New on the menu – plastics for microbes

There are trillions of pieces of plastic floating across the ocean’s surface. Once plastics enter the ocean, they can release dissolved organic carbon, which is a food source for marine microbes. This study estimated that about 60% of that released dissolved organic carbon is available as an edible food source to marine microbes and can help stimulate growth at the base of the marine food web. As plastic pollution increases, more dissolved organic carbon may be released, having unknown effects on marine microbes.

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