The impacts of polyethylene terephthalate microplastics (mPETs) on ecosystem functionality in marine sediment

The effects of microplastics (MPs) on the ecological functioning in marine sediments is largely unknown. However, coastal marine sediments and their resident communities play critical roles in the transformation of organic matter and the cycling of nutrients that influence both local and global processes. To investigate how microplastics influence ecosystem functions associated with sediment biogeochemistry, large bivalves and microphytobenthos, we conducted a 31-day laboratory experiment. The experiment tested the role of micro-polyethylene terephthalate (mPETs) at five concentrations (0%, 1%, 3%, 6%, and 8% based on wet weight of top 1 cm sediment). Canonical principle of coordinate analysis (CAP) was applied to assess change on the ecosystem functionality with increasing concentrations of mPETs. Our results highlight that stress effects on ecosystem function are the product of the interaction between Macomona liliana, microphytobenthos and mPETs.

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