I am very happy to share our new publication related to H2020-POSEIDOMM project, an invited contribution in the special issue Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction in the journal Geosciences (MDPI, Basel, Switzerland) – perspective article.
Credit: PlanetEarth Online
Here’s the abstract:
“Plastic particles are ubiquitous in the marine environment. Given their low density, they have the tendency to float on the sea surface, with possible impacts on the sea surface microlayer (SML). The SML is an enriched biofilm of marine organic matter, that plays a key role in biochemical and photochemical processes, as well as controlling gas exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere. Recent studies indicate that plastics can interfere with the microbial cycling of carbon. However, studies on microplastic accumulation in the SML are limited, and their effects on organic matter cycling in the surface ocean are poorly understood. To explore potential dynamics in this key ocean compartment, we ran a controlled experiment with standard microplastics in the surface and bulk water of a marine monoculture. Bacterial abundance, chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and oxygen concentrations were measured. The results indicate an accumulation of CDOM in the SML and immediate underlying water when microplastic particles are present, as well as an enhanced oxygen consumption. If extrapolated to a typical marine environment, this indicates that alterations in the quality and reactivity of the organic components of the SML could be expected. This preliminary study shows the need for a more integrated effort to our understanding the impact of microplastics on SML functioning and marine biological processes.”
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Very interesting conference at an international level! Very excited of being there to present our research work, on the big mesocosm campaign on Tuesday 20th and on the Citizen Observatory in Tuscany on Wednesday 21st!
A large scale mesocosm approach to simulate chemical and biological effects of microplastics in a high-plastic ocean (Talk, 20/11. Speaker: L. Galgani)
- Citizen Observatories to reduce and identify marine plastic pollution loads (Talk, 21/11. Speaker: L. Galgani)
You can find the conference proceedings here!
Polystyrene microplastics increase microbial release of marine Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter in microcosm experiments
“About 5 trillion plastic particles are present in our oceans, from the macro to the micro size. Like any other aquatic particulate, plastics and microplastics can create a micro-environment, within which microbial and chemical conditions differ significantly from the surrounding water. Despite the high and increasing abundance of microplastics in the ocean, their influence on the transformation and composition of marine organic matter is largely unknown. Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) is the photo-reactive fraction of the marine dissolved organic matter (DOM) pool. Changes in CDOM quality and quantity have impacts on marine microbial dynamics and the underwater light environment. One major source of CDOM is produced by marine bacteria through their alteration of pre-existing DOM substrates. In a series of microcosm experiments in controlled marine conditions, we explored the impact of microplastics on the quality and quantity of microbial CDOM. In the presence of microplastics we observed an increased production of CDOM with changes in its molecular weight, which resulted from either an increased microbial CDOM production or an enhanced transformation of DOM from lower to higher molecular weight CDOM. Our results point to the possibility that marine microplastics act as localized hot spots for microbial activity, with the potential to influence marine carbon dynamics”
Read the full paper at Nature Scientific Reports
Polystyrene microspheres (30 µm diameter, transparent, Sigma) used in our study – microscopic image ©L.Galgani
Article | OPEN | Published: 02 October 2018 Polystyrene microplastics increase microbial release of marine Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter in microcosm experiments by Luisa Galgani is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-32805-4#Sec5.
EarthDay 2018: fighting plastic pollution. We gathered a group of 30 people and walked together along the Pesa River in Tuscany. On the way, sampled for macro invertebrates, observed the local flora, river conditions, nutrients, turbidity and removed litter. A great escape out in our beautiful surrounding to show our love to the Earth! Thanks to everyone who participated with enthusiasm and interest!
Proud to announce that POSEIDOMM is featured at Ocean Plastic Lab Travelling Exhibition in Brussels from April 9 to 19, 2018. Esplanade Solidarność 1980 in front of the European Parliament.
The Ocean Plastics Lab is an exciting exhibition about science: It showcases the contribution of science to understand and combat the problem of plastics in the ocean. The Lab will travel to various locations worldwide, inviting the public to engage with scientific work being done right now around the world. In the context of current discussions about science in society the Lab demonstrates science’s fundamental role in tackling societal challenges and highlights that society is an integral part of science.
POSEIDOMM – Università di Siena, in collaborazione col Comune di Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, il Cinema Olimpia ed altre associazioni della zona ha organizzato una serie di 4 documentari sul tema dell’acqua.
Martedi 10 Aprile ultima serata, sarà presente la regista del documentario “Intorno al Triangolo Verde”. Accorrete numerosi! Ore 21:15 presso il Cinema Olimpia.
Il percorso si conclude con passeggiata e monitoraggio lungo la Pesa domenica 22 Aprile in occasione della Giornata Mondiale Della Terra incentrata sul tema dell’inquinamento da plastica.
Ritrovo ore 10 in Piazza Gramsci a Sambuca V.P.
A short preview of what journalists Denis Loctier and Thierry Winn from EURONEWS have been filming last week in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa and Siena. Will be on air in March.
The outreach initiatives of the EU-funded POSEIDOMM project, in collaboration with the EarthWatch Institute and the global FreshWaterWatch community, have been featured on national TV news on Monday, July 3rd. Thanks to all our citizen scientists trying to preserve and protect the aquatic environments for today’s and future generations!!