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dc.contributor.authorLindstrom, Jon Eric
dc.date.accessioned2018-08-08T19:03:22Z
dc.date.available2018-08-08T19:03:22Z
dc.date.issued1997
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11122/9489
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1997
dc.description.abstractThe microbial ecology of a 1976 experimental crude oil spill in an Alaskan taiga black spruce forest was investigated in this study. Substantial oil residue remained in the soil, and several microbial parameters showed evidence of long-term oiling effects. Overall, the data suggest that the surviving community in the oiled plot has shifted toward using oil C for growth. Numbers of hydrocarbon degrading microbes, and specific hydrocarbon mineralization potentials, were significantly elevated in the oiled (OIL) plot compared to an adjacent oil-free, reference (REF) plot. Glutamate mineralization potentials and soil C mineralization, on the other hand, were not different between treatments, suggesting that OIL plot heterotrophs were well-acclimated to the oil. Despite little difference between OTL and REF soils in total C mineralized in vitro, net N mineralized was lower and net nitrification was absent in OIL soils. Analysis of the residual oil indicated minimal amounts of N were added with the spilled oil. Biomasses of total fungi and bacteria, and numbers of protozoa, showed no consistent effects due to oiling, but metabolically active fungal and bacterial biomasses were uniformally lower in OTL samples. Community-level multiple substrate metabolism (Biolog) was assessed using a new technique for extracting kinetic data from the microplates. This analysis suggested that the microbial population diversity in the OIL soils was lower than in REF soils. Further, these data indicated that the surviving populations in the OIL plot may be considered metabolic generalists. Some evidence of crude oil biodegradation was seen in the chemistry data, but enrichment of the oil residue in higher molecular weight components, duration of contact with soil organic material, and slow rates of C mineralization indicate the crude oil will persist at this site for decades. Contamination of Alaskan taiga soil at this site has yielded observable long-term microbial community effects with larger-scale consequences for ecosystem function.
dc.subjectMicrobiology
dc.subjectEcology
dc.subjectEnvironmental science
dc.titleMicrobial ecology and long-term persistence of crude oil in a taiga spruce forest
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.degreephd
dc.contributor.chairBraddock, Joan F.
refterms.dateFOA2020-03-06T01:26:46Z


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