About the book
The intensive use of plastic materials has noticeably increased during the last century, leading to a rapid increase of animal habitat contamination. The size, widespread distribution and other characteristics (e.g. surface properties) of microplastics make them highly bioavailable to marine organisms, either through direct ingestion, or by trophic transfer from contaminated prey. The uptake and accumulation of nano and micrometric scale plastic particles has been documented in several biological models. However, their adverse effects on physiology as well as on organ and cell functioning are not yet deeply understood. Furthermore, it has been reported that microplastics may absorb aquatic pollutants, enhancing their bioavailability as well as acting as vectors of persistent contaminants distributed in ecosystems. This book aims to provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of toxicity mechanisms from a chemical, biochemical, physiological, behavioral and ecological point of view.