Progetto di ricerca

PRIN 2017 - 2017WERYZP Marco FAIMALI - EMME "Exploring the fate of Mediterranean microplastics: from distribution pathways to biological effects" (DTA.AD003.509)

Area tematica

Scienze del sistema Terra e tecnologie per l'ambiente

Area progettuale

Rischi ambientali, naturali e antropici (DTA.AD003)

Struttura responsabile del progetto di ricerca

Istituto per lo studio degli impatti Antropici e Sostenibilità in ambiente marino (IAS)

Altre strutture che collaborano al progetto di ricerca

Responsabile di progetto

Telefono: 010 6475411


EMME gathers integrated expertise on oceanography, ecophysiology, ecotoxicology and experimental ecology, answering key research questions on fate and biological effects of Mediterranean microplastics (MPs). Modelling transport dynamics will identify possible accumulation zones, while characterization of vertical distribution of MPs in water column will optimise actual monitoring and sampling efforts. Oceanographic conditions and transfer of MPs in food webs will be linked by analysing content, typology of MPs and stable isotopes in representative marine species and the role of plastic additives as chemical tracers. Biofouling will be characterized in mesocosm conditions and tested for its effects on palatability and trophic transfer of MPs. Adsorption of chemicals and ecotoxicological effects of MPs will be measured on traditional and innovative biological models. EMME will evaluate formation of MP-rich biodeposits in sediments due to bivalve excretion, effects on macrobenthic communities and relevant ecosystem functions and services. The overall results will provide support for normative guidelines towards the MSFD objective of Good Environmental State.


Overall, EMME is expected to answer important research questions on environmental fate and biological effects of Mediterranean MPs, providing a scientifically sound support and advise for normative and monitoring guidelines, and promoting new actions toward social education and scientifically correct behaviours. Tangible outcomes of the project include:
- a comprehensive dataset of distribution and impacts of MPs in Mediterranean marine ecosystems;
- a modelling-based tool to visualize distribution and dynamics of MPs, to assist decision-makers in coherent monitoring and mitigation actions;
- novel analytical tools for detecting MP impacts on marine organisms and ecosystems, and vulnerability indicators;
- training new scientists on MPs pollution for the emerging Blue Growth market;
- itinerant exhibition and web TV to maximize the outreach of EMME.

Data inizio attività


Parole chiave

environmental pollution, ecotoxicology, microplastics

Ultimo aggiornamento: 26/03/2023