Micro- and nanoplastics in soil ecosystems: Analytical methods, fate, and effects

Yu Wang, Leilei Xiang, Wulf Amelung, Martin Elsner, Jay Gan, Stephan Kueppers, Laforsch Christian, Xin Jiang, Joseph Adu-Gyamfi, Lee Heng, Yong Sik Ok, Natalia P. Ivleva, Yongming Luo, Damià Barceló, Andreas Schäffer, Fang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


As emerging contaminants, microplastics and nanoplastics (MPs/NPs) are increasingly widespread in soil environment. The present paper reviews available analytical methods for detecting MPs/NPs in soil and plants, and examines the migration processes of MPs/NPs at multiple interfaces as well as the potential toxic effects of MPs/NPs. Without standard methods to trace MPs/NPs in different environmental compartments, indoor simulation experiments were mainly adopted in previous studies, differing greatly from MPs/NPs in actual environments. Therefore, we propose that new research should particularly 1) focus on realistic environmental concentrations and surrogates that mimic types, shapes, and sizes of MPs/NPs in natural environments; 2) develop novel methods to improve our understanding of multi-interface migration and transformation of MPs/NPs in the soil-plant system; and 3) advance towards an in-depth assessment of potential toxic effects of MPs/NPs on soil organisms to provide a scientific basis for the effective control of MPs/NPs pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117309
JournalTrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Ecological risk
  • Plant
  • Plastic pollution
  • Plastics
  • Soil health
  • Soil organisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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