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Effect of crude oil spillage on plant species and diversity

Research Paper | May 15, 2022

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Grace E Obi-Iyeke

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.20( 5), 29-40, May 2022


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This study assessed the impact of crude oil spill in Amukpe, Niger Delta of Nigeria after two years of recorded incidence. Field reconnaissance, physicochemical parameters and heavy metal concentration in plant samples were used to assess the adverse effects of the spill on the vegetation.  In this study, a total of 1437 plant species distributed into 14 families were recorded at the study site. Family poaceae  had the highest no of species (749) with a frequency of 52% followed by family cyperaceae  with 320 no of species with a frequency of 22% while family euphorbiaceae and malvaceae had 98 and 94 number of species and 6.8% and 6.5% frequencies respectively taking the 3rd and 4th position respectively.  ShannonWiener’s index showed that vegetation in control site was more diverse and heterogeneous than vegetation in impacted sites with mean species diversity index of 9.5 and 5.6 respectively. Individual Shannon-Weiner’s index for the polluted site which reveals the location with the most species diversity showed that site 8 is the most diverse with a value of 6.29. Species richness analysis shows that site 5 is the richest location in the polluted site.  Generally, there was a significant difference between the metal concentration in food crop (cassava) recorded in the polluted site and that from the control site. The result also showed that the concentration of most heavy metal  in all the medicinal  plant samples from  polluted site were higher than the permissible limit set by WHO. The result showed that there is no significant difference between heavy metal concentrations in spice and WHO limit and as such the consumption of spice from this study area possesses no health risk caused by heavy metal accumulation. The lower presence of flora in the crude oil spilled site shows that the detrimental effects of crude oil pollution on soils can linger for years.


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Effect of crude oil spillage on plant species and diversity

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