The increasing quantity of plastic waste in the ocean is providing a growing and more widespread novel habitat for microbes. Plastics have taxonomically distinct microbial communities (termed the 'Plastisphere') and can raft these unique communities over great distances. In order to understand the Plastisphere properly it will be important to work out how major ocean changes (such as warming, acidification and deoxygenation) are shaping microbial communities on waste plastics in marine environments. Here, we show that common plastic drinking bottles rapidly become colonized by novel biofilm-forming bacterial communities, and that ocean acidification greatly influences the composition of plastic biofilm assemblages. We highlight the potential implications of this community shift in a coastal community exposed to enriched CO2 conditions.
In order to allow full comparability with other ocean acidification data sets, the R package seacarb (Gattuso et al, 2020) was used to compute a complete and consistent set of carbonate system variables, as described by Nisumaa et al. (2010). In this dataset the original values were archived in addition with the recalculated parameters (see related PI). The date of carbonate chemistry calculation by seacarb is 2020-11-30.