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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2015

Marine Anthropogenic Litter

  • Summarises the current state of knowledge on all aspects of marine anthropogenic litter

  • Offers an international perspective

  • Special section summarising the historical development of micro plastics and research and recent findings in this field

  • Includes supplementary material:

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (16 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xviii
  2. A Brief History of Marine Litter Research

    • Peter G. Ryan
    Pages 1-25Open Access
  3. Abiotic Aspects of Marine Litter Pollution

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 27-27
    2. Global Distribution, Composition and Abundance of Marine Litter

      • François Galgani, Georg Hanke, Thomas Maes
      Pages 29-56Open Access
    3. Persistence of Plastic Litter in the Oceans

      • Anthony L. Andrady
      Pages 57-72Open Access
  4. Biological Implications of Marine Litter

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 73-73
    2. Deleterious Effects of Litter on Marine Life

      • Susanne Kühn, Elisa L. Bravo Rebolledo, Jan A. van Franeker
      Pages 75-116Open Access
    3. Marine Litter as Habitat and Dispersal Vector

      • Tim Kiessling, Lars Gutow, Martin Thiel
      Pages 141-181Open Access
  5. Microplastics

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 183-183
    2. Methodology Used for the Detection and Identification of Microplastics—A Critical Appraisal

      • Martin G. J. Löder, Gunnar Gerdts
      Pages 201-227Open Access
    3. Sources and Pathways of Microplastics to Habitats

      • Mark A. Browne
      Pages 229-244Open Access
    4. Nanoplastics in the Aquatic Environment. Critical Review

      • Albert A. Koelmans, Ellen Besseling, Won J. Shim
      Pages 325-340Open Access
  6. Socio-economic Implications of Marine Anthropogenic Litter

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 341-341
    2. Micro- and Nano-plastics and Human Health

      • Tamara S. Galloway
      Pages 343-366Open Access
    3. The Economics of Marine Litter

      • Stephanie Newman, Emma Watkins, Andrew Farmer, Patrick ten Brink, Jean-Pierre Schweitzer
      Pages 367-394Open Access
    4. Regulation and Management of Marine Litter

      • Chung-Ling Chen
      Pages 395-428Open Access

About this book

This book describes how man-made litter, primarily plastic, has spread into the remotest parts of the oceans and covers all aspects of this pollution problem from the impacts on wildlife and human health to socio-economic and political issues. Marine litter is a prime threat to marine wildlife, habitats and food webs worldwide.

The book illustrates how advanced technologies from deep-sea research, microbiology and mathematic modelling as well as classic beach litter counts by volunteers contributed to the broad awareness of marine litter as a problem of global significance. The authors summarise more than five decades of marine litter research, which receives growing attention after the recent discovery of great oceanic garbage patches and the ubiquity of microscopic plastic particles in marine organisms and habitats.

In 16 chapters, authors from all over the world have created a universal view on the diverse field of marine litter pollution, the biological  impacts, dedicated research activities,  and the various national and international legislative efforts to combat this environmental problem.  They recommend future research directions necessary for a comprehensive understanding of this environmental issue and the development of efficient management strategies. This book addresses scientists, and it provides a solid knowledge base for policy makers, NGOs, and  the broader public.


  • Human health
  • Litter distribution
  • Marine Litter
  • Marine debris
  • Microplastic
  • Nanoplastic
  • Plastic degradation
  • Plastic pollution
  • Toxicity
  • Waste management

Editors and Affiliations

  • HGF-MPG Group for Deep-Sea Ecology and Technology, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany

    Melanie Bergmann

  • Biosciences | Functional Ecology, Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- undMeeresforschung, Bremerhaven, Germany

    Lars Gutow

  • Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences University of Gothenburg, Fiskebäckskil, Sweden

    Michael Klages

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Marine Anthropogenic Litter

  • Editors: Melanie Bergmann, Lars Gutow, Michael Klages

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Biomedical and Life Sciences, Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s) 2015

  • License: CC BY-NC

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-16509-7Published: 11 June 2015

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-37653-0Published: 17 October 2016

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-16510-3Published: 01 June 2015

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVIII, 447

  • Number of Illustrations: 33 b/w illustrations, 35 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Freshwater and Marine Ecology

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)