Biodegradation

Droughts are extreme events that have major impacts on communities, ecosystems and economies due to slow onset and complex processes. Land and ecosystem degradation increase the risks of loss and damage during droughts, whereas well-adapted practices and policies can enable society to (re)build resilience. This review highlights actions needed to connect and fill gaps in the present systems for ecological and hydrological monitoring, governance, and alignment of economic incentives at regional, national and local scales.
Microplastics (MP) provide a unique and extensive surface for microbial colonization in aquatic ecosystems. The formation of microorganism-microplastic complexes, such as biofilms, maximizes the degradation of organic matter and horizontal gene transfer. In this context, MP affect the structure and function of microbial communities, which in turn render the physical and chemical fate of MP. This new paradigm generates challenges for microbiology, ecology, and ecotoxicology.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 112, March 2019
Plastics are a frequently observed component of marine debris and there is growing concern about microplastic (MP) ecotoxicity, and the impacts of additives, sorbed hazardous organic contaminants, heavy metals, and biofilm on MP surfaces. The relative importance of MP from different terrestrial and freshwater sources is poorly understood and limits our ability to develop best management practices. This review focuses on evidence and methods for source apportionment of MP in freshwater environments including the use of MP characteristics, mass balance techniques, and surface characteristics.
Interest about interactions between microplastics and organisms is on the rise. Accessing organisms’ responses to these chemically “inert” compounds plays an important role in determining their potential toxicity. Microplastics from the environment tend to accumulate and move through living organisms, inducing a variety of biological effects, such as disturbances in energy metabolism, oxidative balance, antioxidative capacity, DNA, immunological, neurological and histological damage.
Elsevier, Microchemical Journal, Volume 136, January 2018
Among the different pharmaceuticals present in soil and water ecosystems as micro-contaminants, considerable attention has been paid to antibiotics, since their increasing use and the consequent development of multi-resistant bacteria pose serious risks to human and veterinary health. Moreover, once they have entered the environment, antibiotics can affect natural microbial communities. The latter play a key role in fundamental ecological processes, most importantly the maintenance of soil and water quality.