Plastic is annihilating aquatic insects



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Plastic is annihilating aquatic insects

Plastic pollution consists of the dispersion and accumulation of plastic materials in the environment, which causes problems for the habitat of wild fauna and flora, as well as for humans. This type of pollution can affect the air, soil, rivers, lakes and oceans.

The importance of the phenomenon derives from the cheapness of plastic, its diffusion, its widespread use in various sectors of activity and its high persistence over time. The research The impacts of plastics on aquatic insects, published on the The Science of the total environment, said: "Environmental contamination by plastics and its negative effect on biodiversity have been well-documented in several types of organisms, especially in marine environments, it is necessary to assess the impacts of plastic on other organisms such as aquatic insects, which predominantly inhabit freshwaters.

It is widely known that these organisms are sensitive to environmental change, especially by contamination. Therefore, this study aimed at testing the hypothesis that aquatic insects are impacted by plastic contamination. We made a systematic search for international papers related to plastics and aquatic insects in databases such as Google Scholar, Web of Science, and Scopus.

We obtained 1217 studies of which 40 discussed the impacts of contamination by plastics on aquatic insects. We identified two main impacts: the first one is caused by the use of black m acroplastic to protect crops from contact with the soil in agriculture.

These black macroplastics attract tons of adult aquatic insects (terrestrial stage) that mistake the plastic surface for water because they select oviposition sites through phototaxis or polarotaxis. The second one comes from water contamination that can originate from the inadequate disposal of plastics, which harms young aquatic insects (aquatic phase) when they feed, reproduce, and construct shelters.

Our results show the negative impacts of plastics on both larvae and adult aquatic insects. Despite the large knowledge gap regarding the impacts of plastic on aquatic insects, the evidence above is sufficient to consider these important organisms in global discussions regarding the impacts of plastic on biodiversity. "