School of Health Sciences
Biology: Environmental Science; Zoology
Freshwater Ecology and Conservation; Freshwater Pollution; Microplastics; Crayfish Organisms; Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
Analytical Chemistry | Environmental Chemistry | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Monitoring | Fresh Water Studies | Natural Resources and Conservation
Reddy, Alexandra, "Surveillance of Microplastic Pollution in Central Virginia Freshwater Ecosystems" (2020). Senior Honors Theses. 986.
Aquatic organisms often mistake microplastic particulates (MP) as food and inadvertently ingest the particulates, which can biomagnify through the food chain. While MP ingestion is well-researched in the marine environment, little is known about microplastics in freshwater ecosystems. This project explores MP occurrence in an ecologically significant freshwater invertebrate: crayfish. Crayfish from two Central Virginia streams are collected to identify MP in the digestive tracts and gill filaments, and characterize the MP using analytical chemistry techniques. It was determined that MP were present in the digestive tracts and gill filaments of crayfish collected from both streams, and that MP frequency in the urban stream was greater than that of the rural stream due to its location near the dominant thoroughfare.
Analytical Chemistry Commons, Environmental Chemistry Commons, Environmental Health and Protection Commons, Environmental Monitoring Commons, Fresh Water Studies Commons, Natural Resources and Conservation Commons