Plastic marine debris is one of the world’s newest ecosystems, and scientists have just begun to understand how microbes are settling into their new island homes.
By Shanna Baker
At the end of a dock in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Erik Zettler hauls up a streaming mass of glistening green and brown sea life. Without a single errant splash on his freshly pressed khakis, he ties the whole pile to the underside of a rickety A-frame ladder serving as a temporary rack.
Somewhere, suspended within a steel, urn-shaped basket hidden underneath the thick carpet of gooey, colonizing sea squirts and sponges, there’s evidence of one of our planet’s newest ecosystems: The Plastisphere. Read more …