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Effects of diesel and lubricant oils on Antarctic benthic microbial communities over five years


Powell, S and Stark, JS and Snape, E and Woolfenden, ENM and Bowman, JP and Riddle, MJ, Effects of diesel and lubricant oils on Antarctic benthic microbial communities over five years, Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 61, (2) pp. 119-127. ISSN 0948-3055 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright © 2010 Inter-Research.

DOI: doi:10.3354/ame01441


A 5 yr field experiment was carried out comparing the effects of Special Antarctic Blend (SAB) diesel, synthetic lubricant (Mobil 0W40), used synthetic lubricant (used Mobil 0W40) and a biodegradable lubricant (Titan GT1) on Antarctic benthic microbial communities. Sediment from an uncontaminated site was collected, spiked with one of the oils and deployed in O’Brien Bay, East Antarctica. Sediment samples were then collected over 5 yr. All the oils caused changes in the microbial community in the top 1 cm of sediment, as determined by 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) gene-based terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. The greatest effect was observed in the SAB diesel treatment. The biodegradable oil did not have a significant effect on the communities initially, but the communities present at 2 and 5 yr were significantly different to the controls. The unused and used lubricants were both significantly different to the control treatment. All the oils degraded, with 39% of the SAB, 15% of the unused lubricant, 15% of the used lubricant and 12% of the biodegradable oil, remaining after 5 yr. These results show that the effects of all these oils will be evident in the Antarctic benthic ecosystem for longer than 5 yr. This highlights the need for studies into the longevity and ecotoxicology of oil products in the Antarctic environment.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Biodegradable lubricant · Synthetic lubricant · Diesel · T-RFLP · Bacteria
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)
ID Code:65210
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2010-10-13
Last Modified:2011-04-14
Downloads:14 View Download Statistics

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