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Title: Biological aspects of terrestrial oil spills : USA CRREL oil research in Alaska, 1970-1974
Authors: United States. Army Research Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
University of Wisconsin--Madison. Department of Horticulture
Kansas State University. Department of Forestry
Deneke, Frederick J., 1942-
McCown, Brent H.
Coyne, Patrick I.
Rickard, Warren E.
Brown, Jerry, 1936-
Keywords: Alaska
Cold regions
Arctic regions
Oil pollution
Oil pollution effects on terrestrial plant communities
Oil pollution in arctic and subarctic regions
Oil spills
Microbial aspects of oil pollution
Physiological aspects of oil pollution
Oil removal
Oil decomposition
Oil detection
Soil pollution
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Research report (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)) ; 346.
Description: Research Report
Abstract: Knowledge concerning the biological effects of oil pollution on arctic and subarctic terrestrial ecosystems is limited. USA CRREL research personnel conducted investigations from 1970 through 1974 to expand information in this field. Objectives were to: 1) define the ecosystems most sensitive to the presence of crude oil or its refined products, 2) quantify and understand the injury response, and 3) establish time frames for manifestation of damage and natural restorative processes in arctic and subarctic regions. This was accomplished through: 1) surveys of natural oil seepages and past accidential spills in the Arctic and Subarctic, 2) initiation of controlled oil spills and 3) detailed laboratory investigations. Results demonstrated that terrestrial oil spills will to some degree be detrimental to both arctic and subarctic plant communities. Degree and longevity of damage will be influenced primarily by the magnitude of the spill, season of occurrence and existing soil moisture content. Rapid recovery of plant communities subjected to spills will occur only if root systems remain relatively unaffected. Damage will be more extensive and long-term when root systems are saturated with oil. Effects of damage will be manifested gradually over several seasons being influenced by winter stresses. Variation does exist in plant species susceptibility. 𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘹 𝘢𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘴, a predominant sedge of the arctic, is markedly resistant to crude oil damage. In the taiga 𝘗𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘢 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘢 is very susceptible. Plant recovery can be enhanced through the application of fertilizer. Fertilization, in addition to its direct effect on plant nutrition, will stimulate microbial decomposition of crude oil. NOTE: This file is very large. Allow your browser several minutes to download the file.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Research Report

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