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Microplastics Don’t Only Impact The Oceans: They’re An Underestimated Threat On Land

Source: Phys.org/ Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FVB) - February 7, 2018 in Environment

Microplastics Don’t Only Impact The Oceans: They’re An Underestimated Threat On Land
Photo: Wolfram Burner/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Tiny plastic particles present a threat to creatures on land, and may have damaging effects similar or even more problematic than in our oceans. Researchers from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) and their Berlin colleagues warn that the impact of microplastics in soils, sediments and freshwater sources could have a long-term negative effect on terrestrial ecosystems throughout the world.

It is now widely accepted that microplastics contaminate the oceans and are harmful to coastal and marine habitats. And yet what effect do fragments of plastic have on land ?

This question is the subject of a research initiated by IGB in partnership with Freie Universität Berlin that reviews previous individual studies on the topic of microplastics in relation to the effect of microplastics on terrestrial ecosystems. “Although little research has been carried out in this area, the results to date are concerning: Fragments of plastic are present practically all over the world and can trigger many kinds of adverse effects.

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