During the August, 1974 CEPEX (Controlled Ecosystem Pollution Experiment) hydrocarbon experiment, the effects of four oils (Louisiana crude, Kuwait crude, No. 2 fuel oil, and Bunker C oil) on heterotrophic uptake and mineralization of D-glucose-11C by 1 μm-filterable
microbial populations from Saanich Inlet, British Columbia, Canada, were examined. The four oils inhibited D-glucose uptake and mineralization; the degree of inhibition was dependent upon both the oil type and concentration. The two processed oils were more toxic than the two crude oils tested.
Low concentrations (e.g. 80 μg/l) of Bunker C oil stimulated bacterial metabolism. Populations exposed to 10 μg/l of No. 2 fuel oil for 30 days in CEE enclosures did not acquire oil tolerance. Neither the potential for oxidation of 14C-labeled hydrocarbons nor
the total bacterial density was enhanced by one-month's exposure to 10 μg/l of No. 2 fuel oil. Our data suggest that concentrations of these oils in seawater above 300 μg/l can significantly inhibit marine bacterial activity.
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