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Uncoupling of Autotrophy and Heterotrophy: Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Microbial Food Webs

Implementing Organization

University of West Florida


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)

Funding Program

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program


Project Category


Project Actions

Chemical Aspects Research

Targeted Resources

Human and/or Institutional Capacity

Project Description

Oil and its constituents are primarily degraded by native microorganisms with abiotic processes being less important. Oil provides a high amount of organic material available to support bacterioplankton growth, the specific source of carbon, however may select for specific groups of bacterioplankton – shifting the microbial community structure which may alter other biogeochemical cycles as well. The project addresses Category 2: conduct baseline studies and impact assessments to provide the basis for long term monitoring.


Wade H. Jeffrey
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