DO MICROPLASTICS DIRECTLY INTERACT WITH CYANOBACTERIA?
Plastic pollution of aquatic ecosystems is finally gaining well deserved attention around the world. Microscopic plastic particles or microplastics pose particular challenges as they are hard to capture for recycling or proper disposal. Evidences of direct negative impacts of these microplastics on zooplankters and larger invertebrates are being reported increasingly in scientific literature, while similar information with regards to primary producers is not widely available. To help fill in the knowledge gap we firstly attempted to establish an effective protocol to harvest microplastics from six face and body wash products widely marketed in the United States and characterized and quantified the harvested particles. This was followed by a series of laboratory experiments where these particles were added to laboratory cultures of common bloom forming cyanobacteria, Microcystis and Dolichospermum spp. Most particles detected were non-spherical with highly variable morphologies, despite being called “microbeads”. Based on these findings we hypothesizes that these microplastics have some influence on colony formation and maintenance in these cyanobacteria.
Yokota, K., State University of New York College at Oneonta Biological Field Station, Uzbekistan, Kiyoko.Yokota@oneonta.edu
Hastings, C., Rochester Institute of Technology, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Davidson, E. G., State University of New York College at Oneonta Biological Field Station, USA, email@example.com
Waterfield, H. A., State University of New York College at Oneonta Biological Field Station, USA, Holly.Waterfield@oneonta.edu
Kwietniewski, E. J., State University of New York College at Oneonta Biological Field Station, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wells, B., State University of New York College at Oneonta Biological Field Station, USA, email@example.com
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