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Microplastics enhance nitrogen loss from a black paddy soil by shifting nitrate reduction from DNRA to denitrification and Anammox

Microplastics (MPs) have become major pollutants detected in soil, posing a serious threat to our precious agricultural ecosystems. In a recent study, researchers from Nanjing University in China looked at these tiny particles and their specific influence on vital soil processes, particularly denitrification.

Focusing on commonly found microplastics such as polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene, with a size ranging between 200 and 400 μm, the research team closely scrutinised denitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA), as well as associated microbial communities in black paddy soil.
The results are unequivocal: the presence of microplastics leads to significant changes in soil processes.

The study highlights a stimulation of denitrification and Anammox, combined with a suppression of DNRA, which can lead to a significant loss of nitrogen in rice fields. These findings underline the urgent need for a more in-depth assessment of the interactions between microplastics and agricultural ecosystems.

You can reed the full study here :

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