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Anthropogenic litter in urban freshwater ecosystems: distribution and microbial interactions.

Hoellein T, Rojas M, Pink A, Gasior J, Kelly J - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Accumulation of anthropogenic litter (i.e. garbage; AL) and its ecosystem effects in marine environments are well documented.For example, biofilms on organic substrates (cardboard and leaves) had lower GPP than hard substrates (glass, plastic, aluminum and tiles).In addition, bacterial communities on organic substrates were distinct in composition from those on hard substrates, with higher relative abundances of bacteria associated with cellulose decomposition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Accumulation of anthropogenic litter (i.e. garbage; AL) and its ecosystem effects in marine environments are well documented. Rivers receive AL from terrestrial habitats and represent a major source of AL to marine environments, but AL is rarely studied within freshwater ecosystems. Our objectives were to 1) quantify AL density in urban freshwaters, 2) compare AL abundance among freshwater, terrestrial, and marine ecosystems, and 3) characterize the activity and composition of AL biofilms in freshwater habitats. We quantified AL from the Chicago River and Chicago's Lake Michigan shoreline, and found that AL abundance in Chicago freshwater ecosystems was comparable to previously reported data for marine and terrestrial ecosystems, although AL density and composition differed among habitats. To assess microbial interactions with AL, we incubated AL and natural substrates in 3 freshwater ecosystems, quantified biofilm metabolism as gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR), and characterized biofilm bacterial community composition via high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The main driver of biofilm community composition was incubation location (e.g., river vs pond), but there were some significant differences in biofilm composition and metabolism among substrates. For example, biofilms on organic substrates (cardboard and leaves) had lower GPP than hard substrates (glass, plastic, aluminum and tiles). In addition, bacterial communities on organic substrates were distinct in composition from those on hard substrates, with higher relative abundances of bacteria associated with cellulose decomposition. Finally, we used our results to develop a conceptual diagram designed to unite the study of AL in terrestrial and freshwater environments with the well-established field of marine debris research. We suggest this broad perspective will be useful for future studies which synthesize AL sources, ecosystem effects, and fate across multiple ecosystem types, and will benefit management and reduction of global AL accumulations.

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Mean (±SE) gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR) for biofilms colonizing natural substrates (unglazed ceramic tile and leaves) and anthropogenic litter substrates including glass, hard plastic, aluminum, and cardboard incubated in (A) North Branch of the Chicago River, and (B) a pond at Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC; N = 3 for each substrate at each site).Results (p-values) from 1-way ANOVA among substrates for each metric are shown in each panel, small letters indicate significant differences among substrates (p<0.05) as indicated by Tukey's multiple comparison test.
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pone-0098485-g005: Mean (±SE) gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR) for biofilms colonizing natural substrates (unglazed ceramic tile and leaves) and anthropogenic litter substrates including glass, hard plastic, aluminum, and cardboard incubated in (A) North Branch of the Chicago River, and (B) a pond at Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC; N = 3 for each substrate at each site).Results (p-values) from 1-way ANOVA among substrates for each metric are shown in each panel, small letters indicate significant differences among substrates (p<0.05) as indicated by Tukey's multiple comparison test.

Mentions: Biofilm activity on AL surfaces incubated in situ showed different patterns in the pond and river sites (Figure 5). GPP on aluminum and glass was lower than tile and plastic in the Chicago River (ANOVA p = 0.021; Figure 5A). Similarly, river biofilms had higher CR on tile than aluminum and plastic, while glass was intermediate (ANOVA p = 0.006; Figure 5B). Organic substrates were completely decomposed, ingested, or fragmented during the incubation in the river. In the pond, biofilm GPP was highest on tile, intermediate on glass, plastic, and aluminum, and lowest on cardboard and leaves (ANOVA p = 0.037, Figure 5C). There was no difference in biofilm CR among substrates in the pond (ANOVA p = 0.258; Figure 5D).


Anthropogenic litter in urban freshwater ecosystems: distribution and microbial interactions.

Hoellein T, Rojas M, Pink A, Gasior J, Kelly J - PLoS ONE (2014)

Mean (±SE) gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR) for biofilms colonizing natural substrates (unglazed ceramic tile and leaves) and anthropogenic litter substrates including glass, hard plastic, aluminum, and cardboard incubated in (A) North Branch of the Chicago River, and (B) a pond at Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC; N = 3 for each substrate at each site).Results (p-values) from 1-way ANOVA among substrates for each metric are shown in each panel, small letters indicate significant differences among substrates (p<0.05) as indicated by Tukey's multiple comparison test.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4067278&req=5

pone-0098485-g005: Mean (±SE) gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR) for biofilms colonizing natural substrates (unglazed ceramic tile and leaves) and anthropogenic litter substrates including glass, hard plastic, aluminum, and cardboard incubated in (A) North Branch of the Chicago River, and (B) a pond at Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Campus (LUREC; N = 3 for each substrate at each site).Results (p-values) from 1-way ANOVA among substrates for each metric are shown in each panel, small letters indicate significant differences among substrates (p<0.05) as indicated by Tukey's multiple comparison test.
Mentions: Biofilm activity on AL surfaces incubated in situ showed different patterns in the pond and river sites (Figure 5). GPP on aluminum and glass was lower than tile and plastic in the Chicago River (ANOVA p = 0.021; Figure 5A). Similarly, river biofilms had higher CR on tile than aluminum and plastic, while glass was intermediate (ANOVA p = 0.006; Figure 5B). Organic substrates were completely decomposed, ingested, or fragmented during the incubation in the river. In the pond, biofilm GPP was highest on tile, intermediate on glass, plastic, and aluminum, and lowest on cardboard and leaves (ANOVA p = 0.037, Figure 5C). There was no difference in biofilm CR among substrates in the pond (ANOVA p = 0.258; Figure 5D).

Bottom Line: Accumulation of anthropogenic litter (i.e. garbage; AL) and its ecosystem effects in marine environments are well documented.For example, biofilms on organic substrates (cardboard and leaves) had lower GPP than hard substrates (glass, plastic, aluminum and tiles).In addition, bacterial communities on organic substrates were distinct in composition from those on hard substrates, with higher relative abundances of bacteria associated with cellulose decomposition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Accumulation of anthropogenic litter (i.e. garbage; AL) and its ecosystem effects in marine environments are well documented. Rivers receive AL from terrestrial habitats and represent a major source of AL to marine environments, but AL is rarely studied within freshwater ecosystems. Our objectives were to 1) quantify AL density in urban freshwaters, 2) compare AL abundance among freshwater, terrestrial, and marine ecosystems, and 3) characterize the activity and composition of AL biofilms in freshwater habitats. We quantified AL from the Chicago River and Chicago's Lake Michigan shoreline, and found that AL abundance in Chicago freshwater ecosystems was comparable to previously reported data for marine and terrestrial ecosystems, although AL density and composition differed among habitats. To assess microbial interactions with AL, we incubated AL and natural substrates in 3 freshwater ecosystems, quantified biofilm metabolism as gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR), and characterized biofilm bacterial community composition via high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The main driver of biofilm community composition was incubation location (e.g., river vs pond), but there were some significant differences in biofilm composition and metabolism among substrates. For example, biofilms on organic substrates (cardboard and leaves) had lower GPP than hard substrates (glass, plastic, aluminum and tiles). In addition, bacterial communities on organic substrates were distinct in composition from those on hard substrates, with higher relative abundances of bacteria associated with cellulose decomposition. Finally, we used our results to develop a conceptual diagram designed to unite the study of AL in terrestrial and freshwater environments with the well-established field of marine debris research. We suggest this broad perspective will be useful for future studies which synthesize AL sources, ecosystem effects, and fate across multiple ecosystem types, and will benefit management and reduction of global AL accumulations.

Show MeSH