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Seasonal factors affecting surfactant biodegradation in Antarctic coastal waters: comparison of a polluted and pristine site

George, Alison L.. 2002 Seasonal factors affecting surfactant biodegradation in Antarctic coastal waters: comparison of a polluted and pristine site. Marine Environmental Research, 53 (4). 403-415. 10.1016/S0141-1136(01)00127-1

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Abstract/Summary

This report is the first seasonal study of anthropogenic pollutant biodegradation rates in Antarctic coastal waters. The capacity of surface waters from Rothera Research Station, Adelaide Island, Antarctica, to biodegrade the anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS) was quantified in biodegradation tests from April 1988 to January 1999. Large temporal differences in the persistence of SIDS were observed. In mid-winter (July), the SDS-biodegradation half life was twice that measured in mid-summer (January), despite small temperature differences (up to 2.45 degreesC). Comparisons between water from a pristine site and a site receiving grey-waste water from the station showed that some acclimation to SDS was occurring in the contaminated water. This resulted in SDS half lives up to similar to80 h shorter in the polluted water compared with the pristine site in the summer months when a large population of SDS-degrading bacteria had developed. Biodegradation half lives in Antarctic coastal waters (160-460 h) were generally far higher than those observed in temperate waters.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/S0141-1136(01)00127-1
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Antarctic Science in the Global Context (2000-2005) > Life at the Edge - Stresses and Thresholds
ISSN: 0141-1136
Additional Keywords: Antarctica, anionic surfactant, marine pollution, biodegradation, cold
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 15 Nov 2011 11:36
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/13382

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