Microplastic contamination, like other global change factors, can induce effects on ecosystem functions and processes, affecting various soil biophysical properties. However, effects of such contaminants on nutrient cycles in agroecosystems are still poorly understood. We here performed two pot experiments to investigate the effect of polyester microplastic fibers (PMFs) on soil physical properties, nitrogen cycle, and plant performance in a maize-based agroecosystem. Moreover, we followed the N loss via leaching in soil contaminated or not with PMFs by simulating heavy rainfall events that mimic a future scenario of climate change. Our results show that soil contaminated with PMFs (at a concentration of 0.5% w/w) can jeopardize agroecosystem sustainability by affecting soil physical properties and in particular soil macro- and microporosity, the nitrogen cycle, and plant performance. In particular, we found that soil PMF contamination limited crop growth and N uptake by circa 30%, and consequently increased N loss via leaching. Overall, our findings show that soil contamination with PMFs may pose problems to future agricultural challenges like food security and environmental protection.

Ingraffia R., Amato G., Iovino M., Rillig M.C., Giambalvo D., & Frenda A.S. (2022). Polyester microplastic fibers in soil increase nitrogen loss via leaching and decrease plant biomass production and N uptake, 17(5) [10.1088/1748-9326/ac652d].

Polyester microplastic fibers in soil increase nitrogen loss via leaching and decrease plant biomass production and N uptake

Ingraffia R.
;
Amato G.;Iovino M.;Giambalvo D.;Frenda A. S.
2022

Abstract

Microplastic contamination, like other global change factors, can induce effects on ecosystem functions and processes, affecting various soil biophysical properties. However, effects of such contaminants on nutrient cycles in agroecosystems are still poorly understood. We here performed two pot experiments to investigate the effect of polyester microplastic fibers (PMFs) on soil physical properties, nitrogen cycle, and plant performance in a maize-based agroecosystem. Moreover, we followed the N loss via leaching in soil contaminated or not with PMFs by simulating heavy rainfall events that mimic a future scenario of climate change. Our results show that soil contaminated with PMFs (at a concentration of 0.5% w/w) can jeopardize agroecosystem sustainability by affecting soil physical properties and in particular soil macro- and microporosity, the nitrogen cycle, and plant performance. In particular, we found that soil PMF contamination limited crop growth and N uptake by circa 30%, and consequently increased N loss via leaching. Overall, our findings show that soil contamination with PMFs may pose problems to future agricultural challenges like food security and environmental protection.
Settore AGR/02 - Agronomia E Coltivazioni Erbacee
Settore AGR/08 - Idraulica Agraria E Sistemazioni Idraulico-Forestali
https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ac652d
Ingraffia R., Amato G., Iovino M., Rillig M.C., Giambalvo D., & Frenda A.S. (2022). Polyester microplastic fibers in soil increase nitrogen loss via leaching and decrease plant biomass production and N uptake, 17(5) [10.1088/1748-9326/ac652d].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/565728
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