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Science of The Total Environment
Volume 726, 2020, 138682

LDPE microplastics significantly alter the temporal turnover of soil microbial communities

Jie Wanga, Muke Huangb, Qian Wanga, Yuanze Suna, Yanran Zhaoa, Yi Huangb

Beijing Key Laboratory of Farmland Soil Pollution Prevention and Remediation, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.


Although the ubiquitous presence of microplastics in various environments is increasingly well studied, knowledge of the effects of microplastics on ambient microbial communities is still insufficient. To estimate the response of soil bacterial community succession and temporal turnover to microplastic amendment, a soil microcosm experiment was carried out with polyethylene microplastics. The soil samples under control and microplastic amendment conditions were collected for sequencing analysis using Illumina MiSeq technology. Microplastic amendment was found to significantly alter soil bacterial community structure, and the community differences were increased linearly with the incubation time. Compared with the turnover rate of bacterial community in the control samples (0.0103, p < .05, based on Bray-Curtis similarity), the succession rate was significantly (p < .001) higher in the soil with microplastic amendment (0.0309, p < .001). In addition, the effects of microplastic amendment on the time-decay relationships (TDRs) on taxonomic divisions revealed considerable variations of TDRs values, indicating the effects were lineage dependent. Our results propose that the presence of microbial in soil ecosystem may lead to a faster succession rate of soil bacterial community, which provides new insights into the evolutionary consequences of microplastics in terrestrial environment.

Keywords: Microplastics, Bacterial community, Succession pattern, Turnover rate.

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