Effects of Microplastics Pollution in the Aquatic Environment

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Quality and Contamination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2024) | Viewed by 13648

Special Issue Editor

Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, USA
Interests: ecology; pollution effects; metals; microplastics; behavior; invasive species; estuaries; coasts; salt marshes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Aquatic organisms are exposed to microplastics worldwide, and most animals examined have been shown to ingest them. However, much of what is ingested is subsequently egested. Exposure can also occur from contact with the surface or contact with respiratory organs. This Special Issue will explore the effects produced in aquatic organisms by exposure to microplastics. We are interested in both field studies and laboratory studies, but laboratory studies should use concentrations of microplastics that are generally similar to levels that are found in the environment. It is also preferred that lab studies use the types of microplastics that are more common in natural ecosystems. The effects studied could be at all levels of biological organization: biochemical, physiological, pathological, behavioral, developmental, reproductive, etc., and effects that can result in changes at the population or community level are particularly welcome. We are interested in studies on all kinds of aquatic organisms including phyto- and zoo-plankton, macroalgae, macrophytes, micro-, meio- and macro-benthos, and nekton. We are also interested in papers that can distinguish the effects of the plastic itself from effects produced from exposure to contaminants that were adsorbed onto the microplastic.

Prof. Dr. Judith S. Weis
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • ingestion
  • effects
  • physiology
  • development
  • behavior
  • reproduction
  • biochemistry
  • plankton
  • benthos
  • nekton

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 5514 KiB  
Article
Influence of Nano- and Small Microplastics on Ciliated Protozoan Spirostomum ambiguum (Müller, 1786) Ehrenberg, 1835
Water 2021, 13(20), 2857; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13202857 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2283
Abstract
This study evaluated the uptake of secondary nano- and small microparticles by the protozoan Spirostomum ambiguum, comparing edible (baker’s yeasts) and inedible (red latex) particles. Secondary nano- and microplastic particles were prepared from household materials made of four different polymers and served [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the uptake of secondary nano- and small microparticles by the protozoan Spirostomum ambiguum, comparing edible (baker’s yeasts) and inedible (red latex) particles. Secondary nano- and microplastic particles were prepared from household materials made of four different polymers and served to the protozoans separately and as two-component mixtures in different proportions. The number and content of food vacuoles formed by the protozoan were analyzed using a digital microscope. The microscopic results showed that the protozoans ingested the secondary microplastic particles to a similar degree as the latex microspheres but to a lesser extent compared to the nutritional food—baker’s yeasts. At the microplastic concentrations of 1000 and 10,000 particles mL−1, no food vacuoles were observed inside the cells, which may be a finding of great ecological importance. In the protozoans served two-component mixtures, both microplastics and yeasts were found in the vacuoles formed by the organisms. The egestion of two-component vacuoles by the protozoans was slower than that of vacuoles containing a single component. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Microplastics Pollution in the Aquatic Environment)
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Review

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16 pages, 894 KiB  
Review
Unraveling Physical and Chemical Effects of Textile Microfibers
Water 2022, 14(23), 3797; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14233797 - 22 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2587
Abstract
Microfibers are the most prevalent microplastics in most terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biota as well as in human tissues and have been collected from environmental compartments across most ecosystems and species sampled worldwide. These materials, made of diverse compound types, range from semi-synthetic [...] Read more.
Microfibers are the most prevalent microplastics in most terrestrial, freshwater, and marine biota as well as in human tissues and have been collected from environmental compartments across most ecosystems and species sampled worldwide. These materials, made of diverse compound types, range from semi-synthetic and treated natural fibers to synthetic microfibers. Microfibers expose organisms across diverse taxa to an array of chemicals, both from the manufacturing process and from environmental adsorption, with effects on organisms at subcellular to population levels. Untangling the physical versus chemical effects of these compounds on organisms is challenging and requires further investigations that tease apart these mechanisms. Understanding how physical and chemical exposures affect organisms is essential to improving strategies to minimize harm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Microplastics Pollution in the Aquatic Environment)
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16 pages, 2910 KiB  
Review
Review of Current Issues and Management Strategies of Microplastics in Groundwater Environments
Water 2022, 14(7), 1020; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14071020 - 23 Mar 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 7534
Abstract
Microplastic contamination has become widespread in natural ecosystems around the globe as a result of the tremendous rise in plastic production over the last 70 years. However, microplastic pollution in marine and riverine habitats has received more attention than that of terrestrial environments [...] Read more.
Microplastic contamination has become widespread in natural ecosystems around the globe as a result of the tremendous rise in plastic production over the last 70 years. However, microplastic pollution in marine and riverine habitats has received more attention than that of terrestrial environments or even groundwater. This manuscript reviews the current issues, potential occurrences, and sources of the emerging problem of microplastic contamination in groundwater systems. The most prevalent types of plastic detected in groundwater are polyethylene and polyethylene terephthalate, and fibers and fragments represent the most commonly found shapes. The vertical transportation of microplastics in agricultural soils can affect groundwater aquifer systems, which is detrimental to those who use groundwater for drinking as well as to microorganisms present in the aquifers. Moreover, this review sheds light on the interlinkage between sustainable development goals and groundwater microplastic contamination issues as part of the strategies for the management of microplastic contamination in groundwater. Overall, this review reveals a lack of interest and a gap in knowledge regarding groundwater microplastic pollution and highlights future perspectives for research in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Microplastics Pollution in the Aquatic Environment)
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