Anthropogenic litter accumulates along coasts worldwide. In addition to the flowing litter load, wind, sea currents, geomorphology and vegetation determine the distribution of litter trapped on the sandy coasts. Although some studies highlighted the role of dune plants in trapping marine litter, little is known about their efficiency as sinks and about the small-scale spatial distribution of litter across the dune area. Here, we explore these gaps by analysing six plant species widespread in Mediterranean coastal habitats, namely Echinophora spinosa, Limbarda crithmoides, Anthemis maritima, Pancratium maritimum, Thinopyrum junceum, and Salsola kali. The present study analyses for the first time the capture of litter by dune vegetation at a multi-species level, considering their morphological structure. Data on plastic accumulation on dune plants were compared with unvegetated control plots located at embryo-dune and foredune belts. We found that dunal plants mainly entrapped macrolitter (> 0.5 cm). Particularly, E. spinosa, L. crithmoides, A. maritima and P. maritimum mostly accumulated litter in the embryo dune while T. junceum and S. kali entrapped more in the foredune area. Moreover, beach litter was mainly blocked at the edge of the plant patches rather than in the core, highlighting the 'Plant-edge litter effect'. As A. maritima and S. kali entrapped respectively more litter in embryo and foredune habitats, these species could be used to monitor and recollect litter. In this light, our findings provide further insight into the role of dune plants in the beach litter dynamics, suppling useful information for beach clean-up actions.

Gallitelli, L., D'Agostino, M., Battisti, C., Cozar, A., Scalici, M. (2023). Dune plants as a sink for beach litter: The species-specific role and edge effect on litter entrapment by plants. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 904, 166756 [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.166756].

Dune plants as a sink for beach litter: The species-specific role and edge effect on litter entrapment by plants

Gallitelli L.
;
D'Agostino M.;Battisti C.;Scalici M.
2023-01-01

Abstract

Anthropogenic litter accumulates along coasts worldwide. In addition to the flowing litter load, wind, sea currents, geomorphology and vegetation determine the distribution of litter trapped on the sandy coasts. Although some studies highlighted the role of dune plants in trapping marine litter, little is known about their efficiency as sinks and about the small-scale spatial distribution of litter across the dune area. Here, we explore these gaps by analysing six plant species widespread in Mediterranean coastal habitats, namely Echinophora spinosa, Limbarda crithmoides, Anthemis maritima, Pancratium maritimum, Thinopyrum junceum, and Salsola kali. The present study analyses for the first time the capture of litter by dune vegetation at a multi-species level, considering their morphological structure. Data on plastic accumulation on dune plants were compared with unvegetated control plots located at embryo-dune and foredune belts. We found that dunal plants mainly entrapped macrolitter (> 0.5 cm). Particularly, E. spinosa, L. crithmoides, A. maritima and P. maritimum mostly accumulated litter in the embryo dune while T. junceum and S. kali entrapped more in the foredune area. Moreover, beach litter was mainly blocked at the edge of the plant patches rather than in the core, highlighting the 'Plant-edge litter effect'. As A. maritima and S. kali entrapped respectively more litter in embryo and foredune habitats, these species could be used to monitor and recollect litter. In this light, our findings provide further insight into the role of dune plants in the beach litter dynamics, suppling useful information for beach clean-up actions.
2023
Gallitelli, L., D'Agostino, M., Battisti, C., Cozar, A., Scalici, M. (2023). Dune plants as a sink for beach litter: The species-specific role and edge effect on litter entrapment by plants. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 904, 166756 [10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.166756].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/461933
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