East China Normal Univ, State Key Lab Estuarine & Coastal Res, Shanghai 200062, Peoples R China;Duke Univ, Nicholas Sch Environm, Durham, NC 27708 USA;Duke Univ, Nicholas Sch Environm, Durham, NC 27708 USA;East China Normal Univ, State Key Lab Estuarine & Coastal Res, Shanghai 200062, Peoples R China;
Hu, Lingling;Chernick, Melissa;Hinton, David E.;Shi, Huahong;
Although microplastic (MP) pollution in freshwater systems is gaining attention, our knowledge of its distribution in small waterbodies is scarce. Small waterbodies are freshwater habitats to many species, including amphibians, that are vulnerable to MP pollution. This study analyzed the distribution and characteristics of MPs in 25 small waterbodies from the Yangtze River Delta, China. MPs were detected in surface water, sediment, and tadpoles with abundances ranging from 0.48 to 21.52 items L-1, 35.76 to 3185.33 items kg(-1), and 0 to 2.73 items individual(-1) (0 to 168.48 items g(-1)), respectively. The dominant shape and polymer of MPs in water and tadpole samples were polyester (PES) fibers, and polypropylene (PP) fibers and fragments were dominant in sediment samples. In addition, MPs were primarily <0.5 mm in length in all samples. Tadpole length was positively correlated to the number of MPs detected. The abundance, shape, and polymer distribution of MPs in tadpoles resembled that of water rather than sediment, suggesting that tadpoles likely take up MPs from the surrounding water. This study demonstrated that MPs are abundant in these small waterbodies and are ingested by resident tadpoles. This may suggest a pathway of MP entry into aquatic and terrestrial food webs.