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Effects of microplastics on freshwater food webs in the Anthropocene

  • 1 June, 2019
  • Wageningen University, Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
  • prof. dr AA KoelmansProf.Dr. E van Donk
  • Dr. L. de Senerpont Domis

Freshwater ecosystems are under multiple pressures, including eutrophication, climate change and chemical pollution. Microplastics have received increasing attention over the last decade. However, little is known about the interaction between the presence of these microplastics in the aquatic environment and other anthropogenic pressures on ecosystem functioning.
Aim of this project is to determine the effects of microplastics on the functioning of freshwater ecosystems under multiple anthropogenic pressures. The exposure to microplastics in combination with other stressors will cause significant changes in food web composition and functioning. The project will demonstrate effects of microplastics on trophic interactions, and scale up to food web effects in large indoor mesocosms. Bioassays will be developed with the aim to predict the ecosystem impact of multiple stressors.
Overall, the project will provide fundamentally new and critically needed knowledge on the subtler effects of microplastics discharge on ecosystem functioning.


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