The wedge clam Donax trunculus L., 1758 as a bioindicator of microplastic pollution

Mohamed Ben-Haddad, Mohamed Rida Abelouah, Sara Hajji, Gabriel E. De-la-Torre, Hicham Abou Oualid, Nelson Rangel-Buitrago, Aicha Ait Alla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This study describes the use of D. trunculus as a bioindicator of microplastic (MPs) pollution due to beach urbanization related to the development of the Taghazout Bay tourist resort in Morocco. In six sites located on the coast, MPs densities ranged from 1.75 to 5.93 items per gram of D. trunculus wet weight. MPs contamination was significantly influenced spatiotemporally by the urbanization degree in the area. The shapes found were fibers (90.5%) and fragments (9.5%). The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis reported two polymers: polyethylene (65%) and polypropylene (35%). MPs colors were dark and light, with a predominance of light blue (23.8%). The species ingested different sizes of MPs, mainly the 0.1 and 0.5 mm fractions. Scanning Electron Microscope coupled with an energy dispersive X-ray analyzer (SEM/EDX) revealed weathered MPs with chemical elements adhered to their surface (Cu, Fe, Mg, S, Cl, etc.). The results of this study recommend the use of D. trunculus as a new bioindicator of MPs pollution following an urban change in the coastal scenery. Also, a sustainable coastal management must be implemented in the study area.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113607
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
StatePublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Beach urbanization
  • Bioindicator
  • Bivalve
  • Coast
  • Donax trunculus
  • Morocco
  • Sentinel species


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