Chronic effects of oil spill on soil properties and microflora of a rainforest ecosystem in Nigeria
- Cite this article as:
- Amadi, A., Abbey, S.D. & Nma, A. Water Air Soil Pollut (1996) 86: 1. doi:10.1007/BF00279142
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Soil and microbiological properties of a tropical rain forest soil were evaluated 17 years after oil spillage to access the chronic effects of, and interrelationship between population of petroleum hydrocarbon utilizing and nitrifying microorganisms. The spatial distribution of petroleum hydrocarbons (oil), the nutrient status and the abundance of heterotrophic microbes along soil transect lines in the contaminated zones served as the index for corroborating the results. The pH status of soil in the contaminated (Heavy impact — HI, and moderate inpact — MI) zones varied from acidic, that is 4.0 to near neutral PH, that is 6.0. The C content of soils decreased from 3.6% at the HI zones to 2.84% at the MI zones. Total N in the HI and MI zones differed by a factor of 0.10%. Available P was higher at the MI than HI zone, while CEC decreased from a combined mean of 6.48 at the HI zones to 4.46 at the MI zones. Although residual oil content was higher in the HI zones than MI zone, the soil nutrient status within these two zones did not vary significantly (P=0.05). However, soil microbes responded differently. For instance, petroleum hydrocarbon utilizers correlated positively with the distribution of oil in the environment. But, not the nitrifying microorganisms. Aerobic nitrifiers were abundant at the HI than MI zones, while anaerobic nitrifiers were higher at the MI than HI zones. With the presence of petroleum hydrocarbon utilizers anf nitrifying microbes. It is possible to enhance the degradation of oil in the 17 yr old spillage by adopting bioremediation.