The Role of Laboratory Experiments in the Validation of Field Data

Catherine Mouneyrac, Fabienne Lagarde, Amelie Chatel, Farhan Khan, Kristian Syberg, Annemette Palmqvist

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The ubiquitous presence and persistency of microplastics (MPs) in aquatic environments are of particular concern, since they constitute a potential threat to marine organisms and ecosystems. However, evaluating this threat and the impacts of MP on aquatic organisms is challenging. MPs form a very wide range of materials with different sizes, shapes, chemical natures and physicochemical properties, and their quantities/concentrations are highly variable depending on location and sampling and quantification protocols. To provide comprehensive data, interactions of MPs with the environment (water, sediment and biota) have to be explored at a laboratory scale. The physicochemical characteristics of MPs are key factors determining their behaviour and bioavailability to organisms, and the relationships between MPs characterization and their impact have to be considered in these experiments. However, designing laboratory experiments to reflect MPs under realistic environmental conditions (e.g., concentration, nature, size) is particularly challenging, and consequently, experimental design and evaluation of MPs toxicity have to be carried out with caution. The focus of this chapter is to highlight how and to what degree these complexities are addressed in the current literature, to: (1) evaluate how well laboratory studies, investigated so far, represent environmentally relevant processes and scenarios and (2) suggest directions for future research

The Role of Laboratory Experiments in the Validation of Field Data | Request PDF. Available from: [accessed Jan 15 2018].
TitelCharacterization and Analysis of Microplastics
RedaktørerTeresa A.P. Rocha-Santos, Armando C. Duarte
Antal sider33
Publikationsdato23 mar. 2017
ISBN (Trykt)9780444638984
ISBN (Elektronisk)9780444638991
StatusUdgivet - 23 mar. 2017
NavnComprehensive Analytical Chemistry


  • Direct effects and toxicity
  • Field monitoring
  • Laboratory experiments and environmental realism
  • Microplastics
  • Vector effects

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