Are ecosystem services provided by insects “bugged” by micro (nano)plastics?

Elsevier, TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 113, 2019, Pages 317-320.
Authors: 
Miguel Oliveira, Olga M.C.C. Ameixa, Amadeu M.V.M. Soares

Although the study of the effects of microplastics increased in the last years, terrestrial ecosystems remain less studied. In fact, the effects of microplastics in insects, the most abundant group of animals and major providers of key Ecosystem Services, are not well known despite the potential cascading negative effects on the ecosystems functioning in the habitats where they occur.

In this paper, a revision on available studies on microplastics contamination is provided and potential consequences to major Ecosystem Services provided by insects are discussed, using the Common International Classification of Ecosystem Services (CICES) methodology.

The revision underpinned probable and potential impacts for all tree CICES divisions, i.e.: Provision, Regulation and Maintenance and Cultural Services. The available studies seem to show that different groups react differently to microplastics contamination, which clearly indicates that the effects in Ecosystem Services provided by insects need a more empirical and targeted approach.