My research work and expertise focus on soil ecotoxicology. Currently I work as a postdoctoral researcher in the international project IMPASSE – Impacts of Microplastics in Agro Systems and Stream Environments.
Microplastics are defined as plastic particles with a size less than 5 mm.
Microplastics have been found to accumulate in higher trophic levels of marine food webs and induce adverse effects on aquatic organisms. Microplastics can also contain additives, such as plasticisers and flame retardants, or they can adsorb contaminants from the surrounding medium and thus serve as a carrier of harmful substances to organisms. While it is acknowledged globally that microplastics in the oceans are a serious environmental hazard, the appearance and impacts of microplastics in terrestrial environments are hardly known.
I am studying the effects and accumulation of microplastics and their additive chemicals in soil invertebrates. Microplastics can enter agricultural soils from various sources, such as plastic mulching, atmospheric deposition and sewage sludge and biosolids used as fertilizers. Soil fauna, in turn, may serve as a pathway of microplastics and their additive chemicals to terrestrial food web above the ground. The final goal of IMPASSE is to find solutions towards more sustainable agriculture.
Selonen S, Setälä H (2017) Nutrient leaching, soil pH and changes in microbial community increase with time in lead-contaminated boreal forest soil at a shooting range area. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 24:5415-5425.
Selonen S, Setälä H (2015) Soil processes and tree growth at shooting ranges in a boreal forest reflect contamination history and lead-induced changes in soil food webs. Science of the Total Environment 518-519:320-327.
Selonen S, Liiri M, Setälä H (2014) Can the soil fauna of boreal forests recover from lead-derived stress in a shooting range area? Ecotoxicology 23:437-448.
Selonen S, Liiri M, Strömmer R, Setälä H (2012) The fate of lead at abandoned and active shooting ranges in a boreal pine forest. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31(12): 2771-2779.
Haimi J, Knott KE, Selonen S, Laurikainen M (2006) Has long-term metal exposure induced changes in life history traits and genetic diversity of the enchytraeid worm Cognettia sphagnetorum (Vejd.)? Environmental Pollution 140 (3):463-470.