, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 594-600
Date: 03 Nov 2010

Effects of crude oil on marine microbial communities in short term outdoor microcosms

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To assess the effects of crude oil spills on marine microbial communities, 10 L outdoor microcosms were manipulated over an exposure period of 8 days. The responses of microbial organisms exposed to five crude oil concentrations in 10 to 10,000 ppm (v/v) were monitored in the microcosms. The abundance of microalgae and copepods decreased rapidly upon the addition of crude oil at concentrations over 1,000 ppm, whereas the total density of heterotrophic bacteria increased dramatically at the higher concentrations. Bacterial diversity, determined by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, was increased at higher concentrations. In particular, the intensity of the bands representing Jannaschia sp. and Sulfitobacter brevis increased with the addition of oil. These results indicate that crude oil spills with concentrations over 1,000 ppm seriously affected the structure of the microbial communities.