EFFECTS OF PETROLEUM POLLUTANTS ON ARCTIC MICROBIAL POPULATIONS

Microorganisms encounter oil in the Arctic from natural seepages and accidental spillages. Incubation of Prudhoe crude oil with water from coastal ponds along Prudhoe Bay resulted in several changes in the microbial communities. Bacterial populations increased by several orders of magnitude; amoeboid protozoa were replaced by flagellated protozoa; coccoid green algae completely disappeared; diatoms increased and blue-green and green filamentous algae appeared to be unaffected. The microbial populations associated with a natural oil seepage at Cape Simpson were markedly different from those of the adjacent areas. The seep were devoid of vascular plant cover and, in some areas, of bacteria. Fungi were found to be abundant in the bacteria-free regions. Lichens flourished in the older sections. Underlying oil slicks experimentally floated in Prudhoe Bay, the bacterial population increased in large part attributable to oil degrading Pseudomonads, but species diversity appeared to be unaffected.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Applied Science Publishers Limited

    22 Rippleside Commercial Estate, Ripple Road
    Barking, Essex,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Atlas, R
    • Schofield, E A
    • Morelli, F A
    • Cameron, R E
  • Publication Date: 1976-1

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00139419
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Engineering Index
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 16 1976 12:00AM