Behavioural Effects of Chemically Dispersed Oil and Subsequent Recovery in Diploria strigosa (Dana)
Scleractinian coral, Crude oil, Dispersants, Behaviour, Corexit 9527, BP1100WD
Survival and behaviour of the hermatypic coral Diploria strigosa was studied during 6–24 h doses with water-accomodated fractions of chemically dispersed crude oil, and for a subsequent recovery period of 1 month. Experiments utilized a flow-through laboratory dosing procedure and incorporated petroleum hydrocarbon measurements in order to simulate a major but short-term oil spill in shallow subtidal benthic reef environments. Chemically dispersed oil treatments consisted of Arabian Light Crude oil with Corexit 9527 or BP1100WD at 1–20 ppm concentrations of oil.
In general, effects observed were sub-lethal, temporary, and associated with the highest concentrations tested. Responses to the presence of dispersed oil at 20ppm for 24 h included mesenterial filament extrusion, extreme tissue contraction, tentacle retraction and localized tissue rupture. The nature and severity of reactions during the dosing phase varied between colonies and treatments, but colonies typically resumed normal behaviour within 2 h to 4 d of the recovery period. It therefore seems unlikely that observed biological effects would impair long-term viability.
Wyers, S. C., H. R. Frith, R. E. Dodge, S. R. Smith, A. H. Knap, and T. D. Sleeter. 1986. "Behavioural Effects of Chemically Dispersed Oil and Subsequent Recovery in Diploria strigosa (Dana)." Marine Ecology no. 7 (1):23-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0485.1986.tb00146.x.