Fast accumulation of anthropogenic litter on upgraded breakwaters: A persistent and hidden threat to coastal habitats

Moisés A. Aguilera, Andrés Castro, Martin Thiel

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Resumen

Breakwater construction is common on different coasts, and by means of their structural complexity these built infrastructures can trap anthropogenic litter. We investigated the temporal persistence of anthropogenic litter in breakwaters, and how fast litter accumulates on them. We sampled anthropogenic litter in old (>10 years since construction) breakwaters and in a recently upgraded one (5 months) and on rocky shores located in a coastal conurbation, in central Chile (33°S). We found breakwaters had much higher litter densities than rocky habitats, and this pattern was persistent through time (~5 years). Also, a recently upgraded breakwater had similar composition and densities of litter items as older breakwaters. Therefore, litter accumulation on breakwaters is a very fast process related to their topographic structure and to the willingness of people to dispose of anthropogenic litter in the infrastructure. Redesigning the breakwater structure is required to reduce litter accumulation on the coast and their impacts.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo114731
PublicaciónMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volumen188
DOI
EstadoPublicada - mar. 2023
Publicado de forma externa

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