Research press release


Scientific Reports

Environment: Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have impacted shipwreck microbiomes

2010年に起こったディープウォーター・ホライズン原油流出事故が、メキシコ湾の海底に横たわる第二次世界大戦期および19世紀の沈没船の船上とその周囲のマイクロバイオームに永続的な影響を及ぼしたことを報告する論文が、今週Scientific Reportsに掲載される。

ディープウォーター・ホライズン原油流出事故で海中に流出した原油のうち、およそ11~30%は所在が分からないままである。今回、Leila Hamdanたちの研究グループは、海中に残留する原油が、原油流出の痕跡が残る海域に位置する古い沈没船に対してどのような影響を及ぼしているのかを調べた。この海域の深海の生息地は、今でも影響を受け続けている可能性が高い。古い沈没船は、人工岩礁として機能し、生物多様性のホットスポットになっており、沈没船上とその周辺の海底に存在する微生物群集は、沈没船の保存と分解に重要な役割を果たしている。


The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill may have had a lasting impact on the microbiomes living on and around World War II-era and 19th century shipwrecks located in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a study in Scientific Reports.

An estimated 11 to 30% of the oil that was discharged into the sea during the Deepwater Horizon spill remains unaccounted for. Leila Hamdan and colleagues examined the possible impact of the remaining oil on historic shipwrecks located within the Deepwater Horizon spill footprint; the area in which deep-water habitats are likely to remain impacted. Historic shipwrecks serve as artificial reefs and hotspots of biodiversity, and microbial communities on shipwrecks and in the surrounding seafloor play important roles in shipwreck preservation and degradation.

The authors selected seven historic wrecks based on depth, distance to the spill site and the extent of surface oiling during the 87-day discharge from the Deepwater Horizon oil well. They compared microbiome, physical properties and chemical data of the sediment surrounding wrecks within heavily impacted, moderately impacted and reference areas. The authors found that in areas least impacted by the Deepwater Horizon spill, shipwreck proximity was associated with higher microbial diversity in surface sediments; microbiomes closer to wrecks were significantly different from those further away. However, at wrecks located in areas most heavily impacted by the spill, microbiomes close to wrecks did not differ from those further away. The authors suggest this may be due to the presence of spill residues at these sites.

doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27350-z


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