Ecology: The garbage vortex becomes living space

Huge plastic islands, also known as garbage vortices, float in the world’s oceans: tens of thousands of tons of plastic waste, which in the North Pacific, for example, is moved in circles for years by large ocean currents until it drifts to the coast or sinks into the deep sea. A work by Linsey Haram of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater and her team in Nature Communications showsthat this flotsam is not only colonized by animals, but that it even opens up completely new habitats for actual coastal dwellers.

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