Source, transfert et devenir des microplastiques (MPs) en mer Méditerranée Nord-Occidentale

Abstract : Anthropogenic litter, particularly plastic litter and their fragments (microplastics or “MPs”; < 5 mm) represent a highly pervasive and persistent global threat to marine ecosystems, as they can be ingested by a wide range of marine species. As a landlocked sea with a high population density, the Mediterranean Sea is highly exposed to marine litter pollution. This thesis aims tounderstand the origin and the future of marine MPs thanks to a holistic approach from terrestrial sources to marine sinks. This strategy was applied at the regional scale of the Gulf of Lion (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea) on all coastal compartments. MPs were observed in every studied matrices (water, sediment, atmospheric fallout) with a high variability within and betweenthe different compartments. No significant qualitative trend seems to occur during the transfer of MPs between compartments and fibers were the most abundant shape found in samples. MP concentrations changed at a short spatial and temporal scale (< 1 hour and < 1 kilometer), overlaying other variabilities (i.e. seasonal or between sites). If no obvious relationship betweenexternal forcing (e.g. precipitations, river flow rates, winds) and MP concentrations was observed, rainfall events seemed to have an important impact on the amount of MPs transferred into the sea. Extrapolating our results to the whole Gulf of Lion watersheds, 30 ± 20 tons of MPs would settle on urban areas and 7 ± 10 tons would be supplied by rivers into the Mediterranean Sea every year. The extrapolation of MP quantities within marine environments seems to indicate that the sea surface and beaches are only transitory compartments (<1 ton) whereas sea floor and water column couldbe more impacted (up to 350 tons for marine sediment). New data on water column and marine sediments are needed to confirm this hypothesis, but those results suggest that both latter compartments could be major sinks for marine MPs.
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Mel Constant. Source, transfert et devenir des microplastiques (MPs) en mer Méditerranée Nord-Occidentale. Océan, Atmosphère. Université de Perpignan, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018PERP0057⟩. ⟨tel-02138186⟩

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