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Edible-Oil Pollution on Fanning Island

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Title:Edible-Oil Pollution on Fanning Island
Authors:Russell, Dennis J.
Carlson, Bruce A.
Date Issued:Jan 1978
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Russell DJ, Carlson BA. 1978. Edible-oil pollution on Fanning Island. Pac Sci 32(1): 1-15.
Abstract:In August 1975 the M.V. Lindenbank went aground on Fanning
Atoll and dumped 17,797 metric tons of cargo onto a pristine coral reef.
Nearly 10,000 tons of the cargo were vegetable oils and edible-oil raw materials
such as copra. Although no toxic substances were dumped into the water, the
effects of these oily substances were similar to those occurring after a petroleum
oil spill. Fishes, crustaceans, and mollusks were killed and an excessive growth
of Enteromorpha and Viva occurred. The animal kill was most likely attributable
to asphyxiation and clogging of the digestive tract, while the algal growth was
most likely attributable to the elimination of algal competitors, increased
fertilization from the pollution and ship, and reduced grazing pressure. Oil
may have suppressed certain algal species while stimulating others. Complete
recovery of the original coralline algal community proceeded in sequence from
Enteromorpha to Viva to Cladophora-Lyngbya to Hypnea-Caulerpa to Jania-Gelidium.
The climax community became evident II months after the original
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 32, Number 1, 1978

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