LITTERBASE: Online Portal for marine litter and microplastics and their Implications for marine life

Melanie.Bergmann [ at ]


Contamination of the oceans with anthropogenic litter is a global environmental problem which currently receives increasing attention by scientists, policy makers, public authorities, media and the general public. Although research efforts have been intensified, they often do not provide stakeholders with easily understandable information about the dimensions and the extent of the problem. We have developed an online portal to provide easily digestible and continuously updated information on marine litter and microplastics to stakeholders based on scientific literature on a global scale. LITTERBASE gives insight about the distribution of marine litter and its effects on marine biota. Data from 1,905 scientific studies (status 26/11/2018) have been compiled into global maps and real-time graphs to make scientific knowledge accessible to the public. Bibliometric data of all publications were entered, as were metadata pertaining to litter type, litter size, litter quantity unit, aquatic system, biome and total litter quantity. Litter quantities were standardised to the most frequently used units to achieve comparability. Data on biological interactions with litter were also extracted: location of field records, number of species affected, percentage of individuals affected, type of interaction, effects on biota, litter type, litter size, aquatic system and biome. Currently, 2,220 species (status 26/11/2018) have been found to interact with marine litter resulting in mortality in almost 12% of the cases reported. Web statistics reveal that the information displayed in the LITTERBASE online portal is continuously being retrieved by users from all over the world.

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Conference (Poster)
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Arctic Frontiers 2019, 21 Jan 2019 - 25 Jan 2019, Tromsoe.
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Tekman, M. B. , Gutow, L. , Peter, C. and Bergmann, M. (2019): LITTERBASE: Online Portal for marine litter and microplastics and their Implications for marine life , Arctic Frontiers 2019, Tromsoe, 21 January 2019 - 25 January 2019 .

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