Crude oil contains tens of thousands of hydrocarbons, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that create unique chemical fingerprints for different types of oil. Dawei “David” Shi uses geochemical analysis techniques in mesocosm studies to track these fingerprints.
Researchers from the United States, Australia, and Europe conducted mesocosm experiments to assess how larval reef fishes respond physiologically and cognitively to low crude oil concentrations. The team observed that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), at levels recorded in industrialized sections of tropical coral reefs worldwide, increased larvae mortality and stunted growth rates.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can disrupt important signaling pathways that transcribe genes during fish’s early embryonic development, which could cause malformations.
Separate groups of scientists studying the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacts on oysters along the Gulf coast recently published their findings in two journals.