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Immediate ecotoxicological effects of short-lived oil spills on marine biota
Brussaard, C.P.D.; Peperzak, L.; Beggah, S.; Wick, L.Y.; Wuerz, B.; Weber, J.; Arey, J.S.; Van der Burg, B.; Jonas, A.; Huisman, J.; van der Meer, J.R. (2016). Immediate ecotoxicological effects of short-lived oil spills on marine biota. Nature Comm. 7(11206): 11 pp.
In: Nature Communications. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2041-1723, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Brussaard, C.P.D., more
  • Peperzak, L., more
  • Beggah, S.
  • Wick, L.Y.
  • Wuerz, B.
  • Weber, J.
  • Arey, J.S.
  • Van der Burg, B.
  • Jonas, A.
  • Huisman, J.
  • van der Meer, J.R.

    Marine environments are frequently exposed to oil spills as a result of transportation, oildrilling or fuel usage. Whereas large oil spills and their effects have been widely documented,more common and recurrent small spills typically escape attention. To fill this important gapin the assessment of oil-spill effects, we performed two independent supervised full seareleases of 5 m3of crude oil, complemented by on-board mesocosm studies and sampling ofaccidentally encountered slicks. Using rapid on-board biological assays, we detect highbioavailability and toxicity of dissolved and dispersed oil within 24 h after the spills, occurringfairly deep (8 m) below the slicks. Selective decline of marine plankton is observed, equallyrelevant for early stages of larger spills. Our results demonstrate that, contrary to commonthinking, even small spills have immediate adverse biological effects and their recurrentnature is likely to affect marine ecosystem functioning.

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