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Submicron plastic adsorption by peat, accumulation in sphagnum mosses and influence on bacterial communities in peatland ecosystems

DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c04892 DOI Help

Authors: Mandar Bandekar (University of Eastern Finland) , Fazel Abdolahpur Monikh (University of Eastern Finland; Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries) , Jukka Kekäläinen (University of Eastern Finland) , Teemu Tahvanainen (University of Eastern Finland) , Raine Kortet (University of Eastern Finland) , Peng Zhang (University of Birmingham) , Zhiling Guo (University of Birmingham) , Jarkko Akkanen (University of Eastern Finland) , Jari T. T. Leskinen (University of Eastern Finland) , Miguel A. Gomez-Gonzalez (Diamond Light Source) , Gopala Krishna Darbha (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata) , Hans-Peter Grossart (Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries; Potsdam University) , Eugenia Valsami-Jones (University of Birmingham) , Jussi V. K. Kukkonen (University of Eastern Finland)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Environmental Science & Technology , VOL 4

State: Published (Approved)
Published: November 2022
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 30433

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The smallest fraction of plastic pollution, submicron plastics (SMPs <1 μm) are expected to be ubiquitous in the environment. No information is available about SMPs in peatlands, which have a key role in sequestering carbon in terrestrial ecosystems. It is unknown how these plastic particles might behave and interact with (micro)organisms in these ecosystems. Here, we show that the chemical composition of polystyrene (PS) and poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC)-SMPs influenced their adsorption to peat. Consequently, this influenced the accumualtion of SMPs by Sphagnum moss and the composition and diversity of the microbial communities in peatland. Natural organic matter (NOM), which adsorbs from the surrounding water to the surface of SMPs, decreased the adsorption of the particles to peat and their accumulation by Sphagnum moss. However, the presence of NOM on SMPs significantly altered the bacterial community structure compared to SMPs without NOM. Our findings show that peatland ecosystems can potentially adsorb plastic particles. This can not only impact mosses themselves but also change the local microbial communities.

Journal Keywords: mesocosm; Sphagnum moss; poly(vinyl chloride); polystyrene; gadolinium entrapped particles; accumulation

Diamond Keywords: Plastics; Bacteria

Subject Areas: Environment, Chemistry, Materials

Instruments: I14-Hard X-ray Nanoprobe

Added On: 07/11/2022 09:16

Discipline Tags:

Desertification & Pollution Earth Sciences & Environment Chemistry Materials Science Organic Chemistry Polymer Science Life Sciences & Biotech

Technical Tags:

Imaging X-ray Fluorescence (XRF)