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Macro- and micro- plastics in soil-plant system: effects of plastic mulch film residues on wheat (Triticum aestivum) growth
Qi, Yueling ; Yang, Xiaomei (coaut.) ; Mejia Pelaez, Amalia (coaut.) ; Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza (coaut.) ; Beriot, Nicolas (coaut.) ; Gertsen, Henny (coaut.) ; Garbeva, Paolina (coaut.) ; Geissen Geissen, Violette (coaut.) ;
Contenido en: Science of the Total Environment Vol. 645 (December 2018), p. 1048-1056 ISSN: 0048-9697
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Resumen en: Inglés |
Resumen en inglés

Plastic residues have become a serious environmental problem in the regions with intensive use of plastic mulching. Even though plastic mulch is widely used, the effects of macro- and micro- plastic residues on the soil-plant system and the agroecosystem are largely unknown. In this study, low density polyethylene and one type of starch-based biodegradable plastic mulch film were selected and used as examples of macro- and micro- sized plastic residues. A pot experiment was performed in a climate chamber to determine what effect mixing 1% concentration of residues of these plastics with sandy soil would have on wheat growth in the presence and absence of earthworms. The results showed that macro- and micro- plastic residues affected both above-ground and below-ground parts of the wheat plant during both vegetative and reproductive growth. The type of plastic mulch films used had a strong effect on wheat growth with the biodegradable plastic mulch showing stronger negative effects as compared to polyethylene. The presence of earthworms had an overall positive effect on the wheat growth and chiefly alleviated the impairments made by plastic residues.


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Resumen en: Inglés |
Resumen en inglés

Although plastic pollution happens globally, the micro- (<5 mm) and macroplastic (5–150 mm) transfer of plastic to terrestrial species relevant to human consumption has not been examined. We provide first-time evidence for micro- and macroplastic transfer from soil to chickens in traditional Mayan home gardens in Southeast Mexico where waste mismanagement is common. We assessed micro- and macroplastic in soil, earthworm casts, chicken feces, crops and gizzards (used for human consumption). Microplastic concentrations increased from soil (0.87 ± 1.9 particles g−¹), to earthworm casts (14.8 ± 28.8 particles g−¹), to chicken feces (129.8 ± 82.3 particles g−¹). Chicken gizzards contained 10.2 ± 13.8 microplastic particles, while no microplastic was found in crops. An average of 45.82 ± 42.6 macroplastic particles were found per gizzard and 11 ± 15.3 macroplastic particles per crop, with 1–10 mm particles being significantly more abundant per gizzard (31.8 ± 27.27 particles) compared to the crop (1 ± 2.2 particles). The data show that micro- and macroplastic are capable of entering terrestrial food webs.