This article has been reviewed according to Science X's editorial process and policies. Editors have highlighted the following attributes while ensuring the content's credibility:


peer-reviewed publication

trusted source


Research finds microplastics affect soil fungi depending on drought conditions

Microplastics affect soil fungi depending on drought conditions
Fungal community composition. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) of Jaccard dissimilarities between samples belonging to (A) total fungal community, (B–D) fungal functional groups, (E–G) fungal taxonomical groups and (H–J) fungal morphological groups. The first two axes of each ordination are shown. Each point represents a sample in the bi-dimensional space. The colored ellipses represent one standard deviation of the group centroid. Credit: Environmental Microbiology (2024). DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.16549

Moisture levels in the soil can impact the effects that microplastic pollution has on soil fungi, according to new research published in Environmental Microbiology.

By studying mixed with microplastics under different conditions, investigators found that when soil is well-watered, in microplastics can leach into the soil and hinder soil fungal richness. With dry soil, however, the leaching of water-extractable chemicals is less pronounced and therefore less impactful on soil fungal structure.

The researchers also noted that under dry conditions, microplastics help soil hold water for longer, which could help mitigate the effects of drought. Although this could be considered a desirable scenario, these interactions imply complex challenges for land management.

"Microplastics in soil alter soil fungal communities, which negatively affect soil ecosystem functions," said corresponding author Yudi M. Lozano, Ph.D., of Freie Universität Berlin and the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research, in Germany.

More information: Y. M. Lozano et al, Microplastic fibres affect soil fungal communities depending on drought conditions with consequences for ecosystem functions, Environmental Microbiology (2024). DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.16549

Journal information: Environmental Microbiology

Provided by Wiley

Citation: Research finds microplastics affect soil fungi depending on drought conditions (2024, January 10) retrieved 25 June 2024 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Researchers study temperature sensitivity of soil microbial respiration under climate change


Feedback to editors