Most researches on the plastisphere in coastal environments deal with plastics floating in seawater. Comparatively smaller attention has been devoted to the plastisphere of plastics buried in marine sediments, and very little is known on that of plastics on coastal sand dunes. Yet, limited information is available on the impact of plastics, especially biodegradable plastics, on microbial organisms in their surroundings. Nevertheless, a large amount of plastics sink on the seabed or is deposited on beach-dune systems. We investigated the succession of plastisphere microbial community on two biodegradable composites based on poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) and seagrass fibres (PHBV/PO), buried in seabed and dune sediments over a 27 months period in mesocosm. PHBV is regarded as a valuable alternative to conventional plastics and PHBV/PO has recently been designed for applications in coastal habitat restoration. We also examined the degradation rate and impact of these plastics on the microbial communities of surrounding sediments. Microbial communities of the surface of PHBV and PHBV/PO in seabed and dune sand differ from those of surrounding sediments, displaying a lower richness. Plastics colonization occurs largely from bacteria present in surrounding sediments, although the contribution from the water column bacterial pool could be not negligible for plastics in the seabed. No significant differences were detected between the communities of the two plastics and no significant impact of plastics on microbial community of the surrounding sediments was detected. The exceptional long duration of this study allowed to gain information on the succession of a plastisphere community over a previously unexplored time scale. Succession appears highly dynamic in dune sand even after two years, while the community structure in seabed seems to reach stability after one year. These findings highlight the importance of performing long-term studies when trying to characterize composition and dynamics of plastisphere bacterial communities.

Microbial communities of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)-based biodegradable composites plastisphere and of surrounding environmental matrix: a comparison between marine (seabed) and coastal sediments (dune sand) over a long-time scale

Vannini C.
Primo
;
Seggiani M.;Cinelli P.;Lardicci C.
Penultimo
;
Balestri E.
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Most researches on the plastisphere in coastal environments deal with plastics floating in seawater. Comparatively smaller attention has been devoted to the plastisphere of plastics buried in marine sediments, and very little is known on that of plastics on coastal sand dunes. Yet, limited information is available on the impact of plastics, especially biodegradable plastics, on microbial organisms in their surroundings. Nevertheless, a large amount of plastics sink on the seabed or is deposited on beach-dune systems. We investigated the succession of plastisphere microbial community on two biodegradable composites based on poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) and seagrass fibres (PHBV/PO), buried in seabed and dune sediments over a 27 months period in mesocosm. PHBV is regarded as a valuable alternative to conventional plastics and PHBV/PO has recently been designed for applications in coastal habitat restoration. We also examined the degradation rate and impact of these plastics on the microbial communities of surrounding sediments. Microbial communities of the surface of PHBV and PHBV/PO in seabed and dune sand differ from those of surrounding sediments, displaying a lower richness. Plastics colonization occurs largely from bacteria present in surrounding sediments, although the contribution from the water column bacterial pool could be not negligible for plastics in the seabed. No significant differences were detected between the communities of the two plastics and no significant impact of plastics on microbial community of the surrounding sediments was detected. The exceptional long duration of this study allowed to gain information on the succession of a plastisphere community over a previously unexplored time scale. Succession appears highly dynamic in dune sand even after two years, while the community structure in seabed seems to reach stability after one year. These findings highlight the importance of performing long-term studies when trying to characterize composition and dynamics of plastisphere bacterial communities.
Vannini, C.; Rossi, A.; Vallerini, F.; Menicagli, V.; Seggiani, M.; Cinelli, P.; Lardicci, C.; Balestri, E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1062927
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