: Plastic has become one of the most ubiquitous and environmentally threatening sources of pollution in the Anthropocene. Beyond the conspicuous visual impact and physical damages, plastics both carry and release a cocktail of harmful chemicals, such as monomers, additives and persistent organic pollutants. Here we show through a review of the scientific literature dealing with both plastic pollution and benthic foraminifera (Rhizaria), that despite their critical roles in the structure and function of benthic ecosystems, only 0.4% of studies have investigated the effects of micro- and nano-plastics on this group. Consequently, we urge to consider benthic foraminifera in plastic pollution studies via a tentative roadmap that includes (i) the use of their biological, physiological and behavioral responses that may unveil the effects of microplastics and nanoplastics and (ii) the evaluation of the indicative value of foraminiferal species to serve as proxies for the degree of pollution. This appears particularly timely in the context of the development of management strategies to restore coastal ecosystems.

Foraminifera and plastic pollution: Knowledge gaps and research opportunities

Frontalini, Fabrizio;
2023

Abstract

: Plastic has become one of the most ubiquitous and environmentally threatening sources of pollution in the Anthropocene. Beyond the conspicuous visual impact and physical damages, plastics both carry and release a cocktail of harmful chemicals, such as monomers, additives and persistent organic pollutants. Here we show through a review of the scientific literature dealing with both plastic pollution and benthic foraminifera (Rhizaria), that despite their critical roles in the structure and function of benthic ecosystems, only 0.4% of studies have investigated the effects of micro- and nano-plastics on this group. Consequently, we urge to consider benthic foraminifera in plastic pollution studies via a tentative roadmap that includes (i) the use of their biological, physiological and behavioral responses that may unveil the effects of microplastics and nanoplastics and (ii) the evaluation of the indicative value of foraminiferal species to serve as proxies for the degree of pollution. This appears particularly timely in the context of the development of management strategies to restore coastal ecosystems.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2726032
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact