Brandes, E., Fischer, F., Fischer, D., Brandt, J., Labrenz, M. (2022). Agricultural application of microplastic-rich sewage sludge leads to further uncontrolled contamination. Science of the Total Environment : 150611,
  • Labrenz, M. (2021). The long road to determine microplastic trends in a Baltic Sea catchment. The Project Repository Journal 10: 135-137
  • Lenz, R., K. Enders, F. Fischer, J. Brandt, D. Fischer and M. Labrenz (2021). Measuring impacts of microplastic treatments via image recognition on immobilised particles below 100 μm. Microplastics and Nanoplastics 1: 12, doi: 10.1186/s43591-021-00012-0
  • Robbe, E., J. Woelfel, A. Balčiūnas and G. Schernewski (2021). An impact assessment of beach wrack and litter on beach ecosystem services to support coastal management at the Baltic Sea. Environ. Manage. 68: 835-859, doi: 10.1007/s00267-021-01533-3
  • Schernewski, G., H. Radtke, E. Robbe, M. Haseler, R. Hauk, L. Meyer, S. Piehl, J. Riedel and M. Labrenz (2021). Emission, transport, and deposition of visible plastics in an estuary and the Baltic Sea - a monitoring and modeling approach. Environ. Manage. 68: 860-881, doi: 10.1007/s00267-021-01534-2
  • Oberbeckmann, S., S. Markert and M. Labrenz (2021). Mikrobieller Plastikabbau im Meer: die Suche nach dem Unwahrscheinlichen. BIOspektrum 27: 358-361, doi: 10.1007/s12268-021-1591-7
  • Siegel, H., F. Fischer, R. Lenz, D. Fischer, M. Jekel and M. Labrenz (2021). Identification and quantification of microplastic particles in drinking water treatment sludge as an integrative approach to determine microplastic abundance in a freshwater river. Environ. Poll. 286: 117524, doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117524
  • Brandes, E., S. Cieplik, P. H. Fiener, Martin, F. Herrmann, J. Klasmeier, P. Kreins, S. Piel, G. Shiravani, F. Wendland and A. Wurpts (2020). Modellbasierte Forschung zu Mikroplastik in der Umwelt - Synthesepapier. BMBF. 26 S. (Diskussionspapiere & Statuspapiere)
  • Piehl, S., R. Hauk, E. Robbe, B. Richter, F. Kachholz, J. Schilling, R. Lenz, D. Fischer, F. Fischer, M. Labrenz and G. Schernewski (2021). Combined approaches to predict microplastic emissions within an urbanized estuary (warnow, southwestern baltic sea). Front. Environ. Sci. 9: 616765, doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2021.616765
  • Wick, N., S. Krause, C. Schaum, F. Fischer, D. Fischer, F. Klaeger and M. Labrenz (2020). Herausforderungen bei Probenahme, -aufbereitung und Analyse von Mikroplastik in der kommunalen Abwasserbehandlung. KA : Korrespondenz Abwasser, Abfall 67: 118-124
  • Schernewski, G., H. Radtke, R. Hauk, C. Baresel, M. Olshammar and S. Oberbeckmann (2021). Urban microplastics emissions: Effectiveness of retention measures and consequences for the Baltic Sea. Front. Mar. Sci. 8: 208, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2021.594415
  • Mack, L., J. Attila, E. Aylagas, A. Beermann, A. Borja, D. Hering, M. Kahlert, F. Leese, R. Lenz, M. Lehtiniemi, A. Liess, U. Lips, O.-P. Mattila, K. Meissner, T. Pyhalahti, O. Setala, J. S. Strehse, L. Uusitalo, A. W. Wranne and S. Birk (2020). A synthesis of marine monitoring methods with the potential to enhance the status assessment of the Baltic Sea. Front. Mar. Sci. 7: 552047, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.552047
  • Enders, K., A. S. Tagg and M. Labrenz (2020). Evaluation of electrostatic separation of microplastics from mineral-rich environmental samples. Front. Environ. Sci. 8: 112, doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2020.00112
  • Brandt, J., F. Fischer, E. Kanaki, K. Enders, M. Labrenz and D. Fischer (2021). Assessment of subsampling strategies in microspectroscopy of environmental microplastic samples. Front. Environ. Sci. 8: 579676, doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2020.579676
  • Escobar-Sánchez, G., M. Haseler, N. Oppelt and G. Schernewski (2021). Efficiency of aerial drones for macrolitter monitoring on Baltic Sea beaches. Front. Environ. Sci. 8: 560237, doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2020.560237
  • Schernewski, G., H. Radtke, R. Hauk, C. Baresel, M. Olshammar, R. Osinski and S. Oberbeckmann (2020). Transport and behavior of microplastics emissions from urban sources in the Baltic Sea. Front. Environ. Sci. 8: 579361, doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2020.579361
  • Brandt, J., L. Bittrich, F. Fischer, E. Kanaki, A. Tagg, R. Lenz, M. Labrenz, E. Brandes, D. Fischer and K.-J. Eichhorn (2020). High-throughput analyses of microplastic samples using fourier transform infrared and raman spectrometry. Appl. Spectrosc. 74: 1185-1197, doi: 10.1177/0003702820932926
  • 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
  • Rönspieß, L., O. Dellwig, X. Lange, G. Nausch and D. Schulz-Bull (2020). Spatial and seasonal phosphorus dynamics in a eutrophic estuary of the southern Baltic Sea. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 233: 106532, doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2019.106532
  • Piehl, S., R. Hauk, E. Robbe, F. Klaeger, M. Haseler, M. Labrenz and G. Schernewski (2019). Mikroplastik in der Umwelt - Eintrag, Verbleib und Konsequenzen. In: Emissionsminderung von Punktquellen im ländlichen Raum : 12. Rostocker Abwassertagung am 10. September 2019 an der Universität Rostock : Tagungsband Rostock: Universität Rostock (Schriftenreihe Umweltingenieurwesen): 104-115,
  • 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
  • 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
  • Lenz, R. and M. Labrenz (2018). Small microplastic sampling in water: Development of an encapsulated filtration device. Water 10: 1055, doi: 10.3390/w10081055
  • Tagg, A. S. and M. Labrenz (2018). Closing microplastic pathways before they open: A model approach. Environ. Sci. Technol. 52: 3340-3341, doi: 10.1021/acs.est.8b00961