Emily Dark, Jessy Wayles, Vincent Encomio, Glenn Coldren, Tess Sailor-Tynes, David Fox, Lei Zhai


filter feeders, Florida, microfibers, microplastics, Mosquito Lagoon, shellfish


Data associated with microplastics project that was part of Casey Craig's M.S. thesis in Biology at the University of Central Florida. She completed this degree in 2021.


Microplastic (MP) abundances in surface waters and tissues of the oyster Crassostrea virginica were examined for one year in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), a 251-km long estuary on the east coast of central FL, USA to better understand spatial and temporal variability. A total of 3755 MP were found in 44% of lagoon-wide water samples. Mean density (± CI) was 1.47 ± 0.09 MP/L. Central IRL sites had the lowest MP abundance, while the south had the most, likely associated with proximity to urbanization, inlets (MP sinks) and tributaries (MP sources). More MP were found in water in fall and winter than spring. Fibers comprised 95.6% of MP in IRL water. Using a lagoon volume of 953,000,000 cm3, we estimate there are ~1.4 trillion MP in the IRL. Crassostrea virginica (n = 1402) contained 3181 MP. 70% contained MP in their tissues, fibers dominated collections (95.0%), MP abundances were greater in the central and south IRL than north IRL, and MP abundances were lower in spring. The overall mean abundance was 2.26 ± 0.16 MP/oyster and density was 2.43 ± 0.52 MP/g tissue weight. Additionally, MP abundance increased by 1.4-1.5 MP/individual for every 1-mm increase in shell height.

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microplastics, Indian River Lagoon, Florida


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Please contact Dr. Linda Walters with any questions or before publicly using this data.


College of Sciences