How does small plastic reach the deep sea? Plankton swallowed to the bottom of the sea

图中是巨大幼形海鞘(蓝色、像蝌蚪的生物),它们在水中游动,可清晰看到将彩色塑料球吞入体内。
图中是巨大幼形海鞘(蓝色、像蝌蚪的生物),它们在水中游动,可清晰看到将彩色塑料球吞入体内。
The figure is a huge larvae of the sea (blue, like tadpoles creatures), they swim in the water, can clearly see the color plastic ball swallowed into the body. According to foreign media reports, in the past decade, the researchers found that there are tiny plastic fragments of the sea, but they do not know how these tiny plastic arrived in the deep sea. At present, the researchers found a called “huge larvae of the sea sheath” of the filter food animals can collect plastic debris, and ultimately the digestible micro-plastic excreted in the seabed. These plastic fragments are deposited in a giant juvenile septum, or are deposited on the seafloor in the form of the organism.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Institute (MBARI) in California, who conducted feeding experiments on giant larvae. The name of the huge juvenile scallop may sound great, but in fact it is very small, body length less than 10 cm, looks very much like tadpoles.

They live under the ocean surface and use a viscous filter to capture food, which can be up to 1 meter in diameter. The giant larvae are living in a viscous filter, allowing them to capture tiny particles in the floating water and carry out digestion.

When the filter is clogged by the debris, the giant juvenile sheath will discard the filter, and the final filter will be deposited to the bottom of the sea. In 2016, Dr. Kakani Katija, an engineer, conducted an experiment using the “DeepPIV” system to examine how huge larvae can quickly filter seawater and how large their particles can capture.

The “DeepPIV” system consists of a laser emitter and a camera capable of recording tiny particles in the water that are illuminated when the tiny particles are floating through the laser. Other researchers in the laboratory will be micro-plastic beads and small juvenile cobweb placed together in the pool to observe, trying to reveal the answer, because the huge juvenile sheath of the filter is too large, can not be studied in the laboratory.

Therefore, Dr. Katieja decided to use MBARI’s remote control device in open waters for similar experiments, and she and colleagues have realized that this experiment can reveal the fate of micro-organisms in deep sea. Thus, in June 2016, the researchers assembled MBARI’s remote control device (ROV) – “Doc Ricketts”, as well as different sizes of colored plastic balls, between 0.01 and 0.02 mm in diameter.

Remote Control Device (ROV) – “Doc Ricketts” Shoot the record of the sea sheath filter to capture many colored plastic balls. In the experiment, the researchers placed some of the smaller colored plastic balls near the giant juvenile sheath filter, and then pulled the remote control device to see what was happening in the sea. Of the 25 giant shoots that were tested, 11 were stained with colored plastic balls in the internal filter, six of which were giant, and the giant pelvis was swallowed into the body and clearly visible in its transparent body. After the researchers used the ROV to capture the six giant larvae, they were brought back to the “Western Flying” investigation lab on the ship. They watched the giant scapulares in the laboratory for 12 hours, during which all the plastic balls crossed the internal organs of the sea sheath, excreted in the form of dung. Researchers recorded the number and size of plastic balls embedded in fecal particles, and were surprised to find that giant larvae devoured all the plastic particles of the experiment, before they thought that the sea sheath would only devour smaller particles The

远程操控装置(ROV)——“Doc Ricketts”拍摄记录海鞘的滤器捕获了许多彩色塑料球。
远程操控装置(ROV)——“Doc Ricketts”拍摄记录海鞘的滤器捕获了许多彩色塑料球。
At the same time, the researchers measured the rate of diving into the seabed, initially judged to sink 300 meters a day. Previous studies have shown that the discarded filter sinks about 800 meters a day, implying that giant juvenile scaffolds can convert micro-plastic fragments into plastic particles and deposit them into the seabed environment through filters.

Experimental studies have shown that other common marine filter animals, such as: bottle sea sheath, can also capture plastic fragments. Researchers are currently conducting more ROV experiments to see how these marine organisms transmit micro-plastic fragments in the deep-sea food chain.

The red and green micro-plastic balls are shown around the inner sheath of the sea sheath, and the blue head on the right can be clearly seen. In the previous experiment involving the DeepPIV system, Dr. Katieja showed that giant larvae were able to filter more seawater faster than any other planktonic marine life. This latest study shows that the giant juvenile septum is probably the most important micro-plastic “consumer group” in the ocean, and because many deep-sea animals devour the sea sheath, their dung or discard filters, and microfiber fragments in the sea scaffold Become part of the middle chain food chain.

In addition, miniature plastics arriving at the bottom of the sea may also be swallowed by deep-sea animals, which rely on huge juvenile scallop-discarded filters as food sources. Dr. Katiejia pointed out that this study is only the first step, more questions about marine micro-plastics are still pending. In recent years, researchers have studied and analyzed plastic fragments of seabirds and fish visceral residues, but no one is aware that plastic fragments are swallowed by plankton and eventually depositedTo the seabed. At present, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBARI) in California are working with the Monterey Bay Aquarium to observe the impact of large quantities of plastic pollution on society and ecosystems. (Allure)

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