Scientists conducted mesocosm experiments to explore how crude oil affects marsh-dwelling fiddler crabs, classified as ecosystem engineers or bioturbators. The researchers tested impacts of various oil concentrations to mimic light (L) to heavy (H) oiling scenarios, with fiddler crabs experiencing more acute impacts at higher oil concentrations and less at lower concentrations.
A research group led by the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science was awarded an $11 million grant to study the ecological impacts of last year’s gulf oil spill and the unprecedented use of dispersants.
USF’s College of Marine Science announced today it’s getting another $11 million to do research on the effects of the spill on the ecology of the Gulf. Much of the research will focus on the effects of dispersants used to keep the oil off Gulf beaches.