Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Micro(nano)plastics: unignorable vectors for organisms.

Abstract

Micro(nano)plastics, as emerging contaminants, have attracted worldwide attention. Nowadays, the environmental distribution, sources, and analysis methods and technologies of micro(nano)plastics have been well studied and recognized. Nevertheless, the role of micro(nano)plastic particles as vectors for attaching organisms is not fully understood. In this paper, the role of micro(nano)plastics as vectors, and their potential effects on the ecology are introduced. Micro(nano)plastics could (1) accelerate the diffusion of organisms in the environment, which may result in biological invasion; (2) increase the gene exchange between attached biofilm communities, causing the transfer of pathogenic and antibiotic resistance genes; (3) enhance the rate of energy, material and information flow in the environment. Accordingly, the role of microplastics as vectors for organisms should be further evaluated in the future research.