Microbial Ecology of Marine Environments Chronically Polluted by Petroleum

  • Cristiana Cravo-Laureau
  • Robert DuranEmail author
Reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)


The marine environment receives continuous input of petroleum hydrocarbons from natural and anthropogenic sources leading to chronically polluted sites. Several studies have demonstrated the adaptation mechanisms of microorganisms to tolerate and/or degrade petroleum hydrocarbons, resulting in altered microbial community composition. This chapter presents information about the microbial assemblages in marine environments chronically contaminated with petroleum and the physical-chemical factors driving their organization. Microbial sentinels are proposed from microbial community studies, drawing on global patterns, as potential indicators of the recovery of the contaminated ecosystems.



We thank the support of the French National Research Agency (ANR) for their support through the DECAPAGE (ANR 2011 CESA 006 01) project. We would like to thank all partners of the DECAPAGE project and MELODY group for their useful discussions.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Equipe Environnement et Microbiologie, MELODY groupUniversité de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, IPREM UMR CNRS 5254PauFrance

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