Ecology: the garbage vortex becomes a place to live

Huge plastic islands, also known as garbage swirls, are floating in the world’s oceans: tens of thousands of tons of plastic waste, which in the North Pacific Ocean, for example, is carried in circles for years by large ocean currents until it drifts ashore or sinks into the depths seas. The work of Lynsey Harram of the Smithsonian Center for Environmental Research in Edgewater and her team appears at Nature Communications.That these wrecks are not only colonized by animals, but open up entirely new habitats for actual coastal dwellers.

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