An overview of microplastic and nanoplastic pollution in agroecosystems

Ee Ling Ng, Esperanza Huerta Lwanga, Simon M. Eldridge, Priscilla Johnston, Hang Wei Hu, Violette Geissen, Deli Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microplastics and nanoplastics are emerging pollutants of global importance. They are small enough to be ingested by a wide range of organisms and at nano-scale, they may cross some biological barriers. However, our understanding of their ecological impact on the terrestrial environment is limited. Plastic particle loading in agroecosystems could be high due to inputs of some recycled organic waste and plastic film mulching, so it is vital that we develop a greater understanding of any potentially harmful or adverse impacts of these pollutants to agroecosystems. In this article, we discuss the sources of plastic particles in agroecosystems, the mechanisms, constraints and dynamic behaviour of plastic during aging on land, and explore the responses of soil organisms and plants at different levels of biological organisation to plastic particles of micro and nano-scale. Based on limited evidence at this point and understanding that the lack of evidence of ecological impact from microplastic and nanoplastic in agroecosystems does not equate to the evidence of absence, we propose considerations for addressing the gaps in knowledge so that we can adequately safeguard world food supply.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1377-1388
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume627
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018

Fingerprint

agricultural ecosystem
Pollution
plastic
Plastics
pollution
ecological impact
Food supply
Plastic films
mulching
pollutant
terrestrial environment
food supply
Aging of materials
Soils
particle

Keywords

  • Ecotoxicology
  • Plant response
  • Plastic degradation
  • Soil food web
  • Soils

Cite this

Ng, Ee Ling ; Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza ; Eldridge, Simon M. ; Johnston, Priscilla ; Hu, Hang Wei ; Geissen, Violette ; Chen, Deli. / An overview of microplastic and nanoplastic pollution in agroecosystems. In: Science of the Total Environment. 2018 ; Vol. 627. pp. 1377-1388.
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An overview of microplastic and nanoplastic pollution in agroecosystems. / Ng, Ee Ling; Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza; Eldridge, Simon M.; Johnston, Priscilla; Hu, Hang Wei; Geissen, Violette; Chen, Deli.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 627, 15.06.2018, p. 1377-1388.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

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