234: The Plastisphere

Recent studies by a collaboration of research scientists, institutions and vessels have discovered a new ecological habitat: microbes colonizing and thriving on reefs of plastic that pollute our ocean. In this episode of World Ocean Radio, host Peter Neill will share some of the findings and analysis of the myriad microorganisms discovered there and the complex, synergistic relationships that are developing in these vast new floating mats of disintegrating plastic and chemicals.

________________________________________________________________________

Peter Neill, host of World Ocean Radio, provides coverage of a broad spectrum of ocean issues from science and education to advocacy and exemplary projects. World Ocean Radio, a project of the World Ocean Observatory, is a weekly series of brief audio essays available for syndicated use at no cost by community radio stations worldwide. Contact us for more information.

Image: Samples of plastic debris in the ocean.
Credit: E. Zettler, Sea Education Association

Resources from this episode:
< The Economist | Welcome to the Plastisphere
< Environmental Science & Technology | Life in the “Plastisphere”: Microbial Communities on Plastic Marine Debris
< Sea Education Association
< Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
< Marine Biological Laboratory