MOTION (Microplastic aggregation and transfer in marine food webs)

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International project funded by Swedish Institute programme aimed to support Third Country Participation in the Baltic Sea region (2019-2021).

Mikroplast aggregering och överföring i marin födoväv / Microplastic aggregation and transfer in marine food webs / Агрегация частиц микропластика и его перенос в морских пищевых цепях

Project coordinator: Prof. Dr. Elena Gorokhova (Sweden, Stockholm University, ACES

Project partner: Dr. Sci. Irina Chubarenko (Russia, AB IO RAS)

Annotation: Because of its natural features, the semi-enclosed Baltic Sea is particularly vulnerable to pollution. In the last decades, plastic litter, including microplastic, was recognized as an emerging environmental contaminant worldwide, including the Baltic Sea. Several large projects are currently investigating various aspects of plastic litter in the Baltic Sea: e.g., MARELITT Baltic and BLASTIC (EU, Interreg), WEATHER-MIC (JPI-Oceans), and MICROPOLL (BONUS, Blue Baltic). They all, however, are mostly focused on the identification and quantification of plastic inflows in the Baltic, and much less on the development of the risk assessment methodologies. The task to protect marine environment from pollution by litter requires identification and understanding of its hazard nature; these aspects are currently very unclear, which hampers development of an adequate approach for risk assessment of microplastics. A crucial issue for the hazard assessment is aggregation and sedimentation of microplastic in the water column, because it affects encounter rate and local accumulations of microplastic in the marine environment. This was recognized in the MICROPOLL project and inspired us to address these challenges in MOTION (MicrOplasTics bIofilm mOdeliNg). This project will increase our knowledge about the effect mechanisms and hazard assessment of microplastic, and thus support the development of science-based risk assessment and regulatory actions.

Results and activities: 

  • First kick-off meeting was held in Stockholm university in February 2020 between project coordinator Dr. Elena Gorokhova and project members from LAMP – Alexey Grave, Anastasiya Kupriyanova and Liliya Khatmullina. They have discussed plans of the forthcoming meetings, possible usage of laboratory facilities of ACES, plans of the aggregation experiments, preparation of the joint paper and data exchange. 
  • Due to the coronavirus crisis the project will be prolonged to the middle of 2021.