Effects of Microplastics in Soil Ecosystems Studied

According to a report published September 11, 2019 in Environmental Science and Technology https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b03304 by researchers with Anglia Ruskin University in the UK “… Environmental contamination by microplastics is now considered an emerging threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning … different types of microplastics … were added to soil containing the endogeic Aporrectodea rosea (rosy-tipped earthworm) and planted with Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass) to assess the biophysical soil response … fewer seeds germinated. There was also a reduction in shoot height with PLA. The biomass of A. rosea exposed to HDPE was significantly reduced … with HDPE present there was a decrease in soil pH. The size distribution of water-stable soil aggregates was altered when microplastics were present, suggesting potential alterations of soil stability. This study provides evidence that microplastics manufactured of HDPE and PLA, and synthetic fibers can affect the development of L. perenne, health of A. rosea and basic, but crucial soil properties, with potential further impacts on soil ecosystem functioning …” #MicroPlastics #HDPE #PLA