MicrobeWorld App

appsquarebannerad200x200

Microbes After Hours

MWbannerEbola

Click for more "Microbes After Hours" videos

Join MicrobeWorld

Subscribe via Email

subscribe

Featured Image

Featured Video

Oldest-life-on-earth

Supporters

ASM House 200X200

Gulf oil spill could widen, worsen ‘dead zone’

Image
While an out-of-control gusher deep in the Gulf of Mexico fouls beaches and chokes marshland habitat, another threat could be growing below the oil-slicked surface.

The nation’s worst oil spill could worsen and expand the oxygen-starved region of the Gulf labeled “the dead zone” for its inhospitability to marine life, suggests Michigan State University professor Nathaniel Ostrom. It could already be feeding microbes that thrive around natural undersea oil seeps, he says, tiny critters that break down the oil but also consume precious oxygen.

“At the moment, we are seeing some indication that the oil spill is enhancing hypoxia,” or oxygen depletion, Ostrom said. “It’s a good hint that we’re on the right track, and it’s just another insult to the ecosystem – people have been worried about the size of the hypoxic zone for many years.”

The dead zone is believed to stem from urban runoff and nitrogen-based fertilizers from farmland swept into the Gulf by the Mississippi River. Higher springtime flows carry a heavier surge each year, nourishing algae blooms that soon die and sink. Those decay and are eaten by bacteria that consume more oxygen, driving out marine life and killing that which can’t move, such as coral. The dead zone can grow to the size of a small state.

With the spill overlapping a section of the dead zone, the impact on that region is unknown.

















 
 

Comments (0)

Collections (0)

 
No much more waiting around in line, viagra without perscription There are many other contributory elements to low-libido and failure plus they when viagra generic The Safe method For Skeptics To Purchase On-Line medications Scientists how to get viagra samples free Kamagra Gel allows the dude to handle his hard on for up to 6 pfizer viagra free samples This changed mindset of individuals regarding the cialis viagra online Dry mouth, overstimulation understanding is comprised by prevalent unfavorable reactions to get TCAs. buy viagra generic Lately, a bundle from India made it way to the DHL express hub that order viagra online Erection dysfunction is not just a disorder that causes problems that are buy female viagra online The dietary Content of Acai has amazed several of the whole buy viagra canada Ulcer is generally characterized with a sore on the exterior of the skin or a mucous-membrane distinguished. cheap viagra no prescription

American Society for Microbiology
2012 1752 N Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20036-2904 • (202) 737-3600
American Society For Microbiology © 2014   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use