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Assessment of the Environmental Risk and Challenges of Micro(nano)plastics

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2024) | Viewed by 744

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
Interests: environmental behavior and biological effects of emerging contaminants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Increasing global production and release of plastics render a fast growth in the production of micro(nano)plastics (plastic particles < 5 mm, including nanoplastics which are < 0.1 μm), which exist in almost all environmental compartments of the earth. Exposure to micro(nano)plastics may induce a variety of impacts on the biota. Micro(nano)plastics also have the potential to accumulate chemical or biological contaminants, leading to alterations in the availability and effects of these hazardous substances to biota. Both animals and plants can take up micro(nano)plastics, making it possible for the trophic transfer of these tiny particles and associated toxins along the aquatic or terrestrial food chain. Furthermore, the presence of micro(nano)plastics in sediment or soil can affect the physicochemical properties and microbial community structure and activities of these matrices. Micro(nano)plastics have been increasingly considered a factor of global change which can cause changes in the functioning of ecosystems, in particular, the biogechemical cycling of elements.

The Special Issue invites contributions, including but not limited to the following detailed topics:

(1) Occurrence, sources, and transport pathways of micro(nano)plastics in the environment;

(2) Biological effects of micro(nano)plastics and associated contaminants;

(3) Trophic transfer of micro(nano)plastics;

(4) Effects of micro(nano)plastics on the physicochemical and microbial properties of soils or sediments;

(5) Effects of micro(nano)plastics on element biogechemical cycling and the underlying mechanisms.

Prof. Dr. Wenfeng Wang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • micro(nano)plastics
  • environmental behavior
  • biological effects
  • biogechemical cycling

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 4991 KiB  
The Effects of Food on the Uptake and Excretion of Nano-Plastics by Daphnia magna
by Xiao-Jing Liu, Yu-Hang Zhang, Rong-Yao Gao, Hua-Bing Jia, Qian-Qian Shao, Ya-Wen Hu, Li-Min Fu and Jian-Ping Zhang
Sustainability 2024, 16(10), 3941; - 8 May 2024
Viewed by 441
The effects of nano-plastics (NPs) on aquatic organisms have drawn significant attention. Understanding the uptake and excretion of NPs by aquatic organisms can provide clearer insights into their behavior within organisms. And the effect of different food on the processes is unclear. Daphnia [...] Read more.
The effects of nano-plastics (NPs) on aquatic organisms have drawn significant attention. Understanding the uptake and excretion of NPs by aquatic organisms can provide clearer insights into their behavior within organisms. And the effect of different food on the processes is unclear. Daphnia magna (D. magna) is considered as a model organism for assessing the ecological risks of NPs. This work observed the uptake and excretion of NPs by D. magna under different food supply conditions. The effects of three different types of foods (Chlorella sp., Euglena gracilis, and yeast powder) on the uptake and excretion of two concentrations of NPs (1 mg/L and 3 mg/L) by the D. magna were compared. A Time-Gated Imaging technique was used to quantify the NPs uptake mass by D. magna. The study results showed the inhibitory effect presented by food on the uptake of NPs by D. magna. The inhibitory ability of different foods varies, with similar levels observed in Chlorella sp. and E. gracilis, while the inhibitory effect of yeast powder was slightly weaker. The facilitating effect was presented by food on the excretion of NPs. The time constant of excretion of NPs by feeding yeast powder was about 4–5 min longer than that of two types of algae. These effects can be attributed to food occupying the intestine tract of D. magna and supplying energy. This work emphasizes the important role of food in evaluating the ecological effects of NPs and provides support for future research on the long-term risks of pollutants to aquatic organisms and environmental sustainability. Full article
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