Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2010, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (9): 1095-1106.DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2010.09.010

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Short-term toxic effects of crude oil pollution on marine phytoplankton community

HUANG Yi-Jun; JIANG Zhi-Bing; ZENG Jiang-Ning; and CHEN Quan-Zhen*   

  1. Key Laboratory of Marine Ecosystem and Biogeochemistry of State Oceanic Administration, The Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, Hangzhou 310012, China
  • Received:2009-09-21 Online:2010-09-01 Published:2010-10-08
  • Contact: CHEN Quan-Zhen

Abstract: Aims Oil contamination in marine environments poses a significant threat to marine life, especially phytoplankton. We simulate oil contamination on the natural phytoplankton community and study species changes in the community. Our objectives are to determine influences of oil pollution on the ecology of marine phytoplankton and to provide basic data for the assessment of losses in marine ecosystems caused by oil spills and oil pollution. Methods In four seasons from November 2008 to July 2009, we collected phytoplankton from Yueqing Bay in China’s Zhejiang Province. We chose eight levels of crude oil water accommodated fraction (WAF) to perform 14-day culture experiments of phytoplankton under different WAF stresses. We measured phytoplankton cell density and identified species every 24 h. Important findings Diversity (H), evenness (J), species number (S) and species composition of phytoplankton were significantly influenced by crude oil WAF in all four seasons. Values of S and H in crude oil WAF groups were all lower than in control groups, but there were no significant differences in J. The influences of crude oil WAF on dominant species of phytoplankton were different among seasons, concentrations, and species. Under high levels of crude oil WAF (≥ 2.28 mg·L–1), dominance of Skeletonema costatum increased in the four seasons, while dominance of Nitzschia longissima decreased in all seasons except autumn. Dominance of Prorocentrum minimum first increased and then decreased, while dominance of Pleurosigma sp. and Melosira moniliformis decreased in autumn and winter. Under low levels of crude oil WAF (≤ 1.16 mg·L–1), dominance of S. costatum decreased in all seasons except autumn, N. longissima increased in spring and summer, and M. moniliformis increased in winter. With the impact of crude oil WAF, species with r-strategy may gradually replace species with k-strategy, thus leading to abnormal succession.