Abstract: Microplastics (MPs) co-occur widely with diverse contaminants in soils. However, few data are available on their impacts on soil chemical and microbial properties of heavy metal-contaminated soils. For the first time, we investigated the changes in chemical and microbial properties of a Pb-Zn-contaminated soil as induced by six different MPs, including polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), polyamide (PA), polylactic acid (PLA), polybutylene succinate (PBS), and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), at two doses (0.2% and 2%, w/w). After 120 days of soil incubation, significant changes were observed in soil pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), NH4+-N, NO3−-N, available P, the availability of Zn and Pb, and the activities of soil enzymes. Overall, MPs especially at the dose of 2% decreased the richness and diversity of bacterial communities and altered microbial community composition, causing special enrichments of specific taxa. MPs increased predicted functional genes involved in xenobiotics biodegradation and metabolism. Generally, impacts were dependent on MPs’ type and dose. Changes in soil properties and heavy metal availability had significant correlations with bacterial community diversity and composition. Our findings imply that MPs co-occurring with heavy metals may change metal mobility, soil fertility, and microbial diversity and functions, thus causing a potential threat to soil ecosystem multifunctionality.
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