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Pétrole et écosystèmes marins = Oil spills and marine ecosystems
Pavillon, J.-F. (2008). Pétrole et écosystèmes marins = Oil spills and marine ecosystems, in: Oudot, J. (Ed.) Pollution pétrolière et océan. Séminaire de l'Institut océanographique de Paris, Mardi 3 février 2004. Océanis (Paris), 30-4 (2004): pp. 491-576
In: Oudot, J. (Ed.) (2008). Pollution pétrolière et océan. Séminaire de l'Institut océanographique de Paris, Mardi 3 février 2004. Océanis (Paris), 30-4 (2004). Institut Océanographique: Paris. 445-598 pp., more
In: Océanis (Paris). Institut Océanographique: Paris. ISSN 0182-0745, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Author 
Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    oil, oil spills, marine ecosystems, Amoco Cadiz, Exxon Valdez

Author  Top 
  • Pavillon, J.-F.

Abstract
    At present, more importance is placed on the economic consequences of oil spills rather than on the actual environmental damage. A global evaluation of the effects of oil spills on the marine ecosystem would ideally combine knowledge of the effects to the whole community, modification of biotope quality and changes to population dynamics. The factors that need to be taken into account in establishing such an evaluation include: sensitivity of species exposed directly and indirectly and their habitat type; nature and quantity of oil spill; time taken for oil to reach the coast; season during which the oil spill took place; hydrologic and meteorological conditions; frequency and length of exposure to oil; nature and effectiveness of intervention measures, dispersal agents used; bio-restoration and magnitude of mechanical intervention. The first studies carried out to assess the effects of oil on marine ecosystems were performed in the laboratory forty years ago, under controlled and confined conditions. In general, data on natural variation in marine communities are absent, making before and after oil spill comparisons practically impossible. The most detailed studies of oil spills impacts on the marine ecosystem, such as those of the Amoco Cadiz or Exxon Valdez spills, which occurred twenty-seven and about fifteen years ago respectively, turned out to be rather reassuring revealing that the ecosystem has the capacity to recover after about five to ten years.

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