Measuring acute toxicity by using Hyalella azteca in an in situ bioassay for oil contamination on the kalamazoo river
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Hydrocarbon pollution negatively affect stream species’ health and other biological processes. In June of 2010 a pipeline carrying crude oil ruptured in Marshall, Michigan and spilled 20,000 barrels of oil into the Kalamazoo River, which flowed downstream as far as Morrow Lake, east of Comstock. I conducted a field experiment where organisms were freshwater amphipods were exposed to conditions in sites above and bellows the oil spill, observing their survival and growth. Studies in marine oil spills had found that the long term effects of such events are uncertain. Many freshwater oil spills have a documented negative effect on benthic communities but often this type of disturbance is temporary. My study shows that while the exposure to oil does not have a significant effect on the survival of organisms the type of environment they are exposed in does. Also the type of habitat which organisms were exposed too did not produce a significant effect on the growth of these organisms however the exposure to oil or not did significantly effect the growth during this experiment.