Plastic Waste – Effects of Plastic Fibers on Soil Water Content and Plant Growth Studied

The abstract of an October 22, 2022 Nature Scientific Report by researchers with Germany Tübingen University reports that “… We conducted two greenhouse experiments to test the combined effects of plastic fragments … water availability and soil texture, on soil water content and performance of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana [thale cress]. Plastic fragments had stronger negative effects on soil water content in low water availability, and the shape of this response (linear vs. unimodal) was mediated by soil texture. Conversely, increasing concentration of plastic had positive effects on plant growth. We suggest that plastic fragments introduce fracture points within soil aggregates. This increases number and size of soil pores favoring water loss but also facilitating root growth. Our results suggest complex interactive effects of plastic and drought, that may lead to a decoupling of plant and soil response. These processes should be taken into account in ecological studies and agricultural practices …” #PlasticWaste #SingleUsePlastic @uni_tue