Microplastic-induced shifts in meiofauna and macrofauna bioturbation and oxygen penetration depth in subtidal sediments

Published: 14 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/7trckfddfs.1
Aaron Ridall,


This dataset was collected to investigate how microplastics (MPs) at current and future concentrations in a typical subtidal estuary affect bioturbation and oxygen penetration depth (OPD) facilitated by macrofauna and meiofauna within a mesocosm experiment. Over thirteen days of microplastic exposure, bioturbation depth and OPD increased, while dissolved oxygen uptake (DOU) decreased across all treatments. However, with increasing MP contamination, bioturbation depth decreased, and OPD was slightly higher in MP-amended sediments compared to control sediments. The MP-induced reduction in bioturbation compared to controls was likely due to an overall meiofauna stress response to the pollutants. However, high MP contamination caused increased bioturbation depth compared to low and medium MP levels, likely owing to an increased evasion response of the infauna. Within the dataset is a metadata sheet with explanations of each variable within the experiment and how specific values were calculated, like bioturbation potential, along with references to the relevant literature used in this work.



Biogeochemistry, Meiofauna, Microplastics


Florida State University

Jack Winn Gramling Endowment

Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas


Florida State University

William R. and Lenore Mote Endowment