HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Low-level oil spills can cause serious damage

The ecological effects of low-level oil spills may be more serious than previously thought, according to a Princeton-led study that documented the widespread death of marine iguanas on a Galapagos island.

In a report published in the June 6 issue of Nature, biologist Martin Wikelski and colleagues reported that 62 percent of the marine iguanas on the Galapagos island of Santa Fe died within a year after a grounded tanker dumped nearly 800,000 gallons of oil into nearby waters.

The consequences of the spill had been thought to be relatively mild because strong currents dispersed the oil. In the immediate aftermath, it seemed that the lives of all but a few marine animals were spared. The researchers' findings suggest that the iguanas died because oil killed off a beneficial microorganism that lives in the animals' guts and helps them digest their diet of seaweed. The iguana populations on other Galapagos islands that were not affected by the spill did not suffer declines during the same period.

"Our results illustrate the severe effects that low-level environmental contamination can have on wild animal populations," Wikelski and colleagues wrote. "Our findings warn against complacency over apparently low-impact contamination after environmental disasters in other wildlife areas, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska."

Wikelski's research confirmed a dire prediction he had made based on results of his earlier work with the iguanas. In an ongoing study, Wikelski and colleagues had shown that iguanas that died because of famine had increased blood levels of the stress hormone corticosterone in the weeks before their death. By coincidence, the researchers had tested the corticosterone levels in the iguanas just three days before the tanker Jessica ran aground on San Cristbal Island on Jan. 17, 2001. They returned after the accident and found that the levels had increased dramatically, leading Wikelski to p
'"/>

Contact: Steven Schultz
sschultz@princeton.edu
609-258-5729
Princeton University
5-Jun-2002


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Virginia Tech study may help develop more effective clean up of gasoline spills
2. Burning now an option to clean up ocean oil spills previously thought incombustible
3. Purdue researchers clean up petroleum spills with plants
4. Climate change plus human pressure caused large mammal extinctions in late Pleistocene
5. Researchers determine genetic cause of Timothy syndrome
6. Cigarette smoke causes breaks in DNA and defects to a cells chromosomes, Pitt study finds
7. Marijuana use could cause tubal pregnancies
8. Pollutant causes delayed flowering in plants
9. A probable cause for high blood pressure identified - shows links with diabetes
10. Disruption of protein-folding causes neurodegeneration, mental retardation
11. Researchers discover why mutant gene causes colon cancer

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/10/2018)... ... December 10, 2018 , ... Today, RoosterBio Inc. and Tissue ... of accelerating the development of the Regenerative Medicine field. This alliance will ... around human umbilical cord perivascular cells (HUCPVCs). Together, it is anticipated that ...
(Date:12/5/2018)... British Columbia (PRWEB) , ... December 05, 2018 ... ... The Royal Society of Medicine’s Photodynamic Therapy symposium 2018, London, England. The 2018 ... addressed the scientific basis of PDT and its benefits in clinical practice across ...
(Date:12/5/2018)... (PRWEB) , ... December 04, 2018 , ... ... sciences and diagnostics companies, announces the placement of Michael Mercer at Karius, Inc. ... business strategy, Mr. Mercer will be based at Karius' headquarters in Redwood City, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/13/2018)... ... December 12, 2018 , ... RURO, Inc., a leading provider ... ML (Machine Learning) addition for its Limfinity® 7 framework. , Limfinity® ML ... the module, trained models make predictions based on user inputs; the result of ...
(Date:12/5/2018)... ... December 05, 2018 , ... Leading authority on how ... how-to guide with his “The Referral Playbook: How to Increase Sales with Proven ... book proceeds will go to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA). , Itzkowich ...
(Date:11/29/2018)... ... ... RAGS, today announced the closing of a $1.5 million Second Seed round investment. ... board member Jeremy Andrus, CEO of Traeger Grills, as well as James Ho of ... to accelerate its growth and expand the product line. RAGS has now raised a ...
(Date:11/20/2018)... ... November 19, 2018 , ... ... the release of the Chinese translation of Best Practices: Recommendations for Repositories, Fourth ... practice-changing publication aimed at advancing the science of biobanking to meet the needs ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: