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Effects of Oil-Contaminated Sediments on Submerged Vegetation: An Experimental Assessment of Ruppia maritima.

Martin CW, Hollis LO, Turner RE - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We found significant reductions in inflorescences and fruiting bodies at higher oil concentrations.A second experiment was performed to separate the effects of root morphology and oiled sediment properties and indicated that there were also changes to sediment cohesion that contributed to a reduction in uprooting forces in medium and high oil.Moreover, areas containing buried oil may be more susceptible to high energy storm events due to the reduction in uprooting force of foundation species such as R. maritima.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, School of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Oil spills threaten the productivity of ecosystems through the degradation of coastal flora and the ecosystem services these plants provide. While lab and field investigations have quantified the response of numerous species of emergent vegetation to oil, the effects on submerged vegetation remain uncertain. Here, we discuss the implications of oil exposure for Ruppia maritima, one of the most common species of submerged vegetation found in the region affected by the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We grew R. maritima in a range of manipulated sediment oil concentrations: 0, 0.26, 0.53, and 1.05 mL oil /L tank volume, and tracked changes in growth (wet weight and shoot density/length), reproductive activity (inflorescence and seed production), root characteristics (mass, length, diameter, and area), and uprooting force of plants. While no statistical differences were detected in growth, plants exhibited significant changes to reproductive output, root morphology, and uprooting force. We found significant reductions in inflorescences and fruiting bodies at higher oil concentrations. In addition, the roots growing in the high oil were shorter and wider. Plants in medium and high oil required less force to uproot. A second experiment was performed to separate the effects of root morphology and oiled sediment properties and indicated that there were also changes to sediment cohesion that contributed to a reduction in uprooting forces in medium and high oil. Given the importance of sexual reproduction for these plants, oil contamination may have substantial population-level effects. Moreover, areas containing buried oil may be more susceptible to high energy storm events due to the reduction in uprooting force of foundation species such as R. maritima.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Changes in in the uprooting force required to remove inert plastic beads over time buried in the four different oil treatments: none (white diamond), low (gray square), medium (dark gray triangle), and high (black circle).Letters indicate statistically-significant results (N = 12 per treatment at each time interval).
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pone.0138797.g005: Changes in in the uprooting force required to remove inert plastic beads over time buried in the four different oil treatments: none (white diamond), low (gray square), medium (dark gray triangle), and high (black circle).Letters indicate statistically-significant results (N = 12 per treatment at each time interval).

Mentions: An additional observation indicated that soil strength was significantly altered by oil (F3,279 = 106.51; p≤ 0.001) (Fig 5), with less force required to uproot beads in medium (~0.33 N) and high oil treatments (~0.33 N) than in the none (~0.93 N) and low oil treatment (~0.91 N). Post hoc tests indicated that soil cohesion in the medium and high oil treatments were statistically indistinguishable (p = 0.998), but both were different than low and medium oil treatments (p≤ 0.001). Low and medium oil levels were not significantly different from each other (p = 0.98). This trend was consistent over the 5 week course of the experiment.


Effects of Oil-Contaminated Sediments on Submerged Vegetation: An Experimental Assessment of Ruppia maritima.

Martin CW, Hollis LO, Turner RE - PLoS ONE (2015)

Changes in in the uprooting force required to remove inert plastic beads over time buried in the four different oil treatments: none (white diamond), low (gray square), medium (dark gray triangle), and high (black circle).Letters indicate statistically-significant results (N = 12 per treatment at each time interval).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4592016&req=5

pone.0138797.g005: Changes in in the uprooting force required to remove inert plastic beads over time buried in the four different oil treatments: none (white diamond), low (gray square), medium (dark gray triangle), and high (black circle).Letters indicate statistically-significant results (N = 12 per treatment at each time interval).
Mentions: An additional observation indicated that soil strength was significantly altered by oil (F3,279 = 106.51; p≤ 0.001) (Fig 5), with less force required to uproot beads in medium (~0.33 N) and high oil treatments (~0.33 N) than in the none (~0.93 N) and low oil treatment (~0.91 N). Post hoc tests indicated that soil cohesion in the medium and high oil treatments were statistically indistinguishable (p = 0.998), but both were different than low and medium oil treatments (p≤ 0.001). Low and medium oil levels were not significantly different from each other (p = 0.98). This trend was consistent over the 5 week course of the experiment.

Bottom Line: We found significant reductions in inflorescences and fruiting bodies at higher oil concentrations.A second experiment was performed to separate the effects of root morphology and oiled sediment properties and indicated that there were also changes to sediment cohesion that contributed to a reduction in uprooting forces in medium and high oil.Moreover, areas containing buried oil may be more susceptible to high energy storm events due to the reduction in uprooting force of foundation species such as R. maritima.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, School of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Oil spills threaten the productivity of ecosystems through the degradation of coastal flora and the ecosystem services these plants provide. While lab and field investigations have quantified the response of numerous species of emergent vegetation to oil, the effects on submerged vegetation remain uncertain. Here, we discuss the implications of oil exposure for Ruppia maritima, one of the most common species of submerged vegetation found in the region affected by the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We grew R. maritima in a range of manipulated sediment oil concentrations: 0, 0.26, 0.53, and 1.05 mL oil /L tank volume, and tracked changes in growth (wet weight and shoot density/length), reproductive activity (inflorescence and seed production), root characteristics (mass, length, diameter, and area), and uprooting force of plants. While no statistical differences were detected in growth, plants exhibited significant changes to reproductive output, root morphology, and uprooting force. We found significant reductions in inflorescences and fruiting bodies at higher oil concentrations. In addition, the roots growing in the high oil were shorter and wider. Plants in medium and high oil required less force to uproot. A second experiment was performed to separate the effects of root morphology and oiled sediment properties and indicated that there were also changes to sediment cohesion that contributed to a reduction in uprooting forces in medium and high oil. Given the importance of sexual reproduction for these plants, oil contamination may have substantial population-level effects. Moreover, areas containing buried oil may be more susceptible to high energy storm events due to the reduction in uprooting force of foundation species such as R. maritima.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus