Anoxic–oxic oscillations are commonly found in nature, for example, at water–sediment interfaces or in bioturbated sediments. These fluctuating environmental conditions influence the microbial dynamic and thus affect the role of microorganism on the degradation of organic compounds such as hydrocarbons. Little attention has been dedicated to this phenomenon, and therefore, the knowledge on how the anoxic–oxic oscillations may affect the fate of hydrocarbons, their associated toxicity, and the native microbial communities in chronically contaminated environments is still scarce. In order to characterize the ecological responses of hydrocarbonoclastic microbial communities to fluctuating conditions, we present here a protocol describing the incubation of oil-polluted sediments in bioreactors with anoxic–oxic oscillations, coupled with exposure to crude oil.
Anoxic–oxic oscillations Bioreactors systems Environmental fluctuations Hydrocarbons biodegradation Microbial communities
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We acknowledge the support of the urban community of Pau-Pyrénées (France), the French program EC2CO CNRS-INSU (Diverdhy Project), and ANR DECAPAGE (project ANR-CESA-2011-006 01). We would like to thank all partners of the DECAPAGE project and MELODY group for their useful discussions.
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