Study Finds Hurricane Isaac Prolonged Oil Spill Impacts on Some Marsh Insects and Spiders

Researchers collected and analyzed terrestrial arthropods from Louisiana marshes to determine the combined effects from Deepwater Horizon and Hurricane Isaac on saltmarsh ecosystems. The initial oiling from the spill (2010) followed by the oil’s redistribution during Hurricane Isaac (2012) negatively affected some arthropod groups three-four years after the spill. The degree of impact varied by taxa, with some arthropod groups not showing effects from the re-oiling. Overall abundance and taxonomic diversity of terrestrial arthropods increased from 2013 to 2014 at all sites, suggesting recovery. However, taxonomic richness was higher at reference sites for both years than at oiled sites, indicating possible long-term impacts from these disturbances. The researchers published their findings in PLoS ONECoupled effects of oil spill and hurricane on saltmarsh terrestrial arthropods.

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