Fate and effects of oil and dispersed oil
on mangrove ecosystems in Australia

Plate 6a, b, c, d, e.Field trials were used to further investigate short term effects of spills of Gippsland crude oil and dispersed oil.

A.Oil treatments were pumped into plots during rising tidal water.

B.Dispersed oil treatments formed a milky mixture with seawater and this was distributed throughout each plot.

C.Oil was contained by the enclosures and the specially constructed "tide gates" allowed tidal waters to enter and leave the plots while oil was contained inside.

D.As water levels dropped, oil was deposited on exposed roots and sediments. The Gippsland crude oil formed a waxy brown, green layer in pooled accumulations in depressions and within crab burrow entrances.

E.Oil released was successfully contained within the plots which were monitored using litter traps, tagged shoots, sediment samples, and observations of faunal activity. Within two days of the sealing of the oil, the most obvious impact was the death of infauna. The trees, at this time showed no obvious effect.

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April 7, 2010