Earthworm

Microplastics paper highlighted in Sciencemag

A publication lead by SLM researchers is highlighted in Sciencemag:

"Microplastics commonly found in marine environments can cause harm to marine organisms when ingested. Terrestrial environments are also widely polluted with plastics, but little is known about their effect on terrestrial species. Huerta Lwanga et al. have investigated the effect of polyethylene microplastics in plant litter on earthworms. To provide a realistic exposure scenario, the authors added the microplastics to plant litter deposited on the soil surface. They show that environmentally relevant microplastic concentrations led to reduced earthworm growth and elevated mortality as compared to a control. Futhermore, earthworms may transport microplastics into soils, from which they may leach into surface waters."

View the Sciencemag.org VOL 351 ISSUE 6277 here:


Microplastics in the Terrestrial Ecosystem: Implications for Lumbricus terrestris (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae)

Esperanza Huerta Lwanga*†‡, Hennie Gertsen‡, Harm Gooren‡, Piet Peters‡, Tamás Salánki§, Martine van der Ploeg‡, Ellen Besseling∥⊥, Albert A. Koelmans∥⊥, and Violette Geissen‡

† Agroecología, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Unidad Campeche, Av Poligono s/n, Ciudad Industrial, Lerma, Campeche Mexico

‡ Soil Physics and Land Management Group, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708PB Wageningen, The Netherlands

§ Soil Quality Department, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708PB Wageningen, The Netherlands

∥ Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands

⊥ IMARES - Institute for Marine Resources & Ecosystem Studies, Wageningen UR, P.O. Box 68, 1970 AB IJmuiden, The Netherlands

Environ. Sci. Technol., 2016, 50 (5), pp 2685–2691

DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b05478

Publication Date (Web): February 8, 2016

Link to the paper