Prevalence of microplastics in Peruvian mangrove sediments and edible mangrove species

Angelica Aguirre-Sanchez, Sara Purca, Matthew Cole, Aldo G. Indacochea, Penelope K. Lindeque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Mangrove ecosystems have been hypothesised as a potential sink of microplastic debris, which could pose a threat to mangrove biota and ecological function. In this field-study we establish the prevalence of microplastics in sediments and commercially-exploited Anadara tuberculosa (black ark) and Ucides occidentalis (mangrove crab) from five different zones in the mangrove ecosystem of Tumbes, Peru. Microplastic were evident in all samples, with an average of 726 ± 396 microplastics/kg for the sediment, although no differences between the different zones of the mangrove ecosystem were observed. Microplastic concentrations were 1.6± 1.1 items/g for the black ark and 1.9 ± 0.9 microplastics/g for the mangrove crab, with a difference in the microplastic abundance between species (p < 0.05), and between the gills and stomachs of the crab (p < 0.01). Human intake of microplastics from these species, for the population in Tumbes, is estimated at 431 items per capita per year. The outcomes of this work highlight that the mangrove ecosystem is widely contaminated with microplastics, presenting a concern for the marine food web and food security.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116075
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • Black ark
  • Mangrove crab
  • Mangrove ecosystem and microplastic


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