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Soil storage conditions alter the effects of tire wear particles on microbial activities in laboratory tests

Abstract: In this study, we focused on the fact that soil storage conditions in the laboratory have never been considered as a key factor potentially leading to high variation when measuring effects of microplastics on soil microbial activity. We stored field-collected soils under four different conditions [room-temperature storage, low-temperature storage (LS), air drying (AD), and heat drying] prior to the experiment. Each soil was treated with tire wear particles (TWPs), and soil microbial activities and water aggregate stability were investigated after soil incubation. As a result, microbial activities, including soil respiration and three enzyme activities (β-glucosidase, N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase, and phosphatase), were shown to depend on soil storage conditions. Soil respiration rates increased with the addition of TWPs, and the differences from the control group (no TWPs added) were more pronounced in the AD TWP treatment than in soils stored under other conditions. In contrast, phosphatase activity followed an opposing trend after the addition of TWPs. The AD soil had higher phosphatase activity after the addition of TWPs, while the LS soil had a lower level than the control group. We suggest that microplastic effects in laboratory experiments can strongly depend on soil storage conditions.

Figure 1

By: Shin Woong Kim, Yaqi Xu, Peter Meidl, Mohan Bi, Yanjie Zhu, and Matthias C. Rillig
Acknowledgement: Acknowledges support from PAPILLONS (Plastics in Agricultural Production: Impacts, Lifecycles and Long-term sustainability, No. 101000210) of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme
Keywords: enzymes, microbial activities, microplastic, soil respiration, soil pretreatment
Citation: In: Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2022, 9, 12, 1037–1043
Publication Date:November 28, 2022
Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society
Please find the full article here.
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