Spatial Distributions, Compositional Profiles, Potential Sources, and Intfluencing Factors of Microplastics in Soils from Different Agricultural Farmlands in China: A National Perspective

Environ Sci Technol. 2022 Nov 23. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.2c07621. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

More attention has been paid to ubiquitous microplastics (MPs). As a major food producer, the situation of MPs in China's farmland is of even greater concern. Spatial distributions, characteristics, and compositions of MPs in five types of agricultural lands with representative crops were investigated by collecting 477 soil samples from 109 cities in 31 administrative regions of mainland China. To better control MPs in farmland, nearly 400 field questionnaires were obtained, and meteorological conditions, soil properties, and other statistics were collected to quantify potential sources and determine influencing factors. The average abundances of MPs was 2462 ± 3767 items/kg in the agricultural soils, and MP abundance in the greenhouses, farmlands with film mulching, and blank farmlands from four integrated physical geographic regions were determined. The contributions of agricultural films, livestock and poultry manures, irrigation water, and air deposition to MPs in farmlands have been calculated. Influencing factors, such as recovery method, plowing frequency, meteorological conditions, and part of soil properties, were significantly correlated with the abundances of MPs in the agricultural soils (p < 0.05), while mulching age mainly affected MPs in the greenhouses (p < 0.05). This study provides basic scientific data for decision-making and further analysis.

Keywords: altitude; irrigation water; livestock and poultry manure application; meteorological condition; plastic mulching age; plowing frequency; recovery method; soil property.