Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2445/46943
Title: Ten years after the Prestige Oil Spill: seabird trophic ecology as indicator of long-term effects on the coastal marine ecosystem
Author: Moreno Carrillo, Rocío
Jover Armengol, Lluís de
Diez, C.
Sardá Amills, Francisco
Sanpera Trigueros, Carola
Keywords: Catàstrofe del Prestige, Espanya, 2002
Contaminació del mar
Ocells marins
Indicadors biològics
Prestige oil spill, Spain, 2002
Marine pollution
Sea birds
Indicators (Biology)
Issue Date: 9-Oct-2013
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Abstract: Major oil spills can have long-term impacts since oil pollution does not only result in acute mortality of marine organisms, but also affects productivity levels, predator-prey dynamics, and damages habitats that support marine communities. However, despite the conservation implications of oil accidents, the monitoring and assessment of its lasting impacts still remains a difficult and daunting task. Here, we used European shags to evaluate the overall, lasting effects of the Prestige oil spill (2002) on the affected marine ecosystem. Using δ15N and Hg analysis, we trace temporal changes in feeding ecology potentially related to alterations of the food web due to the spill. Using climatic and oceanic data, we also investigate the influence of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, the sea surface temperature (SST) and the chlorophyll a (Chl a) on the observed changes. Analysis of δ15N and Hg concentrations revealed that after the Prestige oil spill, shag chicks abruptly switched their trophic level from a diet based on a high percentage of demersal-benthic fish to a higher proportion of pelagic/semi-pelagic species. There was no evidence that Chl a, SST and NAO reflected any particular changes or severity in environmental conditions for any year or season that may explain the sudden change observed in trophic level. Thus, this study highlighted an impact on the marine food web for at least three years. Our results provide the best evidence to date of the long-term consequences of the Prestige oil spill. They also show how, regardless of wider oceanographic variability, lasting impacts on predator-prey dynamics can be assessed using biochemical markers. This is particularly useful if larger scale and longer term monitoring of all trophic levels is unfeasible due to limited funding or high ecosystem complexity.
Note: Reproducció del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0077360
It is part of: PLoS One, 2013, vol. 8, num. 10, p. e77360
Related resource: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0077360
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2445/46943
ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals)

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