Exponential increase of plastic burial in mangrove sediments as a major plastic sink

Cecilia Martin, F. Baalkhuyur, L. Valluzzi, Vincent Saderne, Michael Cusack, Hanan Almahasheer, Lotfi Rabaoui, L. Rabaoui, M.A. Qurban, Ariane Arias-Ortiz, Pere Masqué, Carlos M. Duarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Sequestration of plastics in sediments is considered the ultimate sink of marine plastic pollution that would justify unexpectedly low loads found in surface waters. Here, we demonstrate that mangroves, generally supporting high sediment accretion rates, efficiently sequester plastics in their sediments. To this end, we extracted microplastics from dated sediment cores of the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf mangrove (Avicennia marina) forests along the Saudi Arabian coast. We found that microplastics
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)eaaz5593
JournalScience advances
Issue number44
StatePublished - Oct 28 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-11-03
Acknowledgements: We thank A. Qasem and P. Priahartato, from Saudi Aramco, for support and advice on sampling design; R. Lindo, R. Magalles, P. Bacquiran, S. Ibrahim, and M. Lopez, at the Marine Studies section of the Center for Environment and Water of King Fahd University of
Petroleum and Minerals, for contribution in fieldwork sampling in the Arabian Gulf; and Z. Batang and staff from the Coastal and Marine Resources core laboratory at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for help with sampling in the Red Sea. We thank I. Schulz, N. Geraldi, K. Rowe, S. Roth, M. Ennasri, and D. Prabowo for helping with processing of the cores. We thank the KAUST Workshop for manufacturing the SMI unit. We thank R. al Nahdi for help during plastic extraction. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is grateful for the support provided to its Environment Laboratories by the government of the Principality of Monaco.


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