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Foraminifera as potential bio-indicators of the “Erika” oil spill in the Bay of Bourgneuf: Field and experimental studies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2004

Julie Morvan
Affiliation:
Université d'Angers, UPRES-EA (Unité Propre de Recherche et d'Enseignement Supérieur-Équipe d'Accueil) 2644, Laboratoire des bio-indicateurs actuels et fossiles, 2 Bd Lavoisier, 49045 Angers Cedex 01, France and LEBIM (Laboratoire d'étude des bio-indicateurs marins), 85350 Ile d'Yeu, France
Valérie Le Cadre
Affiliation:
Université Bretagne Sud, LAUBS, Centre de recherche et d'enseignement Y. COPPENS, Campus de Tohannic, 56017 Vannes, France
Frans Jorissen
Affiliation:
Université d'Angers, UPRES-EA (Unité Propre de Recherche et d'Enseignement Supérieur-Équipe d'Accueil) 2644, Laboratoire des bio-indicateurs actuels et fossiles, 2 Bd Lavoisier, 49045 Angers Cedex 01, France and LEBIM (Laboratoire d'étude des bio-indicateurs marins), 85350 Ile d'Yeu, France
Jean-Pierre Debenay
Affiliation:
Université d'Angers, UPRES-EA (Unité Propre de Recherche et d'Enseignement Supérieur-Équipe d'Accueil) 2644, Laboratoire des bio-indicateurs actuels et fossiles, 2 Bd Lavoisier, 49045 Angers Cedex 01, France and LEBIM (Laboratoire d'étude des bio-indicateurs marins), 85350 Ile d'Yeu, France
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Abstract

Benthic foraminifera are used as potential bio-indicators of pollution due to the “Erika” oil spill. The foraminiferal assemblages from a site situated on the tidal mudflat of the southern Bay of Bourgneuf (Vendée, France) have been sampled 19 times on a monthly/bimonthly scale. The field study reveals uncommon low densities and poor faunas in the first 21 months of the survey. In order to understand the effect of the “Erika” fuel, foraminiferal cultures with 0 to 72.0 mg per 100 ml of “Erika” oil were maintained in controlled conditions in the laboratory. In the laboratory, an experiment with 5.5 mg per 100 ml of oil shows morphological abnormalities, cellular modifications and a low rate of reproduction. These first results confirm the potential toxicity of the fuel No. 2 from “Erika” and the sensitivity of foraminifera to this pollutant.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD, 2004

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Foraminifera as potential bio-indicators of the “Erika” oil spill in the Bay of Bourgneuf: Field and experimental studies
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