Title

Using Dispersants after Oil Spills: Impacts on the Composition and Activity of Microbial Communities

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2015

Keywords

Microbial communities, Environmental microbiology, Microbial ecology, Policy and public health in microbiology, Water microbiology

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro3452

Abstract

Dispersants are globally and routinely applied as an emergency response to oil spills in marine ecosystems with the goal of chemically enhancing the dissolution of oil into water, which is assumed to stimulate microbially mediated oil biodegradation. However, little is known about how dispersants affect the composition of microbial communities or their biodegradation activities. The published findings are controversial, probably owing to variations in laboratory methods, the selected model organisms and the chemistry of different dispersant–oil mixtures. Here, we argue that an in-depth assessment of the impacts of dispersants on microorganisms is needed to evaluate the planning and use of dispersants during future responses to oil spills.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Nature Reviews Microbiology, v. 13, issue 6, p. 388–396

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