Marine plastics: What risks and policies exist for seagrass ecosystems in the Plasticene?

Date of publication 17 August 2020

Authors Bonanno, Giuseppe; Orlando-Bonaca, Martina.

Sources Marine pollution bulletin : 158



Plastic debris is nowadays a well-recognized global threat to marine ecosystems, due to its increasing abundance and pervasiveness. Although the effects of marine plastics on animal wildlife is generally documented, the available studies of plastics affecting seagrasses and their associated biota are relatively scarce. This makes the degree of risk uncertain as regards seagrass ecosystems affected by plastic debris, but also it results in several critical knowledge gaps such as to what extent plastic debris can affect food webs supported by seagrasses. In the age of plastics, the Plasticene, the international political agenda shows great interest in this matter. However, to date, no conservation policies have specifically targeted the protection of seagrasses from plastics debris. Future actions should therefore move in two directions: prompting a radical shift in plastics consumption, and shedding further light on plastics-biota interactions in the marine environment.

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