Current understanding on the exposure of freshwater organisms to microplastics (plastics sized between 1 µm and 5 mm) has arisen mostly from laboratory experiments—often conducted under artificial circumstances and with unrealistic concentrations. In order to improve scientific links through real ecosystem exposure, we review field data on the exposure of free-living organisms to microplastics. We highlight that the main outputs provided by field research are an assessment of the occurrence and, at times, the quantification of microplastics in different animal taxa. Topics of investigation also include the causes of contamination and the development of biological monitoring tools. With regard to taxa, fish, mollusks, and arthropods are at the center of the research, but birds and amphibians are also investigated. The ingestion or occurrence of microplastics in organs and tissues, such as livers and muscles, are the main data obtained. Microorganisms are studied differently than other taxa, highlighting interesting aspects on the freshwater plastisphere, for example, related to the structure and functionality of communities. Many taxa, that is, mammals, reptiles, and plants, are still under-examined with regard to exposure to microplastics; this is surprising as they are generally endangered. As biota contamination is acknowledged, we contribute to an interdisciplinary scientific discussion aimed at a better assessment of knowledge gaps on methodology, impact assessment, and monitoring.

Cera, A., Scalici, M. (2021). Freshwater wild biota exposure to microplastics: A global perspective. ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 11(15), 9904-9916 [10.1002/ece3.7844].

Freshwater wild biota exposure to microplastics: A global perspective

Cera A.
;
Scalici M.
2021

Abstract

Current understanding on the exposure of freshwater organisms to microplastics (plastics sized between 1 µm and 5 mm) has arisen mostly from laboratory experiments—often conducted under artificial circumstances and with unrealistic concentrations. In order to improve scientific links through real ecosystem exposure, we review field data on the exposure of free-living organisms to microplastics. We highlight that the main outputs provided by field research are an assessment of the occurrence and, at times, the quantification of microplastics in different animal taxa. Topics of investigation also include the causes of contamination and the development of biological monitoring tools. With regard to taxa, fish, mollusks, and arthropods are at the center of the research, but birds and amphibians are also investigated. The ingestion or occurrence of microplastics in organs and tissues, such as livers and muscles, are the main data obtained. Microorganisms are studied differently than other taxa, highlighting interesting aspects on the freshwater plastisphere, for example, related to the structure and functionality of communities. Many taxa, that is, mammals, reptiles, and plants, are still under-examined with regard to exposure to microplastics; this is surprising as they are generally endangered. As biota contamination is acknowledged, we contribute to an interdisciplinary scientific discussion aimed at a better assessment of knowledge gaps on methodology, impact assessment, and monitoring.
Cera, A., Scalici, M. (2021). Freshwater wild biota exposure to microplastics: A global perspective. ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 11(15), 9904-9916 [10.1002/ece3.7844].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/398342
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