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A comparison of the short term effects of diesel fuel and lubricant oils on Antarctic benthic microbial communities


Powell, S and Snape, I and Bowman, JP and Thompson, BAW and Stark, JS and McCammon, SA and Riddle, MJ, A comparison of the short term effects of diesel fuel and lubricant oils on Antarctic benthic microbial communities, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 322, (1) pp. 53-65. ISSN 0022-0981 (2005) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2005.02.005


The effects of diesel fuel and three lubricating oils on microbial communities in marine sediment were investigated in a field experiment at Casey Station, Antarctica. Sediment from a pristine site in Antarctica was treated with either Special Antarctic Blend (SAB) diesel, a synthetic lubricant (Mobil 0W-40), the same lubricant after use in a vehicle or an equivalent unused biodegradable lubricant (Titan GT1). The sediment was re-deployed in trays on the seabed for 5 weeks during the austral summer. The microbial community structure in the sediment upon collection, deployment and retrieval was investigated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), most probable number (MPN) counts and direct microscopic counting. It was found that only minor changes occurred in the microbial communities due to the experimental protocol. After 5 weeks however, there were significant differences between the communities in the SAB and clean and used lubricant (Mobil 0W-40) as compared to the control treatment. There was no significant difference between the control and biodegradable oil (Titan GT1) treatment. These results indicate that SAB and synthetic lubricants have a measurable effect on sediment microbial communities in the short-term. The biodegradable oil did not produce such an effect and we conclude that the use of such an oil could reduce the risks associated with oil spills in the Antarctic environment. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Microbial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Powell, S (Dr Shane Powell)
UTAS Author:Bowman, JP (Associate Professor John Bowman)
UTAS Author:Thompson, BAW (Ms Belinda Thompson)
UTAS Author:McCammon, SA (Ms Sharee McCammon)
ID Code:26871
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:29
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2005-08-01
Last Modified:2012-11-06
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