Nature Communications


In the ocean, plastics release copious amounts of dissolved organic carbon which is stimulating bacterioplankton activity, a new study of the Microbial Oceanography Group showed in a recent study published in Nature Communications. The dissolved organic carbon released by two most abundant plastic types found in the ocean, polypropylene and polyethylene, was quantified and its uptake by bacterioplankton communities measured. It was found that about 60% of the plastic-derived dissolved organic carbon was taken up by bacterioplankton within five days.

“Dissolved organic carbon leaching from plastics stimulates microbial activity in the ocean”: Cristina Romera-Castillo, Maria Pinto, Teresa Langer, Xose Anton Álvarez-Salgado, Gerhard J. Herndl. Nature Communications. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03798-5