An evaluation of hydrocarbon digesting microbes and chemical dispersant ability to reproduce lethal and sublethal effects of oil on Palaemonetes Spp
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Marine oil spills are a serious concern to government, private, and non-governmental organizations as well as to the public at large. Chemical cleaners and bioremediation techniques can be useful in combating these disasters, but the potential synergistic effects are not well understood. In this research, the toxic effects of mixtures of a dispersant and commercial microbial solution on grass shrimp (Palaemonetes spp.) were compared by determining lethal concentrations and mortality over time. The addition of the microbial amendment significantly reduced mortality when they were exposed to an oil/dispersant solution. Increased mixing time of both dispersant and microbial treatments prior to shrimp exposure also increased their survival. There was no significant difference in the mean 48-hour survival rate of shrimp in dispersant and microbial-amended treatments with the same mixing time. The addition of microbial solutions to dispersed oil may produce a net positive effect on survival rates by speeding oil spill remediation and, when feasible, can augment existing techniques.