Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 6, pp 2167–2176 | Cite as

Benthic community response to petroleum-associated components in Arctic versus temperate marine sediments

  • Gro Harlaug OlsenEmail author
  • Michael L. Carroll
  • Paul E. Renaud
  • William G. AmbroseJr
  • Ragni Olssøn
  • JoLynn Carroll
Research Article


We assessed the effects of crude oil and drill cuttings on sediment oxygen demand (SOD) of marine benthic communities from Arctic (Barents Sea) and temperate (Oslofjord) areas of the Norwegian continental shelf. Field-collected cores in both areas were subjected to three different treatments: two concentrations of hydrocarbon-contaminated sediments, and drill cuttings (DC). Cores were incubated for 21 days at 5°C (Barents Sea) and at 10°C (Oslofjord) during which SOD was measured five times. We observed significantly higher SOD in the high oil concentration (HOC) and DC treatments compared to control cores from the Arctic, but not in the temperate Oslofjord. No difference was observed between the low oil concentration (LOC) and control at either location. The clear differences in the response of Arctic benthic communities to petroleum compounds compared to temperate benthic communities is likely related to differences in community structure, sensitivity of individual taxa to petroleum-related compounds and different contamination history of the two study areas.


PAHs Polychaete Benthic Community Sediment Oxygen Demand Drill Cutting 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We gratefully acknowledge E. Ambrose, K. Hylland, O. Isaksen, P. I. Johannessen, G. Lopez, K. McMahon, F. Olsgård, O. Pettersen and S. Øksnes and the crews of R/V Jan Mayen and R/V Trygve Braarud for their help during core collection and incubation. In addition, we thank L. Camus, R. Primicerio, A. Ruus, J. Søreide and H. Wolkers for valuable support and advice. Thank you also to personnel at NIVA, Unilab and Geogruppen laboratories for sample analyses. Tor Fadnes (Statoil) is acknowledged for providing crude oil and drill cuttings for the experiments. Funding for this project was provided by The Norwegian Research Council, ProoF-programme (project number 159016/S40). The CABANERA project (project number 155936/700) funded the cruise in spring 2005. The experiments performed in the present study comply with current Norwegian laws.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gro Harlaug Olsen
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Michael L. Carroll
    • 1
  • Paul E. Renaud
    • 1
  • William G. AmbroseJr
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ragni Olssøn
    • 1
  • JoLynn Carroll
    • 1
  1. 1.Akvaplan-nivaPolar Environmental CenterTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Department of BiologyBates CollegeLewistonUSA
  3. 3.Norwegian College of Fishery ScienceUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway

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