Sunday, November 22, 2020

A New Holobiont in Gaia's Family


Had you ever heard of the "Plastisphere"? Well, it is a new ecosystem that thrives on the plastic islands in the sea created by human activity. 
The term was coined in 2013, but these little critters are still thriving nowadays as you can see in a more recent article
For sure, they'll soon have plenty of food in the form of the six billion (yes, 6x10^9!) plastic face masks discarded everyday by humankind and, eventually, ending up floating somewhere in the ocean. 
And here is how the plastic plate appears to our little friends, the microbes. Bon Appetit!

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Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)