Journal article

Microplastic pollution alters forest soil microbiome

Ee Ling Ng, Silk Yu Lin, Ashley M Dungan, John M Colwell, Sarah Ede, Esperanza Huerta Lwanga, Ke Meng, Violette Geissen, Linda Louise Blackall, Deli Chen

JOURNAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS | ELSEVIER | Published : 2021

Abstract

The impact of microplastic pollution on terrestrial biota is an emerging research area, and this is particularly so for soil biota. In this study, we addressed this knowledge gap by examining the impact of aged low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and polyester fibres (i.e. polyethylene terephthalate, PET) on a forest microbiome composition and activity. We also measured the corresponding physicochemical changes in the soil. We observed that bacteria community composition diverged in PET and LDPE treated soils from that of the control by day 42. These changes occurred at 0.2% and 0.4% (w/w) of PET and at 3% LDPE. Additionally, soil respiration was 8-fold higher in soil that received 3% LDPE compa..

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Grants

Awarded by Australia-China Joint Research Centre - Healthy Soils for Sustainable Food Production and Environmental Quality


Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by funding from the Australia-China Joint Research Centre - Healthy Soils for Sustainable Food Production and Environmental Quality [ACSRF48165, 2016] and its industry partner BASF. ELN would like to acknowledge the help of Dr Hangwei Hu, Dr Ted Chang, Bao Anh Nguyen, Michael Hall, Najib Ahmady and Trace Analysis for Chemical, Earth and Environmental Science (TrACEES) platform.