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Metagenomic study of autochthonous bacterial communities at different marine ecosystems affected by the Prestige's oil spill in Galicia (NW-Spain). Biodegradation potential

AuthorsAlonso-Gutiérrez, Jorge
AdvisorNovoa, Beatriz ; Figueras, Antonio
KeywordsMicrobial ecology
Prestige's oil spill
Issue Date2009
PublisherUniversidad de Santiago de Compostela
AbstractLarge scale marine oil spill accidents have posed great threats and cause extensive damage to the marine coastal environments affecting fisheries, tourism and therefore economies of the affected sites.
NW coasts of Spain are next to a common route for maritime transport. The high traffic made Galician coasts be a hot point for oil spills. In fact, since the disaster of Polycommander, many other have occurred such as Urquiola (1976), Andros Patria (1978) or Aegean Sea (1992). Following this trend, the tanker Prestige (2002) released about 63.000 tonnes of heavy fuel being ranked as the 20th world largest spill hitherto. The spill affected more than 500 miles of the Spanish and even the French coastlines, resulting in an ecological disaster comparable or even worse than that of the Exxon Valdez.
Owing to the highly persistent nature of Prestige's cargo, the released oil drifted for extended periods with winds and currents, affecting diverse habitats along the NW Spanish coastline. In consequence, the present Thesis was aimed at studying the indigenous bacterial populations related with the in situ degradation of the Prestige fuel at two representative maritime environments of the Galician coast with distinct characteristics and hence distinct oil spill response strategies. Sediments and water from the Ría (Chapters I and II) and fuel paste from rocks and sand from "Costa da Morte" (Chapters III and IV) were sampled at different times after the Prestige oil spill.
Description208 págs.-- Tesis doctoral de la Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC), Departamento de Microbioloxía e Parasitoloxía y del Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IIM-CSIC).
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