Uptake of microplastics and their effects on plants.


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ABSTRACT - Microplastics (MPs, 100 nm to 5 mm) may represent a risk to ecosystem and human health, and MP pollution has become a topic of global environmental concern. Despite many reports on the accumulation of MPs in aquatic species, research on terrestrial ecosystems is relatively scarce, and there is very little information on the uptake and accumulation of MPs by plants. In this chapter we review the published research on potential single effects and on combined effects of MPs with other pollutants such as organic and nano-sized pollutant MPs in aquatic plants including microalgae and macrophytes. We focus on recent studies on the accumulation of MPs and their potential effects on crop plants. In this chapter we also discuss the mechanisms and factors affecting MP accumulation in crop plants. Finally, we conclude by pointing to knowledge gaps and suggesting key future areas of research. This review provides a new basis for further research on MP accumulation and its potential effects on plants. Future studies are required on the accumulation and translocation of submicron and even micron-sized MPs in edible plants and their potential impacts on food safety.

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