Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 498825
Title Microplastics in the terrestrial ecosystem: Implications for Lumbricus terrestris (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae)
Author(s) Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza; Gertsen, H.F.; Gooren, H.; Peters, P.D.; Salanki, T.E.; Ploeg, M.J.C. van der; Besseling, E.; Koelmans, A.A.; Geissen, V.
Source Environmental Science and Technology 50 (2016)5. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 2685 - 2691.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.5b05478
Department(s) Soil Physics and Land Management
Chemical Biological Soil Laboratory - Soil Biology
Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
IMARES Onderzoeksformatie
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Abstract Plastic debris is widespread in the environment, but information on the effects of microplastics on terrestrial fauna is completely lacking. Here, we studied the survival and fitness of the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae) exposed to microplastics (Polyethylene, <150 μm) in litter at concentrations of 7, 28, 45, and 60% dry weight, percentages that, after bioturbation, translate to 0.2 to 1.2% in bulk soil. Mortality after 60 days was higher at 28, 45, and 60% of microplastics in the litter than at 7% w/w and in the control (0%). Growth rate was significantly reduced at 28, 45, and 60% w/w microplastics, compared to the 7% and control treatments. Due to the digestion of ingested organic matter, microplastic was concentrated in cast, especially at the lowest dose (i.e., 7% in litter) because that dose had the highest proportion of digestible organic matter. Whereas 50 percent of the microplastics had a size of <50 μm in the original litter, 90 percent of the microplastics in the casts was <50 μm in all treatments, which suggests size-selective egestion by the earthworms. These concentration-transport and size-selection mechanisms may have important implications for fate and risk of microplastic in terrestrial ecosystems.
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