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Spills of fuel oil #6 and Orimulsion can have indistinguishable effects on the benthic meiofauna
Suderman, K.; Thistle, D. (2003). Spills of fuel oil #6 and Orimulsion can have indistinguishable effects on the benthic meiofauna. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 46: 49-55
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Suderman, K.
  • Thistle, D.

Abstract
    Fuel oil #6 is used for the production of electrical power in the United States. Orimulsion ® is being considered as an alternative fuel, but its value and risk compared to fuel oil #6 need to be assessed. Our study examined the relative impact of accidental spills of the two hydrocarbons on the meiofaunal community. To do so, we maintained microcosms of the shallow, sandy, subtidal environment for three months. Treatment microcosms received a single application of hydrocarbon-coated sand. As indicators of effect, we used copepod and nematode abundance and copepod species diversity, sex ratio, fecundity, age structure, and neutral-lipid content. A comparison of the hydrocarbon treatments showed no significant differences. The tests had adequate power to detect ecologically significant changes. Our results indicate that a spill of Orimulsion would have approximately the same impact as a spill of fuel oil #6 on the meiofauna.

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