Worms fail to thrive in soil containing microplastics – study

Finding could have implications for farming - as worms are vital part of farmland ecosystemWorms fail to thrive in earth containing microplastics, new research has shown, adding to the growing body of evidence of impacts from the increasingly...

Worms fail to thrive in soil containing microplastics – study

Finding could have implications for farming - as worms are vital part of farmland ecosystem

Worms fail to thrive in earth containing microplastics, new research has shown, adding to the growing body of evidence of impacts from the increasingly widespread contaminants on the natural world.

The rosy-tipped earthworm, Aporrectodea rosea, is one of the most common found in farmland in temperate regions. Scientists found that worms placed in soil loaded with high density polyethylene (HDPE) – a common plastic used for bags and bottles – for 30 days lost about 3% of their body weight, compared with a control sample of similar worms placed in similar soil without HDPE, which put on 5% in body weight over the same period.

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