Seafloor Sediment Bacterial Community Profiling for Baselines and Environmental Effects Monitoring at a Deep-Sea Oil Production Site Offshore Nova Scotia, Canada
AdvisorHubert, Casey R. J.
AuthorStacey, Deidra Kathryn
Committee MemberDunfield, Peter F.
Vamosi, Steven M.
Else, Brent G. T.
SubjectEnvironmental Effects Monitoring, Environmental baselines, Microbial ecology, Nova Scotia, Marine pollution, Offshore oil, Marine environmental monitoring, Marine ecosystem monitoring, 16S rRNA gene
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AbstractMonitoring effects of environmental pollution is a critical aspect to preserving ecosystem health, but is challenging if baseline conditions are never established. Microorganisms are the first responders in a marine pollution event, hence oil-degrading bacteria can be used to monitor dispersion and biodegradation of oil spills. Deep-water subsurface oil reservoirs are predicted to exist along the Scotian Slope offshore Nova Scotia. Seafloor sediment from 19 Scotian Slope stations spanning a ~70,000 km2 area were used to generate 51 bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries (V3-V4 region) to form a DNA baseline. A 300-day-long mock oil spill experiment using Scotian Slope sediment identified potential bacterial bioindicators of pristine and contaminated conditions, relative to baseline, underpinning an environmental monitoring approach that is proposed. This study shows that bacterial rRNA gene amplicon sequencing offers a novel parameter for baselines and environmentally responsible development of offshore deep-water oil drilling in Canada and beyond.
CitationStacey, D. K. (2019). Seafloor Sediment Bacterial Community Profiling for Baselines and Environmental Effects Monitoring at a Deep-Sea Oil Production Site Offshore Nova Scotia, Canada (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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