Sandy shores are generally considered important sinks for marine litter and the presence of this litter may represent a serious threat to biotic communities and dune integrity mostly due to cleaning activities carried out through mechanical equipment. In spring (April-May) 2012 we sampled 153 2 x 2 m random plots to assess the spatial distribution patterns of litter on Central Italy sandy shores. We analysed the relationship between the presence of litter and coastal dune habitats along the sea-inland gradient. Our results showed that the most frequent litter items were plastic and polystyrene. Differences of marine litter spatial distribution were found between upper beach and fore dune habitats and fixed dune habitats: embryo dune and mobile dune habitats show the highest frequency of litter, but, surprisingly, marine litter did not impact fixed dune habitats, these possibly acting as a natural barrier protecting the inner part of the coast from marine litter dispersion. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Gianluca, P., Corrado, B., & Acosta Alicia, T. (2014). Marine litter in Mediterranean sandy littorals: Spatial distribution patterns along central Italy coastal dunes. MARINE POLLUTION BULLETIN, 89, 168-173 [10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.10.011].