Deepwater Horizon Impact on Deep-sea Meiofauna Biomass
AdvisorBaguley, Jeffrey G
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The Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in 2010, oil and dispersants were spread across the surface and the deep-sea. Meiofauna community biomass increased regardless of whether the station had signatures of the oil spill or not. Increases in meiofauna biomass possibly indicate a bentho-pelagic coupling of surface waters and benthic communities. The increase in biomass was mainly due to nematode abundance increases and not individual biomass size. In the years following the oil spill, meiofauna community biomass remained elevated compared to pre-spill conditions. Biomass decreased in the years following returning closer to pre-spill values, possibly indicating signs of recovery in the meiofauna community.