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Tech & Science, Microplastics

Microplastics stunt the growth of worms and make them lose weight, scientists discover

Microplastics stunt the growth of worms and make them lose weight, scientists discover

12.9.2019

Microplastics stunt the growth of worms and make them lose weight, scientists discover

'It's highly likely that any pollution that impacts the health of soil fauna, such as earthworms, may have cascading effects on other aspects of the soil ecosystem, such as plant growth,' researcher Connor Russell said.

Scientists have recognized that soil ecosystems—particularly agricultural land—can

In an attempt to address this gap in our understanding, a team of researchers led by Bas Boots from Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K. decided to investigate the impacts of microplastics in the soil on rosy-tipped earthworms (

They observed the mini-ecosystems created for a 30-day period.

Finally, the team noticed that soil exposed to HDPE experienced a decrease in pH—meaning it became more acidic.

"Their burrowing activity improves soil structure, helping with drainage and preventing erosion. It's therefore highly likely that any pollution that impacts the health of soil fauna, such as earthworms, may have cascading effects on other aspects of the soil ecosystem, such as plant growth."

Read more: Newsweek

What percentage of soil to microplastics did the testing include. Was it a ratio that would happen frequently in nature?

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