Impact of crude oil pollution on the physicochemical and microbiological properties of orashi river wetland in Egbema, Nigeria

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Research Paper 01/10/2014
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Impact of crude oil pollution on the physicochemical and microbiological properties of orashi river wetland in Egbema, Nigeria

Ike, C. C., Nwaugo, V. O., Nweke, C. O., Anochie, C. C
J. Bio. Env. Sci.5( 4), 89-99, October 2014.
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Abstract

The study investigated impact of crude oil pollution on the physicochemical and microbiological parameters of crude oil polluted Orashi River wetland. The physicochemical, microbiological parameters and trend of enzymatic activities in crude oil polluted and unpolluted wetlands were evaluated. Bioloads had their highest values in the lightly polluted wetlands with values of rainy season leading, followed by control (unpolluted wetlands) and lowest values in the heavily polluted wetlands. Bacillus species was the most prevalent in all wetlands for both seasons – lightly polluted wetlands rainy/ dry season (100% ±0.08/ 85.7% ±0.17), heavily polluted wetlands rainy/ dry season (42.9% ±0.23/ 28.6 ±0.12%), control (unpolluted wetlands) – rainy/ dry season (85.7% ±0.11/ 71.4% ±0.33). Most of the physicochemical parameters measured had highest values in lightly polluted wetlands – rainy/ dry season (total nitrogen 2.98 ± 0.15 μg/g / 2.74 ± 0.72 μg/g, available phosphorus 12.15 ± 0.19 μg/g / 11.43 ± 0.57 μg/g and conductivity 6.75 ± 0.30μm/s / 6.43 ± 0.27μm/s), followed by control (unpolluted wetlands) and with lowest values in the heavily polluted wetlands. Soil pH recorded low values in the polluted wetlands with the least value in the heavily polluted wetlands, while soil organic carbon and temperature values showed a negative trend to the above with lowest values in the control (unpolluted wetlands), followed by a higher values in the polluted wetlands. All physicochemical parameters have some pattern of trend except for exchangeable cations that were not definite in trend. Soil enzymatic activities values follow the same trend with bioloads and physicochemical parameters. All values obtained in bioloads, prevalence, physicochemical and enzymatic activities when compared between control (unpolluted wetlands), lightly polluted and heavily polluted wetlands were statistically significant (p<0.05). This study has shown that crude oil on heavy impaction could cause adverse effects on wetlands quality parameters while light impaction encourages different wetlands quality/ fertility indexes.

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