Biodiversity and ecosystems

This collection of articles focusses on SDG 14 (life below water). Every coastal State, including several members of G20, face threats to marine ecosystems and the environment as complex societal, economic and governance challenges. Ocean management involves multi-disciplinary science and complex issues of policy design, while implementation demands consultative decision making and long term capacity development.

This article highlights the winning proposals of the fourth edition of the Elsevier Foundation Green & Sustainable Chemistry Challenge. The winning proposals were chosen for their innovative green chemistry aspects and their large positive impact on the environment, contributing to SDGs 6, 13 and 15.
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 114, May 2019
The presence of small plastic particles in the environment, reported for the first time in the 1970's, has only recently been recognized as a global issue. Although environmental awareness continues to grow, so does its consumption and associated risks. The number of studies reporting the presence of microplastics, has grown exponentially as did the concern over plastic degradation into smaller particles like nanoplastics, a potentially more pernicious form of plastic pollution.
At the 21st session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, COP21), a voluntary action plan, the ‘4 per 1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate’ was proposed under the Agenda for Action. The Initiative underlines the role of soil organic matter (SOM) in addressing the three-fold challenge of food and nutritional security, adaptation to climate change and mitigation of human-induced greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions. It sets an ambitious aspirational target of a 4 per 1000 (i.e.
It has long been established that the spatial scale of inquiry affects the ecological patterns that are revealed. However, studies of the ecological drivers underlying the assembly of soil animal communities rarely adopt a multi-scale perspective. Here, we quantified the distribution of oribatid richness along a chronosequence of temperate hardwood forests in a deglaciated region of eastern North America and analyzed variation in oribatid community structure at two grain sizes: 0.1 m2 and 900 m2, and two spatial extents: 20–150 m and 80–420 km.

Encyclopedia of Caves (Third Edition), 2019, Pages 678-685

This book chapter addresses goals 15 and 11 by focusing on how human activities influence the biodiversity of life on land.
PET is a ubiquitous material because of its robust properties. Today, less than 30% of PET bottles and few carpets are recycled in the United States, leading to the majority of PET being landfilled. The low PET reclamation rate is due to the fact that PET bottle recycling today is mechanical, resulting in a devalued product. Here, reclaimed PET (rPET) bottles are converted to fiberglass-reinforced plastics (FRPs), which sell for more than twice that of rPET. When monomers derivable from biomass are incorporated, rPET-FRPs with superior properties are achieved.
Elsevier, Ocean and Coastal Management, Volume 171, 1 April 2019
Elsevier, TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 113, April 2019
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.
Tire materials are a significant proportion of the (micro)plastics in the environment that until today have been clearly overlooked. These materials are released into the environment, either unintentionally as an abrasion product from tire wear, that reaches the environment via road runoff, or intentionally as, for example, shredded “tire crumble rubber” used as filling material for playgrounds.