Plastic pollution is a global issue posing a threat to marine biota with ecological implications on ecosystem functioning. Micro and nanoplastic impact on phytoplankton autotrophic species (e.g., cell growth inhibition, decrease in chlorophyll a and photosynthetic efficiency and hetero-aggregates formation) have been largely documented. However, the heterogeneity of data makes rather difficult a comparison based on size (i.e. micro vs nano). In addition, knowledge gaps on the ecological impact on phytoplankton assemblage structure and functioning are evident. A new virtual meta-analysis on cause-effect relationships of micro and nanoplastics on phytoplankton species revealed the significant effect posed by polymer type on reducing cell density for tested PVC, PS and PE plastics. Linked with autotrophic phytoplankton role in atmospheric CO2 fixation, a potential impact of plastics on marine carbon pump is discussed. The understanding of the effects of microplastics and nanoplastics on the phytoplankton functioning is fundamental to raise awareness on the overall impact on the first level of marine food web. Interactions between micro and nanoplastics and phytoplankton assemblages have been quite documented by in vitro examinations; but, further studies considering natural plankton assemblages and/or large mesocosm experiments should be performed to evaluate and try predicting ecological impacts on primary producers.

Ecological implications beyond the ecotoxicity of plastic debris on marine phytoplankton assemblage structure and functioning

Casabianca Silvia
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Capellacci Samuela
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Penna Antonella
Writing – Review & Editing
2021

Abstract

Plastic pollution is a global issue posing a threat to marine biota with ecological implications on ecosystem functioning. Micro and nanoplastic impact on phytoplankton autotrophic species (e.g., cell growth inhibition, decrease in chlorophyll a and photosynthetic efficiency and hetero-aggregates formation) have been largely documented. However, the heterogeneity of data makes rather difficult a comparison based on size (i.e. micro vs nano). In addition, knowledge gaps on the ecological impact on phytoplankton assemblage structure and functioning are evident. A new virtual meta-analysis on cause-effect relationships of micro and nanoplastics on phytoplankton species revealed the significant effect posed by polymer type on reducing cell density for tested PVC, PS and PE plastics. Linked with autotrophic phytoplankton role in atmospheric CO2 fixation, a potential impact of plastics on marine carbon pump is discussed. The understanding of the effects of microplastics and nanoplastics on the phytoplankton functioning is fundamental to raise awareness on the overall impact on the first level of marine food web. Interactions between micro and nanoplastics and phytoplankton assemblages have been quite documented by in vitro examinations; but, further studies considering natural plankton assemblages and/or large mesocosm experiments should be performed to evaluate and try predicting ecological impacts on primary producers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11576/2694875
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