Articles | Volume 8, issue 1
Original research article
29 Jun 2022
Original research article |  | 29 Jun 2022

Polyester microplastic fibers affect soil physical properties and erosion as a function of soil type

Rosolino Ingraffia, Gaetano Amato, Vincenzo Bagarello, Francesco G. Carollo, Dario Giambalvo, Massimo Iovino, Anika Lehmann, Matthias C. Rillig, and Alfonso S. Frenda

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Cited articles

Alimi, O. S., Farner Budarz, J., Hernandez, L. M., and Tufenkji, N.: Microplastics and Nanoplastics in Aquatic Environments: Aggregation, Deposition, and Enhanced Contaminant Transport, Environ. Sci. Technol., 52, 1704–1724,, 2018. 
Bagarello, V. and Ferro, V.: Plot-scale measurement of soil erosion at the experimental area of Sparacia (southern Italy), Hydrol. Process., 18, 141–157,, 2004. 
Bagarello, V., Ferro, V., and Flanagan, D.: Predicting plot soil loss by empirical and process-oriented approaches. A review, J. Agr. Eng., 49, 1–18, 2018. 
Bergami, E., Rota, E., Caruso, T., Birarda, G., Vaccari, L., and Corsi, I.: Plastics everywhere: first evidence of polystyrene fragments inside the common Antarctic collembolan Cryptopygus antarcticus, Biol. Lett., 16, 20200093,, 2020. 
Boix-Fayos, C., Martínez-Mena, M., Arnau-Rosalén, E., Calvo-Cases, A., Castillo, V., and Albaladejo, J.: Measuring soil erosion by field plots: Understanding the sources of variation, Earth-Sci. Rev., 3–4, 267–285,, 2006. 
Short summary
The presence of microplastics in soil environments has received increased attention, but little research exists on the effects on different soil types and soil water erosion. We performed two experiments on the effects of polyester microplastic fiber on soil properties, soil aggregation, and soil erosion in three agricultural soils. Results showed that polyester microplastic fibers affect the formation of new aggregates and soil erosion and that such effects are strongly dependent on soil type.