A deep-sea trench is a plastic dump — and a biodiversity hotspot

Plastic bags and wrappers host a thriving community of ocean creatures.

Researchers at Xiamen University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Sanya collected 33 pieces of plastic at depths of 820–3,200 metres in the Western Pacific Ocean and found that they were carrying nearly 1,200 individual organisms representing 49 species of bottom-dwelling organism. Prominent among them were jellyfish polyps — a stage of the animal’s life cycle in which it is fixed to a surface — and the juveniles of shelled organisms called brachiopods, but the team also found free-living creatures such as deep-sea snails and parasitic flatworms.

For more information please see Nature Journal: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00138-4

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