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Dataset Overview | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)

Microplastics in the gastrointestinal tracts of cetaceans from the United States (NCEI Accession 0209240)

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This dataset contains microplastics (MPs, 1 µm-5 mm) enumerated from the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of bottlenose dolphins stranded in South Carolina, USA from 2017-2018 (initial study), and from stranded bottlenose dolphins (South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama), harbor porpoises (Maine and Washington), and a long-beaked common dolphin (Washington) from 2013-2019 (second study). Microplastics were counted in the GIT and were categorized by microplastic type and color. Individual dolphins and porpoises total length, sex, and stomach weight data are also included.
  • Cite as: Battaglia, Francesca; Pfeifer, Tessa; McFee, Wayne; Beckingham, Barbara (2020). Microplastics in the gastrointestinal tracts of cetaceans from the United States (NCEI Accession 0209240). [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/archive/accession/0209240. Accessed [date].
gov.noaa.nodc:0209240
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Distributor NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
+1-301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
ncei.info@noaa.gov
Time Period 2013-08-01 to 2019-10-31
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
West: -124.1749
East: -68.301465
South: 30.230487
North: 47.734
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
Associated Resources
  • Microplastics in the gut of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) stranded in South Carolina, USA (2017-2018)
  • Microplastic in a macro filter feeder: Humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae
  • Are baleen whales exposed to the threat of microplastics? A case study of the Mediterranean fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
  • Microplastics in the stomach contents of common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) stranded on the Galician coasts (NW Spain, 2005-2010)
  • Incidence of marine debris in cetaceans stranded and bycaught in Ireland: Recent findings and a review of historical knowledge
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2020-07-31
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Complete - production of the data has been completed
Historical archive - data has been stored in an offline storage facility
Data Update Frequency As needed
Supplemental Information
Initial study:
Microplastics (MPs, 1 µm-5 mm) are ubiquitous in the marine environment and are of growing environmental concern. Their abundance, small size, and global distribution render them highly bioavailable to a wide variety of marine organisms. Little is known about ingestion of MPs in marine top predators, such as cetaceans. The current study quantified the MP load in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of bottlenose dolphins stranded in South Carolina, USA from 2017-2018. GIT contents were washed into glass containers and organic material was removed using a warm base digestion. A density separation step was applied when necessary to remove sediment. Samples were filtered and dried, and MPs were enumerated under a stereomicroscope with the aid of a hot needle. MPs (125 µm – 5 mm) were detected in all GIT (N=7) of stranded bottlenose dolphins. Total MP load ranged between 123-422 among individuals. Fibers were the most abundance morphology and white/clear, black/grey, and blue were the most common color categories observed. MP research in cetaceans is challenging due to their large size, heterogeneous gut contents, and difficulty of acquiring quality samples. Findings from this investigation will aid future studies examining MP in marine apex predators like T. truncatus.



Submission Package ID: 33BGLJ
Purpose These data were collected to support the study of the impact of microplastics on bottlenose dolphins and is the first of its kind in North America.
Use Limitations
  • accessLevel: Public
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that the data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Dataset Citation
  • Cite as: Battaglia, Francesca; Pfeifer, Tessa; McFee, Wayne; Beckingham, Barbara (2020). Microplastics in the gastrointestinal tracts of cetaceans from the United States (NCEI Accession 0209240). [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/archive/accession/0209240. Accessed [date].
Cited Authors
Principal Investigators
Collaborators
Contributors
Resource Providers
Publishers
Acknowledgments
  • Related Funding Agency: College of Charleston
  • Related Funding Agency: NOAA National Ocean Service
Theme keywords NODC DATA TYPES THESAURUS NODC OBSERVATION TYPES THESAURUS WMO_CategoryCode
  • oceanography
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science Keywords Provider Keywords
  • Delphinus capensis
  • Harbor porpoises
  • Long-beaked common dolphin
  • Phocoena phocoena
  • Tursiops truncatus
  • bottlenose dolphin
  • cetaceans
  • marine mammal strandings
  • microplastic
  • stomach weight
Data Center keywords NODC COLLECTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS NODC SUBMITTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
Instrument keywords NODC INSTRUMENT TYPES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Instrument Keywords Provider Instruments
  • stereomicroscope
Place keywords NODC SEA AREA NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords Provider Place Names
  • Waters of Maine
  • Waters of North Carolina
  • Waters of South Carolina
  • Waters of Washington
Project keywords Provider Project Names
  • Coastal Marine Mammal Assessments Program
Keywords NCEI ACCESSION NUMBER
Use Constraints
  • Cite as: Battaglia, Francesca; Pfeifer, Tessa; McFee, Wayne; Beckingham, Barbara (2020). Microplastics in the gastrointestinal tracts of cetaceans from the United States (NCEI Accession 0209240). [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/archive/accession/0209240. Accessed [date].
Access Constraints
  • Use liability: NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Fees
  • In most cases, electronic downloads of the data are free. However, fees may apply for custom orders, data certifications, copies of analog materials, and data distribution on physical media.
Lineage information for: dataset
Processing Steps
  • 2020-07-31T18:58:22Z - NCEI Accession 0209240 v1.1 was published.
Output Datasets
Lineage information for: dataset
Processing Steps
  • Parameter or Variable: microplastic (measured); Units: number; Observation Category: laboratory analysis; Sampling Instrument: stereomicroscope; Sampling and Analyzing Method: stomachs washed with tap or DI water through nested sieves then observed under microscope and confirmed with hot needle test; Data Quality Method: Water used to wash stomachs collected as a blank control. Contamination of samples minimized by wearing of proper PPE and air blanks also used.
  • Parameter or Variable: stomach weight (measured); Units: kg; Observation Category: laboratory analysis; Sampling Instrument: scale; Sampling and Analyzing Method: stomach removed from cetacean, weighed, contents emptied, then stomach weighed again.
Acquisition Information (collection)
Instrument
  • microscope
  • scale
Last Modified: 2023-08-07T11:14:51Z
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