Understanding the impact of microplastics on aquatic microbes
For better or worse, plastics have become omnipresent in our lives. Whether carried by the wind and rain or resulting from improper industrial management, millions of tons of land-based debris and resulting microplastics are finding their way into marine and freshwater environments each year, threatening our aquatic ecosystems. While much of the focus has been on larger animals and plants, the impact of microplastics on microbial ecosystems is equally important. Microplastics impact microbial life and the services microbes provide as microorganisms play a role in the degradation of debris. The EU-funded BIOMIMIC project is developing a mechanistic description of microbe–microplastic encounters. It will elucidate the behavioural, physiological and biomolecular responses of representative bacteria and algae to microplastics to help us better address this pressing global challenge.
Fields of science
- natural sciencesphysical sciencesclassical mechanicsfluid mechanicsmicrofluidics
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesecologyecosystems
- medical and health sciencesbasic medicinephysiology
- natural sciencesearth and related environmental scienceshydrologylimnology
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesbiophysics