Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), University of Münster, Institute of Landscape Ecology (ILÖK), Institute of molecular microbiology and biotechnology (IMMB), University of Bielefeld, University of Potsdam, Ecossa and Mesocosm GmbH

Project name:
MikroPlaTaS – Microplastics in Dams and Reservoirs: Sedimentation, Spread, Effects

Project description:
The spread of microplastics in rivers shows that along a given watershed there are not only sources but also sinks or repositories. Thus, dams and resevoirs constitute important (but heretofore hardly investigated) parts of a water system in the sense that they serve as examples for risk vs. usefulness of sedimentation of microplastics. Biofilms, which grow on microplastics, have a special significance for their transport and sedimentation.

The goals of this project are

  • to identify and characterise microplastic in water and sediment
  • to understand how biofilms form on plastic and how sedimentation occurs on these grown-over particles
  • to record how microplastics affect and are taken up by individual organisms as well as by entire communities in model ecosystems and
  • to synthesise the scientific results and draft practical recommendations based on them.

This synthesis should emphasise identifying pathways to eliminate microplastics and to derive practical measures and risk analyses together with the associated partners.