Home About Browse Search

Aquatic Biofilms-Sink or Source of Microplastics? A Critical Reflection on Current Knowledge

Kalcikova, Gabriela and Bundschuh, Mirco (2021). Aquatic Biofilms-Sink or Source of Microplastics? A Critical Reflection on Current Knowledge. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 41 :4 , 838-843
[Research article]

[img] PDF


The scientific understanding regarding sources, occurrence, and effects of microplastics in the aquatic environment has advanced rapidly, leaving some meaningful knowledge gaps virtually untouched. One of them is the interactions of microplastics and biofilms, microbial communities ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems and fundamental for a range of ecosystem-level processes. It is evident that biofilms can quickly develop on the microplastic surface and consequently change particle properties and, as such, its fate and ecotoxicity. Moreover, microplastics interact with ubiquitous biofilms that are developed on any surfaces in aquatic ecosystems. Although the knowledge about these interactions is at best limited, it is expected that microplastics attach to the water-biofilm interface or penetrate the biofilm matrix. Microplastics can accumulate and ab- or adsorb to those biofilms where they are subjected to transformation processes such as fragmentation. Thus, biofilms may function as a sink. Changes in environmental conditions may, however, stress biofilms initiating their dieback and microplastic release, which could turn biofilms into a source of microplastics. We argue that the accumulation and release dynamics are a largely overlooked but potentially important piece to the puzzle that is a comprehensive understanding of microplastic fate in the environment and thus under the influence of multiple interacting factors. Environ Toxicol Chem 2021;00:1-6. (c) 2021 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of SETAC.

Authors/Creators:Kalcikova, Gabriela and Bundschuh, Mirco
Title:Aquatic Biofilms-Sink or Source of Microplastics? A Critical Reflection on Current Knowledge
Series Name/Journal:Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Year of publishing :2021
Page range:838-843
Number of Pages:6
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
Keywords:Particulate stressors, Fate, Freshwaters, Periphyton, Stressors
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000697538900001
ID Code:27509
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:04 Apr 2022 12:25
Metadata Last Modified:04 Apr 2022 12:31

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics