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Effects of oil and dispersed oil on temperate seagrass: scaling of pollution impacts

This report is a summary of research conducted into the effects of oil and dispersed oil on temperate seagrass using a range of in situ and laboratory experiments on whole plants and seagrass leaf blade sections.

Apart from assessing the effects of oil and dispersed oil on seagrass between seasons, locations, and morphologically different species, the research also investigated whether laboratory results could be indicative of those obtained in situ.

The findings of this study are that non-dispersed oil, in general, leads to less photosynthetic stress to Zostera capricorni and Halophila ovalis compared with the addition of a chemical dispersant. When the addition of a chemical dispersant is deemed necessary to protect other resources in the area, the seagrass may still recover depending on the dispersant used.

Author 

Kim Wilson and Professor Peter Ralph

Last Updated: 

18 March 2019