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Biological - plastic invasion

Posted by Maria Cristina Chiulli on

Plastic production, and plastic rafts, have increased exponentially since the 1950s. Yet, the addition of a novel permanent or semi-permanent coastal biota component in the open ocean appears to have been overlooked. This oversight might be due to the relatively low amounts of plastic marine debris until recent decades, along with relatively few formal studies over the past 50 years on the rafting biology of high seas debris. Greater frequency and amounts of plastics on land, coupled with climate change-induced increases in coastal storm frequency ejecting more plastics into the ocean, will provide both more rafting material and coastal species inoculations, increasing the prevalence of the neopelagic community. As a result, rafting events that were rare in the past could alter ocean ecosystems and change invasion dynamics on a global scale, furthering the urgent need to address the diverse and growing effects of plastic pollution on land and sea. A vast area of the ocean now appears to be suitable habitat for a wide diversity of species previously restricted to coastal waters. This may be particularly true in subtropical gyre systems, where floating plastics accumulate over time with possible residence times of years to decades or longer. 

Understanding the ecology and biogeography of the neopelagic communities on floating plastics will provide essential insights about the role of plastics as vectors of non-native species. (source: www.nature.com)

We must take every action, both by governments and institutions, and by companies and consumers, to stop plastic pollution. Not only invertebrates are involved, even we humans assimilate from food, water, air, an amount of plastic equivalent to one credit card per week! We don't know the long-term effects yet, but they certainly won't be good. Do we really want a world of plastic and mutant beings?
Adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle, reject single-use plastic, reduce, reuse, recycle, use natural alternatives. Try our natural, reusable, eco-friendly products for a greener everyday life, Say Yes to Life, Earth Thanks! 🌿

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