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Large Plastic Debris Dumps: New Biodiversity Hot Spots Emerging on the Deep-Sea Floor

Cited 1 time in wos
Cited 2 time in scopus
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Large Plastic Debris Dumps: New Biodiversity Hot Spots Emerging on the Deep-Sea Floor
Other Titles
대형 플라스틱 해양폐기물: 심해저 생물다양성의 보고로 떠오르다
Song, Xikun
Lyu, Mingxin
Zhang, Xiaodi
Ruthensteiner, Bernhard
Ahn, In-Young
Guido, Pastorino
Yunan, Wang
Gu, Yifan
Ta, Kaiwen
Sun, Jie
Liu, Xi
Han, Jian
Ke, Caihuan
Peng, Xiaotong
Engineering; Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Antarctic; biodiversity; deep sea floor; epibenthos; plastic debris
Issue Date
Song, Xikun, et al. 2021. "Large Plastic Debris Dumps: New Biodiversity Hot Spots Emerging on the Deep-Sea Floor". ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY LETTERS, 8(2): 148-154.
Macroplastic debris recorded in the Mariana Trench and accumulated on some deep-sea canyons worldwide arouses great public concerns. Large plastic debris dumps found in canyons of the Xisha Trough, South China Sea become hotspots for deep-sea pollution, with one order of magnitude higher abundance than in other canyons. Here we adopted an integrative specimen-based approach to examine macroplastic items from large debris dumps in the Xisha Trough, and comparative items from continental shelves with rare macroplastics. On the investigated items, we found an epibenthic ecosystem with relatively high species diversity, comprised of 49 millimeter-sized fungi and invertebrate species dominated by scyphozoan polyps and brachiopod juveniles according to inhabiting density. These large dumps are functioning as new biodiversity hotspots hosting endemic species like soft corals or aplacophoran molluscs, providing a spawning habitat for gastropods and even specialized parasitic flatworms, and can be inferred as potential scattered regional sources releasing deep-sea coronate jellyfish. We hypothesize that macroplastics can boost population extension of sessile and some free-living (Mollusca) invertebrates and affect the deep-sea benthic-pelagic coupling process. The baseline of associated organisms needs to be set up and monitored in more canyons, where debris is transported to and accumulated at the highest density.
Appears in Collections  
2018-2018, Studies on the Changes in Coastal Marine Systems of the Antarctic Peninsula: A 2050 Outlook (18-18) / Ahn, In-Young (PE18070)
2020-2020, Adaptation and Assessment of coastal marine [benthic-pelagic] ecosystem impacted by rapid glacier retreat, Antarctica (20-20) / Ha, Sun-Yong (PE20120)
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