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Presence of microplastics in the food web of the largest high-elevation lake in North America

January 22, 2021

Microplastics have been documented in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems throughout the world. However, few studies have investigated microplastics in freshwater fish diets. In this study, water samples and three trophic levels of a freshwater food web were investigated for microplastic presence: amphipods (Gammarus lacustris), Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri), and lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Microplastics and other anthropogenic materials were documented in water samples, amphipods, and fish, then confirmed using FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared) and Raman spectroscopy. Our findings confirmed the presence of microplastics and other anthropogenic materials in three trophic levels of a freshwater food web in a high-elevation lake in a national park, which corroborates recent studies implicating the global distribution of microplastics. This study further illustrates the need for global action regarding the appropriate manufacturing, use, and disposal of plastics to minimize the effects of plastics on the environment.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title Presence of microplastics in the food web of the largest high-elevation lake in North America
DOI 10.3390/w13030264
Authors Stephanie C. Driscoll, Hayley C. Glassic, Christopher S. Guy, Todd. M. Koel
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water
Series Number
Index ID 70229446
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle

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