The paradox of constant oceanic plastic debris: evidence for evolved microbial biodegradation?

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The paradox of constant oceanic plastic debris : evidence for evolved microbial biodegradation? / Solé, Ricard; Fontich, Ernest; Vidiella, Blai; Duran-Nebreda, Salva; Montañez, Raúl; Pinero, Jordi; Valverde, Sergi.

In: Royal Society Open Science, 01.06.2018.

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Solé, Ricard ; Fontich, Ernest ; Vidiella, Blai ; Duran-Nebreda, Salva ; Montañez, Raúl ; Pinero, Jordi ; Valverde, Sergi. / The paradox of constant oceanic plastic debris : evidence for evolved microbial biodegradation?. In: Royal Society Open Science. 2018.

Bibtex

@article{005d2cc47307450aaebec85562f1c755,
title = "The paradox of constant oceanic plastic debris: evidence for evolved microbial biodegradation?",
abstract = "Although the presence of vast amounts of plastic in the open ocean has generated great concern due to its potential ecological consequences, recent studies reveal that its measured abundance is much smaller than expected. Regional and global studies indicate that the difference between expected and actual estimates is enormous, suggesting that a large part of the plastic has been degraded by either physical and biotic processes. A paradoxical observation is the lack of a trend in plastic accumulation found in the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre, despite the rapid increase in plastic production and disposal. In this paper we show, using mathematical and computer models, that this observation could be explained by the nonlinear coupling between plastic (as a resource) and an evolved set of organisms (the consumers) capable of degrading it. The result is derived using two different resource-consumer mathematical approaches as well as a spatially-dependent plastic-microbial model incorporating a minimal hydrodynamical coupling with a two-dimensional fluid. The potential consequences of the evolution of marine plastic garbage and its removal are outlined. ",
keywords = "plastic debris, microbial loop, nonlinear population dynamics, ecosystem engineering",
author = "Ricard Sol{\'e} and Ernest Fontich and Blai Vidiella and Salva Duran-Nebreda and Ra{\'u}l Monta{\~n}ez and Jordi Pinero and Sergi Valverde",
year = "2018",
month = jun
day = "1",
language = "English",
journal = "Royal Society Open Science",
issn = "2054-5703",
publisher = "The Royal Society",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The paradox of constant oceanic plastic debris

T2 - evidence for evolved microbial biodegradation?

AU - Solé, Ricard

AU - Fontich, Ernest

AU - Vidiella, Blai

AU - Duran-Nebreda, Salva

AU - Montañez, Raúl

AU - Pinero, Jordi

AU - Valverde, Sergi

PY - 2018/6/1

Y1 - 2018/6/1

N2 - Although the presence of vast amounts of plastic in the open ocean has generated great concern due to its potential ecological consequences, recent studies reveal that its measured abundance is much smaller than expected. Regional and global studies indicate that the difference between expected and actual estimates is enormous, suggesting that a large part of the plastic has been degraded by either physical and biotic processes. A paradoxical observation is the lack of a trend in plastic accumulation found in the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre, despite the rapid increase in plastic production and disposal. In this paper we show, using mathematical and computer models, that this observation could be explained by the nonlinear coupling between plastic (as a resource) and an evolved set of organisms (the consumers) capable of degrading it. The result is derived using two different resource-consumer mathematical approaches as well as a spatially-dependent plastic-microbial model incorporating a minimal hydrodynamical coupling with a two-dimensional fluid. The potential consequences of the evolution of marine plastic garbage and its removal are outlined.

AB - Although the presence of vast amounts of plastic in the open ocean has generated great concern due to its potential ecological consequences, recent studies reveal that its measured abundance is much smaller than expected. Regional and global studies indicate that the difference between expected and actual estimates is enormous, suggesting that a large part of the plastic has been degraded by either physical and biotic processes. A paradoxical observation is the lack of a trend in plastic accumulation found in the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre, despite the rapid increase in plastic production and disposal. In this paper we show, using mathematical and computer models, that this observation could be explained by the nonlinear coupling between plastic (as a resource) and an evolved set of organisms (the consumers) capable of degrading it. The result is derived using two different resource-consumer mathematical approaches as well as a spatially-dependent plastic-microbial model incorporating a minimal hydrodynamical coupling with a two-dimensional fluid. The potential consequences of the evolution of marine plastic garbage and its removal are outlined.

KW - plastic debris

KW - microbial loop

KW - nonlinear population dynamics

KW - ecosystem engineering

UR - https://europepmc.org/article/ppr/ppr28542

UR - https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/135582v1

UR - https://royalsocietypublishing.org/journal/rsos

M3 - Article

JO - Royal Society Open Science

JF - Royal Society Open Science

SN - 2054-5703

ER -