Spatial and size distribution of macro-litter on coastal dunes from drone images: A case study on the Atlantic coast

Umberto Andriolo, Gil Gonçalves, Paula Sobral, Filipa Bessa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This work analyses the cross-shore (80 m) and long-shore (200 m) spatial and size distribution of macro-litter on coastal dunes, employing a mapping framework based on an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS, aka drone) and a GIS mobile application. Over the cross-shore, plastic percentage increased from 60% to 90% landwards. The largest items (processed wood) were found on the embryo dune. Plastic bottles and paper napkins were trapped by the foredune grass, while the largest fishing-related items were intercepted by the low scrub plant community on the backdune. Over the long-shore, plastic percentage and items size increased from the urbanized area towards the natural dunes. This work assessed the abundance of marine litter on coastal dune sectors, underlining the role of distinct vegetation types in trapping items of different size. The mapping framework can promote further marine litter monitoring programs and support specific strategies for protecting the dune ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112490
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume169
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Beach-dune system
  • Drones
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Plastics
  • Pollution

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