Capacity of Ecosystems to Degrade Anthropogenic Chemicals
Pollution of ecosystems by a constantly increasing load of anthropogenic chemicals is a major driver of ecosystem service risk. This chapter summarizes relevant abiotic and biotic processes that determine the persistence, degradation, and ultimate destination of anthropogenic chemicals. It also summarizes research challenges for predicting the ability of an ecosystem to biodegrade an anthropogenic chemical by addressing the following questions: “What makes a chemical available for biodegradation?” and “What makes an ecosystem capable of biodegradation?”
KeywordsOrganic chemicals Biodegradation Bioavailability Microbial networks Biodiversity Sustainable chemistry
This contribution was funded by and contributes to the research topic Chemicals in the Environment (CITE) within the Research Program Terrestrial Environment of the Helmholtz Association.
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